A finger dislocation is when the a finger bone is out of place. A dislocation also often involves stretching or damage to the ligaments. Ligaments are strong bands of fiber that help hold bones in place. Dislocation can happen in any of the finger joints.
A dislocated finger is usually caused by:
- A jamming force applied to the end of the finger
- Finger being forcefully twisted or bent
- Finger being overextended (bent backward)
Factors that increase your risk of dislocation include:
- Contact sports
- Previous finger dislocation or sprain
- Medical conditions or disease that make ligaments weak or loose such as Ehlers-Danlos or Marfan syndrome
Symptoms may include:
- Severe pain
- Crooked or awkwardly bent shape finger
- Swelling and bruising in the injured area
- Numbness and/or tingling
- Inability to bend or straighten the finger
You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The injured finger will also be examined.
Your doctor may order an x-ray. This can help rule out broken bones. It may also be used to make sure the bone is back in the correct place.
Seek medical care right away. Do not try to put your finger bones back into place. If you wait for treatment, you could cause permanent damage.
The doctor will move the finger bones back into place. A local anesthesia may be used to help reduce pain. Your finger may then be placed in a splint or taped to the healthy finger. For severe injuries or ones that can not be moved back into place, a cast or surgery may be needed.
To help prevent a finger dislocation, wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports. Work with a coach or other professional to learn proper techniques and safety steps.
Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.