What is finger dislocation?

Finger Dislocation
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Dislocated finger in children: Overview

When the bones of a finger are forced out of their normal position, it is called a dislocated finger. This can happen when a finger jams or bends backwards. This is common during sports. A doctor can put your child's finger back in its normal position.

Your child probably knew that something was wrong with their finger right away. This is because a dislocated finger usually hurts a lot. And it doesn't look straight.

Your doctor may have put a splint on your child's finger to keep it in place while it heals. Your doctor may also recommend exercises to strengthen your child's finger. And you can help your child get better with rest and home treatment.

If your child damaged bones or muscles, more treatment may be needed.

How can you care for your child's dislocated finger?

  • If your doctor put a splint on the finger, have your child wear it as directed. Do not remove it until your doctor says it is okay.
  • Limit your child's use of the finger. You don't want your child to do anything that causes pain.
  • If your child's finger is swollen, put ice or a cold pack on it for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when your child is awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
  • Prop up your child's hand on a pillow when your child ices it or anytime your child sits or lies down during the next 3 days. Have your child try to keep it above the level of the heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Give your child medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine.
  • If your doctor recommends it, give your child anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce pain and swelling. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • If your doctor recommends exercises, help your child do them as directed.

Dislocated finger in children: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has new or worse pain.
  • Your child's finger is cool or pale or changes color.
  • Your child has tingling, weakness, or numbness in the finger.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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