Commonwealth Orthopaedics: Finger Injuries

12.12.2013 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness


Redskins Nose Tackle Barry Cofield suffered a broken bone in his right hand during the preseason. He continued to play however with a clubbed cast covering his injured hand for the next few games! Our friends at Commonwealth Orthopaedics reveals more on finger injuries. 

If you are an athlete chances are you have jammed, broken or dislocated a finger in the past.  They are among the most common athletic injuries seen by an Orthopedist.  Most of the time these injuries can be treated with taping (buddy taping one finger to an adjacent finger), splinting or casting.  Very rarely these injuries require surgery. 

Jamming injuries and finger dislocations occur commonly in ball sports.  Most of the time the athlete reduces the finger him or herself immediately after the injury simply by pulling traction on the finger.  Provided there is no associated fracture, the joint is usually quite stable after it has been reduced.  The finger can then be splinted for a few days until the pain decreases, and then it is very important to start moving the finger.   

Broken fingers can occur in almost any sport.  Patients often ask how to tell when they need to get an x-ray after a finger injury.  Swelling and bruising in the hand is very common, even after minor injuries, so that is not always a good indicator of a broken bone or the need for x-ray. Certainly if there is any deformity in the finger an x-ray is needed.  Generally if the pain persists after a day or two and there is decreased movement in the finger than an x-ray is warranted.  Many broken fingers can be treated in a cast or splint for about 3 weeks. Fractures (breaks) that are displaced may require surgery.

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 By:Sarah Pettrone, MD, Commonwealth Orthopaedics

Commonwealth Orthopaedics has teamed up with the Redskins as a new health and wellness partner. Click here for more information.

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