A finger fracture is a crack or break in one or more of the bones of a finger. The break may be just a bend or small crack in the bone or the bone may be shattered, or broken into pieces. Some fractures break through the skin while others remain contained. Finger fractures in young children are challenging because they typically do not have the vocabulary or ability to fully describe what happened or what they are feeling.
A broken finger in young children usually occurs because:
- They were struck by a hard object
- Their finger is slammed in a door
- They fell onto their hand
- They are medically frail
Symptoms often include:
- A snapping or popping sound when the injury occurs
- Pain, swelling, bruising, or tenderness shortly after the injury
- Pain when the injured area is touched
- Pain that inhibits the child from bending or using the affected finger
- An area of the finger that is cold, pale, or numb
- A change in the shape of the finger
If you think your child has broken a finger, please take them to a medical provider. You and your child will be asked several questions regarding symptoms and how the injury happened. The medical provider will examine your child, and may take x-rays, a CT scan or an MRI.
After a diagnosis is made, some steps will be taken to provide the best recovery outcome.
- If your child has an open wound with the fracture, additional treatment may be necessary to control bleeding or to prevent an infection.
- If the broken bone is crooked, it will need to be straightened. Medicine may be given first to make the process less painful.
- Sometimes surgery is needed to put the bones back into the correct position.
- A splint may be applied to the finger, or it may be “buddy taped” to the finger next to it.
With treatment, expect up to 4 to 6 weeks to heal. Special exercises may be prescribed to help the finger get stronger and to preserve flexibility.
For more information, please contact the Idaho Hand Institute at (208) 235-4263, or at any of our four locations: Pocatello, Blackfoot, Soda Springs, and Idaho Falls.