Symptoms and Signs of Finger Dislocation

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Finger Dislocation

Finger dislocation is a traumatic injury that leads to the bones of the finger being moved out of their normal position. Trauma, such as overextension or a jamming force on the end of the finger, is the most common cause. A dislocation of the finger can occur in any of the joints of any finger. However, it is most common in the middle knuckle of the little, ring, middle, or index finger.

Signs and symptoms of finger dislocation include

  • deformity of the appearance of the finger or hand,
  • swelling, and
  • pain that may be severe.

Other possible associated symptoms and signs of a dislocated finger can include

  • bruising,
  • bleeding,
  • numbness,
  • tingling,
  • an inability to bend or straighten the finger, and
  • injuries to the overlying skin.

What Is the Treatment for a Finger Dislocation?

Treatment of a finger dislocation starts with the following measures:

  1. Immediately remove any rings or constricting devices on the dislocated finger.
  2. Apply an ice pack to the dislocated finger joint.
  3. See a doctor for X-rays and realignment of the joint.
  4. Reapply an ice pack for about 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days to reduce swelling and pain.
  5. If needed, keep the realigned joint splint clean and dry.
  6. Take over-the-counter pain medication.
  7. Follow the doctor's suggestions to maintain the finger joint's range of motion.

Rest the joint. Don't start doing the actions that caused the dislocation. It may take 3-6 weeks, or in some individuals, as long as 6 months to heal.


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