Finger Fracture Treatment | Finger Bone Fracture Surgery | Fractured Finger Types, Exercises, Healing Time and Recovery
There are actually 14 bones in our fingers, which we call phalanges, so a fracture on any of these bones will lead to a broken finger. The most common fracture among all the fingers in our hands is the metacarpal bone fracture on the little finger. If there is improper treatment of the fracture, this can lead to major problems on the entire hand so there would be problems in grasping or using the hand in manipulating objects.
Finger Fracture Types
There are actually three different types of fractures in our fingers and these are:
• Avulsion Fracture. There is a fracture in the attachment site of the ligament or tendon to the bone of the finger where the soft tissue is involved. This kind of fracture can even occur even on the tip of the finger and this is very common on children.
• Mid-shaft Fracture. This type of fracture usually happens at the neck or shaft of the phalanges or bone fingers. What is getting more damaged on this type of finger fracture is the radial nerve.
• Intra-articular Fracture. This fracture occurs at the end points of the fingers. The fracture usually happens on the surface of the joint and at some point there would be damage to the cartilage.
Finger Fracture Causes
Because there are different types of fractures in the fingers, their causes can also vary. With avulsion fracture, the main cause is physical trauma from a fall or any exertion or pulling that causes the soft tissue and the ligaments to break. With mid-shaft fracture, because the break occurs at the largest part of the finger, the fracture is usually caused by a fall or an impact from a trauma. The same thing goes for intra-articular fracture wherein the injury can happen due to trauma.
Generally, when you visit a doctor he will ask you what you feel in your fingers, what your last activity was that may have injured you, and how your injury happened. He will then make a physical examination on your injured finger and if there is swelling, numbness, pain, and discoloration of your skin, he will request an x-ray to really determine the location of the fracture.
Once fingers get fractured, it is easy to find out. He can also check on symptoms such as the following:
• There is pain on the fractured part which is oftentimes severe.
• After the injury, swelling and tenderness may show up.
• There is inability of the finger to move and when forced to move severe pain will be felt
• It would be very difficult to move the fractured finger
• There is a deformity right on the fractured site
Finger Fracture Treatment
The doctor always determines first the seriousness of the injury before applying the treatment, but treatment usually involves:
• Reattaching the bone back to its place which may require surgery in severe cases.
• If surgery is not needed, splinting or casting the broken finger is done until the bone heals. The cast can stay on your finger for 3 to 6 weeks and the doctor will order you to undergo finger x-rays from time to time so that he could check on the healing bone.
Once the doctor decided that your cast or splint be removed you must undergo range-of-motion finger exercises to strengthen your fingers. For faster and assured recovery, you can be referred to a physical therapist to help you with your finger exercises.
Bones on our fingers are more fragile than what we think so we have to prevent them from getting fractured. Try your best not to subject them with possible risk that can cause fractures. If you will be involved with sports, you must learn how to use your hand properly and wear durable gloves and other safety gears especially when dealing with hard physical activities. Doctors can also recommend you a diet that is rich with vitamin D to strengthen your bones and also do weight-bearing and exercises for your upper body so that the bones in your body including those that are in your hands will be more developed.
When to Call A Doctor
You must visit a doctor once you see that you show the signs of having a fractured finger. Oftentimes there could be swelling, severe pain or deformity of the injured finger. Remember that when left unattended, finger fractures can bring about the signs of infection such as muscle aches, headache, fever and dizziness. The skin may turn blue or gray especially at the fingertip. Numbness may also be experienced. If any of these symptoms occur you must not waste your time visiting your doctor.