Symptoms and Signs of Broken Finger

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/12/2022

Doctor's Notes on Broken Finger

A broken finger is a fracture, or break, in any of the bones of the fingers. A broken finger is usually caused by a traumatic injury to the finger or fingers, such as playing sports, workplace injuries, falls, or accidents. A broken finger may involve a fracture of a single bone or of multiple bones at the same time.

Symptoms associated with a broken finger include:

  • pain that may be severe, 
  • redness, and 
  • swelling in the area and in the adjacent fingers.

Other associated signs and symptoms may include:

  • stiffness or inability to move the finger, 
  • deformity of the finger, and 
  • limited range of motion if the finger is still moveable. 

With any traumatic injury, there may be other associated injuries like cuts, scrapes, bruises, or bleeding.

What Is the Treatment for a Broken Finger?

Treatment for a broken finger depends on the severity of the injury and the location of the break. 

  • In all cases, ice is used in the beginning to reduce swelling, and medications are given to control the pain.
  • Less serious injuries may be treated by splinting the affected finger or taping it to an adjacent finger. If the bones are not aligned, the bones may need to be re-aligned before splinting. This is commonly done under local anesthesia. 
  • Serious injuries involving multiple bones may require intervention by a trained hand surgeon using screws, pins, plates, or other devices to hold the bones in place. 

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.