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What are Different Types of Finger Injuries?

Finger injuries range from minor bruises to complex fractures and dislocations. Common types include sprains, cuts, tendon injuries, and nerve damage. Each injury requires specific care, from ice packs and rest to surgical intervention. Visuals within our article vividly illustrate these conditions, enhancing your understanding. Curious about how to identify and treat each type? Keep reading to become well-informed on finger injury management.
B. Miller
B. Miller

The different types of finger injuries include fractures, in which a bone, or number of bones, in the finger are broken; sprains, which occur when the ligaments are torn; tendon injuries, which are similar to sprains; and injuries to the fingernail, which may cause it to break, become crushed, or fall off. In addition, lacerations (cuts) on the fingers are common, some of which are very minor, and others which may require stitches. Burns to the finger are also very common. In the most extreme cases, an amputation or partial amputation can certainly be considered a type of finger injury.

Lacerations and burns on the fingers are some of the most frequently occurring finger injuries, often due to unsafe behavior while cooking in the kitchen or while grilling outside. As long as these lacerations are not severe, they can generally just be treated with soap and water to remove any debris, as well as covered with antibacterial gel and a bandage. A burn may be run under cold water and then covered with aloe vera gel. If a laceration or burn is severe, however, it may be necessary to go to a doctor or hospital for treatment such as stitches.

A person wearing a finger splint.
A person wearing a finger splint.

Some of the more serious finger injuries include breaks, sprains, and tendon damage, which often occur when the finger is bent at an unnatural angle or slammed in a door, for example. A break can usually be reset and then braced with a small finger or hand splint, it is usually not necessary to put a cast on the area unless it was a compound fracture in which the bone comes through the skin. One way to keep a finger immobile on the way to the doctor is to tape a popsicle stick to it, or to just tape it to the next finger. Sprains or tendon strains may also require a splint. Serious injuries to the fingernail typically just require time to heal, as well as regularly cleaning the area and preventing it from becoming infected, which is true of any injury in which the skin is broken.

A woman wearing a splint for a torn ligament in her finger.
A woman wearing a splint for a torn ligament in her finger.

Amputations or partial amputations require immediate emergency treatment. Pressure should be put on the wound to stop the bleeding, and the severed finger should be stored on ice on the way to the hospital. On the whole, be sure to promptly treat all finger injuries when they occur, and go to the doctor if they don't seem to be improving, to avoid causing permanent damage or a serious infection.

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Discussion Comments

anon994613

Good article - Would recommend removing the ring as soon as possible in a real scenario though as it restricts blood flow and the swelling will make it harder to remove - the ring will then have to be cut.

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    • A person wearing a finger splint.
      By: Rob Byron
      A person wearing a finger splint.
    • A woman wearing a splint for a torn ligament in her finger.
      By: LockStockBob
      A woman wearing a splint for a torn ligament in her finger.
    • Finger cuts are a type of finger injury.
      By: Iosif Szasz-Fabian
      Finger cuts are a type of finger injury.
    • If a finger or hand injury is severe, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor.
      By: Shakzu
      If a finger or hand injury is severe, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor.