What is a Finger Dislocation?
Finger dislocation is a very common injury in which one of the bones in the finger is moved out of its normal position. Most dislocations happen at the middle joint on the finger, but they can occur at any of the finger joints. The forced displacement of the finger bone can severely damage the tissue surrounding the joint.
Whats causes Finger Dislocation?
Sudden injury or trauma that bends or jams the finger out of its normal motion range can cause finger dislocation. This especially occurs in sports injuries or situations in which the finger can get caught on something or struck on its tip. Another common cause of finger dislocation is landing a fall on an outstretched hand.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Finger dislocation symptoms usually include pain and visible finger deformity but can include swelling and sensation loss. Often the finger cannot be moved. Very severe injuries may cause tearing of the skin and exposure of the bone or joint. If your doctor observes any of these symptoms, you may be diagnosed with a dislocated finger. X-rays will be taken to determine the degree of misalignment in the finger. An MRI may also be used to determine if any other injuries were sustained.
How is Finger Dislocation Treated?
Finger dislocation can usually be treated with a non-surgical procedure called closed reduction. This procedure manually forces the joint back into the proper alignment. Because the hand is very complex, evaluation by a hand surgeon is recommended to ensure proper treatment is received so that a full recovery is made. Otherwise, permanent symptoms like stiffness or dysfunction may occur. After evaluation, the finger may be immobilized with a splint or taped to the adjacent finger for stabilization. If the dislocation is especially severe and any tissue or nerves appear to be damaged, surgery may be necessary. Finger stiffness is very common during recovery, so physical therapy for the hand is often necessary.