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Broken Finger

Broken Finger

Definition

A finger fracture is a break in any of the bones in a finger. Each finger consists of 3 bones called the phalanges. The thumb has only 2 phalanges.

Finger Fracture
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Causes

A finger fracture is caused by trauma to the finger. Trauma includes:

  • Falls
  • Blows
  • Collisions
  • Severe twists

Risk Factors

This condition is more common in older adults.

Factors that may increase your risk of a finger fracture include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain congenital bone conditions
  • Participation in contact sports
  • Violence

Symptoms

A finger fracture may cause:

  • Pain, often severe
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Inability to move the finger without pain or difficulty
  • Possible deformity at the fracture site

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms, your physical activity, and how the injury occurred. The injured finger will be examined.

Images will be taken of your finger to determine which bones are broken and the type of fracture. This can be done with x-rays.

Treatment

Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems with the finger, such as immobility or misalignment. Treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is, but may include:

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of finger fractures:

  • Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car.
  • Do weight-bearing and strengthening exercises regularly to build strong bones.
  • Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.

To help reduce falling hazards at work and home:

  • Clean spills and slippery areas right away.
  • Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower.
  • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub.
  • Put in handrails on both sides of stairways.
  • Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls.
  • Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage.
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