Finger Sprains, Jams and Dislocation – While frequently confused, these conditions are usually anatomically different. At TriHealth Hand Surgery, we see the following conditions:
“Jammed” fingers and sprains
This injury generally refer to the partial tearing of one or two of the four supporting ligaments of the finger joint, most commonly the middle one. No fracture has occurred, and the bones remain in their normal position.
Dislocation – complete or partial
This results from the complete tearing of two or more supporting structures and an abnormal position of the two bones. With a complete dislocation the bones may be angled in different directions, and the joint needs to be put back into its normal position. A fracture may or may not have occurred.
Partial dislocations are more subtle
While the fingers may appear in normal alignment, x-rays show one bone slightly above or below the other. This requires reduction, putting the bone back in position, especially if there is a fracture.
These injuries all produce pain, swelling, and decreased motion of the injured joint. Inability to bend the fingers completely immediately following the injury deserves immediate attention. Unfortunately, patients frequently underestimate the damage that has occurred and do not seek treatment until many weeks later. The result is incomplete recovery due to unrecognized fractures or dislocation. As benign as some of these injuries seem, it is best to consult with a specialist to avoid permanent damage.
Treatment varies from simple splinting with early active motion to surgical relocation of the joint and fixation of any fractures. These treatments would hinge on the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
To make an appointment with one of our doctors, request an appointment online or call 513 961-HAND (4263).