Broken finger! What now?

By far, the most common ailment seen by hand surgeons are broken fingers. Given how often we use our fingers during a day, and how relatively fragile they are compared to other parts of the body, it’s no wonder this is one of the most common areas to break a bone.

What do hand surgeons recommend if you or someone in your family has broken a finger?  We’ve got the rundown.

Hand_surgeonsCritical Steps To Take In Case Of A Broken Finger

1 – If A Bone Is Exposed, Call 911 Immediately

First and foremost:  If it is a compound fracture, with the bone exposed or sticking out of the skin, you need to call in medical attention immediately.  Don’t try any home remedies beyond possibly disinfecting the area.  Just get professional care ASAP.

2 – Apply Ice To Reduce Swelling

In the case of a simple fracture, the main symptoms are going to be pain, swelling, and an inability to move the finger(s) in question.  Ice is one of the best steps here – it reduces swelling in the area, and helps numb the pain.

If it’s merely a bad sprain, this will usually help get the finger moving again fairly shortly.  If pain and swelling continue, it’s probably broken.

3 – If Possible, Create A Splint

Especially if there’s a long ride between the patient and the hospital, try to make a simple splint to immobilize the finger.  It’ll help with the pain, as well as ensuring the fracture isn’t made worse.  Something as simple as a couple popsicle sticks and some scotch tape will do the job.

This isn’t a permanent splint; it only needs to hold together until you get to a doctor.

4 – Seek Professional Care

There’s no such thing as a “safe” break, and you’re at risk of infection.  There’s no telling how much damage has really been done without an X-Ray.  You’ll need to see hand surgeons or other doctors to see how extensive the break is, and evaluate your options for treatment.

And if you’re in doubt, call your doctor for more specific advice!

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