If you’ve suffered from a serious hand injury or dislocation, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What is finger dislocation?
Finger dislocation is one of the common injuries that occurs in the hand. Finger dislocation is when one or more joints in the finger comes out of place so that normal finger range of motion is no longer possible. A finger dislocation is an urgent condition and seeking medical care should not be delayed. It is important not to attempt to reduce the finger yourself, as this can cause further injury to the joint cartilage, surrounding ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.
What causes finger dislocation?
A finger can become dislocated following injury during a fall, sports, or an accident. Ligaments which support the joint can become injured, causing the joint to fall out of alignment.
What are the symptoms of finger dislocation?
You will know that your finger is dislocated if the finger becomes crooked and you become unable to flex or extend your finger following an injury. The finger will also become swollen and painful and may have numbness/tingling and bruising as well.
Diagnosis and treatment
Physicians will diagnose finger dislocation by clinical examination and X-ray imaging to identify any fractures that may accompany the dislocation. At times, a CT scan may be needed as well.
In the setting of an acute finger dislocation, reduction of the joint will be attempted. The finger will be numbed with local anesthetic and a gentle reduction will be performed. If reduction is successful- the finger will be splinted to allow the joint to heal, followed by “buddy taping” the finger to its neighboring digit to improve its range of motion.
If reduction is not able to be performed- surgery is scheduled to perform a surgical reduction. Often an incision will be required to surgically reduce the joint. Following reduction you may have a temporary surgical wire placed, or may have to wear a splint for several weeks.
Most patients will benefit from hand therapy during the recovery process, because joints that are injured tend to become stiff. The hand therapist will guide the patient through exercises that will improve the movement of the finger.