What is a Jammed finger?
Jammed finger is caused by a type of blunt impact in which the tip of the finger is pushed back toward the hand. The momentum from the impact's force can stretch or even tear the ligaments in the finger which can cause sprain. If the impact force is hard enough, it can also cause tendon damage or a bone fracture.
Jammed finger is caused by smashing the finger against something and the force pushes the tip of the finger down towards the hand. In this case, the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint in the middle of the finger absorbs the force of the blow and the ligament in the finger gets stretched. Jammed fingers can be caused while catching a ball, closing a door and pushing the sheets under the mattress while making the bed.
Sign and Symptoms
The most common presenting symptoms are pain in the affected finger, difficulty in holding the finger and redness with swelling in the injured area. Following complications can arise due to jammed finger-
- Long-term pain and swelling in the joint, known as traumatic arthritis
- Stiffness in the finger
- Weakness in the finger
- Permanent inability to straighten the finger
- Deformity of the joint
The physician needs to be consulted immediately if the affected finger has extreme tenderness and cannot be bent. The physician will examine the finger for swelling and fracture, if any. X ray may be advised to rule out fractures and CT scan/MRI for the assessment of further injury.
Apply ice for 15 minutes each hour to reduce the swelling. The finger must be kept above the chest level. Symptomatic relief through medications must be provided. Buddy strapping, in which the injured finger is immobilized by taping it to the neighbouring finger, must be practised. Post healing, exercise or physical therapy may help in regaining the full function of the affected finger.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.
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