Symptoms and Signs of Finger Sprain

Doctor's Notes on Finger Sprain

Many physicians consider a finger sprain to be an injury to ligaments (or to tendons); they are graded 1-3, (grade 1 - ligament fibers are stretched, grade 2 - fibers are partially torn, grade 3 - ligament is completely torn). Signs and symptoms of a finger sprain include localized pain and swelling, tenderness, warmth and redness. Some people may have a popping, clicking, grinding, decreased range of motion and/or pain with movement. Some patients will have a deformity that may occur; many physicians will x-ray the finger. Numbness and tingling may be present if a nerve injury also happens.

The cause of almost all finger (and thumb) sprains is trauma to the digit where it is forced to move side-to-side (a jammed finger), usually involving the PIP ligaments. Falls and sports injuries (volleyball, basketball, skiing [skier's thumb] and others) are the risk factors for digit injuries.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019


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