Virtually every child or adult athlete has experience with the exquisite pain that accompanies a ‘jammed finger’. Most of the time a little RICE, Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation, will treat the problem. Sometimes, however, a finger can be truly dislocated in this type of injury. When that happens, the finger is painful, swollen, and usually looks funny, shifted either toward the back or front of the hand. If you notice this, it’s time to see your doctor.
Most commonly the finger dislocates dorsally (toward the back of the hand) and will be reset and splinted after an x-ray rules out a fracture. Rarely, the finger will dislocate toward the palm, (a volar dislocation) and be tougher to treat. This type of dislocation is often seen along with a fracture and tendon damage and may need more aggressive treatment. If your finger looks a little more than ‘jammed’ or doesn’t seem to be getting better, make sure you call your doctor to help you get your touch back.
Dave Carfagno, CO, CAQSM Scottsdale Sports Medicine
F. Ashton Taylor, MS4, MWU AZCOM
Joshi, Samir V, MD, ‘Digit dislocation reduction’, UpToDate, August 21, 2015