Glenferrie Sports and Spinals Hand Therapist Hamish Anderson discusses finger injuries and how to manage them.
So you were kicking the footy, or bouncing a basketball, when the ball collected the end of your finger and it really hurt. Now your finger is swollen and hurts to move. What do you do?
Well what you do actually depends on two things.
- Did the joint dislocate or pop out of place?
- Can you bend and straighten the affected joint now?
If the answer to question one is YES (but the finger is now in place and you can move it again without it popping out) or NO, then it is likely that you will be okay with a bit of care from a hand therapist and some time.
Light compression and ice may help with the swelling. You may need an x-ray to confirm that the joint is in the right spot and that you don’t have a bad fracture. Buddy taping may be sufficient, or you may need to wear a splint. Having some time off sport and learning how to protect the finger may also be important. The hand therapist can assist you with that.
If the answer to question one is YES but you are not certain the joint is back in place, and your movement is affected, then you will need to get an xray immediately. You may need help to re-locate the joint, and you will almost certainly need help to get the finger moving again. In any case, you must get clear advice as to what is going on with the joint.
If the answer to question two is NO, then what happens next depends very much on A) which joint is affected and B) what structure is injured. This is easy to determine in the clinic, less so on Google, so I’d suggest you have a professional look at the finger immediately. Your hand therapist can help with this and will let you know exactly what needs to be done.
If the answer to question two is YES, then the fact that you are looking for help would indicate that a visit to the hand therapist is warranted. He or she can advise you on exercises, how to protect the joint so that it heals strongly, and all the do’s and don’ts associated with recovery.
Finger injuries are often ignored, with the result that a preventable problem becomes a painful and chronic reality. These injuries are not only painful but they can have long lasting repercussions. Your hands help you interact with the world and deserve to be looked after. We can help with that so that the next time a bouncing ball comes your way you are ready!
Glenferrie Sports and Spinals Hand Therapist is centrally located and centrally in Hawthorn servicing Surrounding suburbs Kew, Richmond, Camberwell, Toorak, Malvern and Collingwood. For appointments with Hamish call 03 9815 2555 or book online www.glenferriessc.com.au