A finger fracture is a crack or break of a bone in your finger.
A finger fracture usually happens from hitting a hard object with the finger, being hit by a ball, getting a finger slammed in a door, or falling onto your hand.
Symptoms may include:
Your provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and how the injury happened. He or she will examine your child. Your child will have X-rays of the finger.
A child's bones are different from an adult’s bones in a couple ways. A child’s bones are more flexible and may crack rather than break. Or they may just buckle slightly. Also, the bones are still growing from areas near the ends of the bones called growth plates. A fracture in a growth plate may affect the growth of the bone but it may be hard to see with X-rays. Sometimes special tests are needed to diagnose fractures in the growth plate.
The treatment depends on the type of fracture. If the broken bone is crooked, your healthcare provider will straighten it. Your child will be given medicine first so the straightening is not painful. Sometimes surgery is needed to put the bones back into the correct position.
Your healthcare provider may put the finger in a splint. Depending on the type of fracture the splint may be on the bottom of the finger or the top. Your provider will decide if the finger should be kept straight or slightly bent. Your child will need to wear the splint for 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the injury.
Some finger fractures don't need to be splinted. They only need to be taped to the finger next to the injured finger (called buddy taping).
Follow the full course of treatment your healthcare provider prescribes. Also:
Depending on the type of injury and how it was treated, your child may need to do special exercises to help the finger get stronger. Most of the time preteen children are so active that they get stronger and more flexible without physical therapy.
Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests. Call your healthcare provider if:
It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for a broken finger to heal. Sometimes it may take weeks or months for the swelling to go away, and in some cases the finger may stay swollen. Some fingers are crooked after the fracture heals. However, most simple finger fractures heal without any problems. If the fracture goes into a joint your finger may keep feeling stiff and lose some flexibility.
Most finger fractures happen from accidents that are not easy to prevent.