Finger Injuries Information Center

We use our fingers and thumbs for our daily work and most of the times take them for granted and never really take care of them. The fingers and thumbs are also more prone to injuries, as they come in contact with so many things during our daily routine. As a result, they suffer from a variety of conditions which could be as minor as scrapes to something as serious as a fracture. We can injure our fingers while doing our daily chores if we are not careful, such as the fingertip can be caught when slamming a door or when cutting vegetables or when using a lawn mower etc. Serious injuries to fingers occur as a result of accidents or while playing sports. Serious injuries to the finger involve tearing, crushing or amputating injuries and require immediate treatment. Some injuries can also result in loss of finger(s) or thumb(s).

Finger Injuries

Below we have given a brief overview of what you will find in our section "FINGER INJURIES." You can go through the summary and if you would like to read in more detail, you can find all the topics on the left side menu under the heading "FINGER INJURIES" with detailed information about their signs, symptoms, causes, treatment and various strengthening and stretching exercises.

Boutonniere Deformity

Boutonniere Deformity

This is a condition where an injury to the tendons of the finger hinders complete extension of the finger resulting in flexing of the middle joint. Boutonniere deformity requires immediate treatment to avoid permanent damage. Common cause is a forceful blow to the finger when it is flexed or bent. Main symptom is that the finger is bent/flexed and cannot be straightened completely. Other symptoms include pain, tenderness and swelling. Nonsurgical or conservative treatment includes rest, splinting, bracing, NSAIDs, cortisone injections etc. If the conservative treatment does not benefit, then surgery is required. After surgery, patient should enrol in a physical therapy program comprising of stretching and flexibility exercises to improve range of motion and strength.

Bowler's Thumb

Bowler's Thumb

This condition is caused by persistent pressure on the ulnar nerve as seen when the thumb hole of the bowling ball is smaller than the thumb. This is an overuse injury and can also occur during other activities such as cherry picking or when performing martial arts. Cause is repeated friction or pressure on the ulnar nerve. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness of the finger. Treatment comprises of rest, splinting using thumb guard etc. Surgery is done if the above measures fail and includes nerve transposition or neurolysis. For more information, please refer to the left side menu under the topic "BOWLER'S THUMB."

Broken Finger

Broken Finger

This is nothing but fracture of the small bones (phalanges) which make up the finger. Common cause is direct injury or a direct fall on the finger. Other causes include contact sports, improper use of power saws, drills etc. Symptoms include: Sudden onset of pain in the finger, intense pain upon movement, tenderness, swelling, restricted movement, finger deformity and numbness of the finger. Treatment comprises of splinting and rest. Surgery may be needed in some cases.

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's Contracture

This condition affects the hand and fingers where the fingers get bent towards the direction of the palm. This condition commonly occurs after age 40, affects women more. Risk factors include diabetes, epilepsy, smoking and alcohol intake. This condition can also be inherited. Symptoms are: difficulty in straightening the fingers, nodular growth and skin thickening. Treatment comprises of the following procedures such as needling, enzyme injections and Xiaflex injections. Surgery is done as a last option.

Exercises Should be Done After Surgery to Regain Strength and Range of Motion and These Include:

  • Finger Lifts
  • Finger Spreads
  • Grip Exercises
  • Thumb Exercises

For more detailed reading, please refer to the left side menu under the topic "DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE."

Jersey Finger or Football Finger

Jersey Finger or Football Finger

This is an injury of the flexor tendon. The flexor tendons play a crucial role in the hand's functioning. Jersey Finger injury is graded into 4 types; Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV. Common cause is trauma occurring during contact sports. Symptoms are: Pain upon flexing of the finger, swelling and bruising. Conservative treatment includes rest and icing. Surgery is done if the problem persists even after conservative treatment. Exercises should be done after surgery. We have given detailed description of various stretching and strengthening exercise for this injury. You can read about them under the topic "JERSEY FINGER OR FOOTBALL FINGER" on the left side menu.

Subungual Hematoma

Subungual Hematoma

This is a condition where there is accumulation of blood under the fingernail commonly occurring as a result of crush or blunt injury to the nails. Symptoms include pain, dark-colored discoloration and pressure sensation under the nail. This condition usually resolves with conservative treatment, such as ice therapy, hand elevation, anti-inflammatory meds. In severe cases, the blood needs to be drained by a medical professional.

Trigger Finger or Stenosing Tenosynovitis

Trigger Finger or Stenosing Tenosynovitis

This is a condition where the tendon sheaths and tendons of the finger are affected resulting in a flexed position of the finger and difficulty in straightening it. The main cause is unknown; however, risk factors include strenuous activities, synovial or tendon inflammation, females over the age 40, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, gout, underactive thyroid and Dupuytren's contracture. Symptoms include pain with clicking or snapping sound when extending or flexing the finger, stiffness, nodular growth at the base of the finger. Conservative treatment includes rest, splinting and NSAIDs. Surgery is done for severe cases.

The Following Stretching Exercises Should Be Done After the Surgery-

  • Finger Abduction 1
  • Finger Abduction 2
  • Extensor Stretch
  • Finger Stretch

The Following Strengthening Exercises Should Be Done After the Surgery-

  • Tennis Ball Squeeze
  • Towel Grab Finger Spring

We have given a detailed description on how to do these exercises. Please refer to the left side menu under the heading "TRIGGER FINGER" for further reading.

Mallet Finger or Baseball Finger

Mallet Finger or Baseball Finger

In this condition, the extensor tendon gets damaged resulting in deformity of the finger. This commonly occurs when any object hits the tip of the finger or thumb such as seen in baseball, basketball and volleyball. This injury is classified into 3 types. Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, weakness in the fingertip resulting in its drooping, detachment of the nail and much more. For mild cases, rest and splinting is enough to recover. However, if there is a fracture, then surgery is needed.

Other Finger Injury Topics Which are Covered in This Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 24, 2014

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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