You’ve undoubtedly experienced the typical signs of a broken finger if you’ve ever caught your finger in a door or whacked it with a hammer. Any damage to or injury to a finger may result in:
- severe finger pain, especially aching and throbbing pain
- inflammation (pain, redness, and swelling)
- difficulty using the fingertip
- loss of sensation in the fingertip
- bruising and colour change of the skin and fingernail
- stiffness in your finger
Treating inflammation is the greatest approach to getting quick relief from a broken finger. The main cause of pain, swelling, and redness is.
Typical advice for caring for a broken finger includes:
Stop doing anything after you’ve harmed yourself to avoid being hurt more. Try to remain cool while you evaluate the damage and if you need medical assistance, no matter how painful it may be.
Apply an ice pack or compress wrapped in a hand towel or other soft material to the injured finger several times daily for 10-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks.
To reduce the risk of or further inflammation, never expose the skin to ice directly or for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
Rest the finger on top of an ice compress or pack that is covered to prevent putting pressure on the wound.
The blood flow to the injured finger is slowed by raising it above the level of your heart, which reduces swelling and pressure. This is crucial and should be carried out continuously rather than occasionally.
Utilize over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, which are available over the counter (OTC), can help lessen inflammation and the resulting pain.
Cleanse and bandage open sores. Use soap and water or an antibacterial rinse to gently clean the area if the nail or skin is broken. After that, bandage or cover the wound with sterile gauze.
After cleaning sessions, OTC antibiotic ointments or creams can also be applied to the wounds to help prevent infection.
At least twice per day, wounds should be cleaned, and fresh dressings should be applied. Make sure your finger can move.
Never attempt to bandage, splint, or brace a broken finger at home. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep moving the finger as gently as you can without making your pain worse.
Take your finger to a doctor if you are unable to move it. Utilize lotions and natural medicines to relieve discomfort.
Creams with painkilling medications and natural remedies may help lessen pain and inflammation. Arnica may shorten the time it takes for bruises to heal and assist minimise swelling.
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Long-term treatment and recovery
The recommended course of treatment for the first 48 hours following the injury is rest, icing, elevating, and taking over-the-counter painkillers. Following a day or two of simple treatment, your discomfort should start to significantly decrease.
After the initial swelling subsides, a painful bruise may form at the injury site. The bruise may result in throbbing, aching, or numbness depending on where the injury is and how severe it is.
Try to stretch and move the injured finger more and more as the initial pain and swelling subside. Avoid any movements or actions that significantly worsen your pain.
By promoting blood flow to the injury site, a light massage of the affected area can speed up healing. Broken down blood cells and tissues may also be helped by this.
The extent of the injury and its location both affect how long a finger will take to heal. Within three to four days, the majority of broken fingers start to feel much better. It might take a few weeks or longer for more complicated or severe cases to fully recover.
Treating a bruised fingernail
Pressure might build up and hurt if a bruise develops beneath the fingernail.
The fingernail may come off if the pressure is too great. Your fingernail will typically stay in place, but you might notice some discolouration close to the wound.
The affected portion of the nail won’t fully grow out for a few months, so the bruise will still be noticeable.
Call your doctor if you think your nail might break or if the bruise is visible on at least 50% of the nail. By relieving pressure, your doctor might be able to stop the nail from coming off.
What to avoid
It’s a good idea to avoid any activities that make your finger sore or involve a lot of strain on it while it heals.
Before it is safe to resume physically demanding or contact-based activities, it may take a few weeks.
Additionally, you shouldn’t try to splint, wrap, or brace the injured finger or attempt to remove the injured nail on your own.
When to seek help
Speak with a doctor or nurse if your smashed finger causes extreme pain or involves more than just the fingertip. You should also seek medical help if:
- you can’t straighten your finger
- the finger is noticeably bent or crooked
- your finger feels numb immediately after the injury and before the use of ice
- your fingernail bed, finger joints, knuckle, palm, or wrist are also injured
- symptoms get worse after 24 to 48 hours of basic at-home care
- deep wounds are present
- Do you think the nail will fall off or a bruise takes up more than half of the nail
- bleeding or pus occurs at the site of the wound
- you hear an odd noise like breaking or cracking at the time of the injury
- the injury site stays extremely swollen for more than 48 hours
A frequent injury involving damage to the finger is a broken finger. Most broken fingers recover with a few days of at-home care, despite the fact that they can be extremely painful.
The best way to both temporarily and permanently treat this injury is to rest, apply ice, elevate the affected area, and take over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
For injuries that affect the joints, have obvious abnormalities or breaks, are extremely painful, or don’t improve with simple care, see a doctor.