It’s a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. You might be playing football, for example, and you have your hands out ready to catch the ball. But instead of catching it properly, the force of the football strikes the tip of your finger and then you suddenly feel pain. What had just happened was that the football forced the whole structure of your finger into your hand. And now, you might have a jammed finger.
If this has happened to you, you might have felt uncertain of what to do. How serious is it? How do you care for it? Should you go see a doctor? Etc.
Continue reading below to see what you should do after you jam your finger.
Signs & Symptoms
First off, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a jammed finger. Jamming your finger can happen with nearly any daily activity you perform. It can happen while playing sports, but it can also happen when a drawer or door shuts on your finger, injuring the finger on your car’s steering wheel during an automobile accident, or even when you’re doing something as simple as tucking your sheets under your mattress. In any case, if you feel pain after your finger has been compressed into your hand, then you likely have a jammed finger. Below are symptoms of a jammed finger:
- pain in the finger (but usually not severe)
- difficulty holding anything with the finger
- swelling and redness in the injured area
These four are typically the least severe of the symptoms of a jammed finger and if you only have these four then you’re likely able to treat it on your own.
If you have any of these symptoms below, however, then you should consider scheduling an appointment with a medical professional immediately.
- the finger appears deformed or crooked
- you’ve developed a fever following the injury
- the finger becomes significantly swollen
- the finger starts hurting more instead of less over time
- You’re unable to fully straighten the finger
If any of these symptoms continue to worsen, then don’t hesitate to call a medical professional. A hand specialist is most ideal for treating any jammed finger, such as the experts at Traverso Hand.
If your symptoms don’t seem to be severe, you can perform these simple remedies to heal your jammed finger:
- Apply Ice – Place an ice pack or a plastic bag full of ice on your injured finger for 15 to 20 minutes every hour. Ice helps to prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
- Elevate – Place your hand above the level of your heart as often as you can to decrease the pain and swelling. When lying down, position your hand on blankets or pillows to keep it elevated comfortably.
- Immobilize – Refrain from moving your finger as much as possible. You can splint your finger or you can buddy-tape it (where you tape your finger to an adjacent finger in order to align its structure).
- OTC Pain Reliever – You can buy an over-the-counter pain reliever to help alleviate the pain of your jammed finger. It’s typically treated with ibuprofen.
Seeing a Doctor
If symptoms persist more than a week or two or are severe, then schedule an appointment with a hand specialist – they’ll determine the best approach for your individual situation. They’ll perform the proper procedure in ensuring that your finger heals properly. When explained how and when the injury occurred, your doctor will assess your jammed finger by checking finger position, movement, and pain and swelling. X-rays are usually taken and on other occasions, an MRI or CT scan will be needed.
Depending on how severe it is, your jammed finger may or may not be treated with surgery. Your doctor may provide a split and/or buddy-tape your finger as well as recommend seeing a hand therapist.
Schedule an Appointment at Traverso Hand
If you’ve jammed your finger and you feel that it requires medical attention, reach out to the specialists at Traverso Hand. Traverso Hand has been regarded as the most trusted hand treatment centers to exist in the South Florida area and we’re confident that we will provide the most optimal treatment for all your hand-related injuries/conditions. To schedule an appointment, you may call us at 954-575-8056 or visit our contact page.