Will a Fractured Finger Heal on Its Own?

Will a Fractured Finger Heal on Its Own?

Posted on 10/21/2021

Each of your fingers, besides the thumb, have three phalanges. The thumb has two. Phalanges are the bones in your fingers. Any of these can fracture due to injuries. Finger fractures are among the most common bone injuries in the body. They are sometimes hard to detect since your finger may still be able to move. If you detect the injury, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention. 


Common Causes of Finger Fractures


The hands are among the busiest parts of the body. This means that they are highly prone to injury due to their frequent use and movement. Many aspects of daily life can cause finger fractures. Some common causes include mishandling power tools and breaking a fall with your hands. You can also injure your fingers in sports or when closing a door without paying attention.


Symptoms of Finger Fractures


You may fracture your finger and pass it off as a minor injury. However, some symptoms are hard to ignore. The most telltale sign is finger deformation at the joint or elsewhere on the phalanges. 


This usually comes with a sharp pain after the traumatic event. Sometimes you may not be sure if the injury is severe. You may try to move it, making you feel pain. A finger with a fracture can still move slightly depending on the level of injury. The level of pain goes in tandem with the level of the fracture.


Most finger fractures may begin to swell within the first 5 to 10 minutes. Redness will also be visible at this time. As the finger swells, it starts feeling rigid and difficult to move. In severe finger fractures, you will see bruises. The finger will feel numb and swell massively. 


Can the Phalange Fracture Heal on Its Own?


Some finger fractures can heal without medical intervention. However, this depends on the conditions surrounding the injury. Like small skin injuries that heal on their own, so too can finger fractures. In small skin injuries, the area around the wound closes together with time. Larger skin injuries take longer to heal and often leave a large scar. 


This same phenomenon can happen with finger fractures. In small breakages, the fracture can heal on its own. This is because the bone can join itself together if the edges of the fracture are very close.


First Aid for Finger Fractures


Once you realize you have a fractured finger, you can do a few things to lessen the effects. The first thing to do is minimize the movement of the finger. If you can, tie or tape it to the adjacent finger. To reduce swelling, elevate your hand and ice it. 


This helps reduce blood flow to the injury. If there is a superficial injury, place a clean cloth over it. This reduces the chances of infection. If you have a ring on your finger, remove it. 


Length of Recovery


Depending on the severity of the injury, finger fractures can take between two to eight weeks to heal. But if the fracture is healing unevenly or is taking longer, it is time to seek medical attention.


For more on how a fractured finger heals on its own, contact East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. You can also call (510) 904 1100 to book an appointment today.


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