Most finger dislocations occur at the middle joint, usually when the finger is bent backward,
Usually, the finger is obviously crooked.
To diagnose a finger dislocation, doctors take x-rays from several angles.
After injecting an anesthetic into the base of the affected finger, doctors can usually manipulate the bones back in place without surgery.
Typically, people need to wear a splint for about 3 weeks.
(See also Overview of Dislocations Overview of Dislocations A dislocation is complete separation of the bones that form a joint. In subluxation, the bones in a joint are partly out of position. Often, a dislocated joint remains dislocated until it is... read more .)
Most finger dislocations occur at the middle joint. But they may occur at other finger joints. They usually occur when the finger is bent backward, as may occur when a basketball or baseball strikes the tip of an outstretched finger. But they may occur when the finger is bent sideways or forward.
The ligaments that hold the finger bones together may be torn. If a finger bone is pulled away from tendons attached to it, a piece of bone may be broken off and stay attached to the tendon (called an avulsion fracture).
Symptoms of a Dislocated Finger
Usually, the dislocated finger looks crooked. It is painful and swollen.
Diagnosis of a Dislocated Finger
If people suspect that their finger is dislocated, they should see a doctor right away.
Treatment of a Dislocated Finger
Manipulation or surgery to put the bones back in place
To treat most finger dislocations, doctors inject an anesthetic into the base of the affected finger, and the finger bones are put back in place (called reduction).
Usually, reduction is done without surgery (closed reduction). However, surgery may be required—for example, when
Doctors cannot straighten the finger manually.
The joint remains unstable after it has been straightened manually.
People also have a large fracture.
After the joint is put back in place, doctors also gently move the finger in different directions to determine how badly the ligaments are damaged. Usually, a splint is applied and is typically worn for about 3 weeks.