Information for Patients
Finger Injuries and Disorders
You use your fingers and thumbs to do everything from grasping objects to playing musical instruments to typing. When there is something wrong with them, it can make life difficult. Common problems include
- Injuries that result in fractures, ruptured ligaments and dislocations
- Osteoarthritis - wear-and-tear arthritis. It can also cause deformity.
- Tendinitis - irritation of the tendons
- Dupuytren's contracture - a hereditary thickening of the tough tissue that lies just below the skin of your palm. It causes the fingers to stiffen and bend.
- Trigger finger - an irritation of the sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons. It can cause the tendon to catch and release like a trigger.
A fracture is a break, usually in a bone. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture. Fractures commonly happen because of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Other causes are low bone density and osteoporosis, which cause weakening of the bones. Overuse can cause stress fractures, which are very small cracks in the bone.
Symptoms of a fracture are
- Intense pain
- Deformity - the limb looks out of place
- Swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injury
- Numbness and tingling
- Problems moving a limb
You need to get medical care right away for any fracture. An x-ray can tell if your bone is broken. You may need to wear a cast or splint. Sometimes you need surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place.