How to treat broken fingers?

How to treat broken fingers?

Posted on 09/30/2019


Our fingers contain a number of different bones. These are called phalanges, and whilst the thumb only has two of these, our other fingers all have three. Fractures can affect any of the phalanges as well as the knuckle, which is the joint where the bones of the finger meet. Unfortunately, the fact that we use our hands continuously throughout the day puts them at high risk of being injured. In many cases, those injuries can result in a broken finger.

A broken finger is one of the most common types of fracture seen by doctors and hand surgeons. Fortunately, in many cases, they are repaired fairly easily. Here is what you need to know about how to treat broken fingers.

Causes of broken fingers

The fingers are the part of the hand that are most likely to be injured. Not only do they extend out from the hand, making them more likely to be trapped or caught by an object, but they are perpetually in use. Putting your hands out to break your fall, slamming your fingers in a door and reaching to grab a something that is in motion, such as swing, are all common accidents and can all cause you to fracture a bone in your finger. In many injuries, more than one finger may be broken at once.

Types of broken fingers

Not all fractures are the same and they are normally categorized as follows:

Avulsion fracture: this is when a tendon or ligament and the piece of bone that it attaches to pull away from the main part of the bone.

Shear fracture: this is when forces cause the bone to move in two different directions, causing it to split into two pieces.

Impacted fracture: this occurs when the broken ends of the bone are forced into one another.

Nondisplaced fracture: the fractured bone is cracked but stable and doesn’t move.

Displaced fracture: the separate pieces of a bone move and no longer sit adjacent to one another.

Comminuted fracture: the bone is broken into three or more pieces.

Closed fracture: this is the term used to describe a fractured bone where the skin is intact, and the break is contained.

Open fracture: as you might expect, this is where the bone has protruded through the skin and caused an open wound.

In order to determine what type of fracture you have experienced; x-ray imaging will be used. This will enable an accurate diagnosis to be made and the correct treatment to be provided.

Treating your broken finger

The treatment that you will be recommended will depend on the type and severity of the fracture that you have sustained. In the case of a simple, nondisplaced fracture, it may be possible for the broken fingers to be strapped together while the bones heal. However, if you have a displaced or comminuted fracture, surgery may be needed to stabilize the bones to make sure that they are properly aligned and heal correctly. Surgery may also be needed to help resolve damage to injured ligaments or tendons and remove any loose bone fragments that may have come away from the main structure.

Your hand surgeon will be able to advise you on the best course of action for repairing your broken fingers. Healing typically takes anywhere from six weeks to six months depending on the severity of your injury and whether there have been any complications such as nerve damage. You may be referred for physical therapy exercises to help with your rehabilitation and recovery so that you can be sure to regain the full use of your fingers as soon as possible.


To find out more about broken fingers and how to treat them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today.




Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.