How to Know If Your Finger Is Broken

The fingers are the most frequently injured part of the hand. Injuries may range from simple bruises to broken bones and dislocations of joints. Here's how to know if your finger is broken.

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Up next in How to Handle a Medical Problem (21 videos)

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You Will Need

  • Awareness of pain
  • Awareness of swelling and lack of mobility
  • Awareness of bruising
  • Urgent care facility or emergency room
  • Awareness of numbness (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Try bending the injured finger

    Try bending the injured finger immediately after the injury. A fractured finger is usually painful, although the pain may be dull.

  2. Step 2

    Look for swelling and difficulty moving it

    Note whether the hurt finger becomes swollen and red and is difficult to move shortly after the injury. This is a sign that the finger is broken.

  3. If the swelling becomes pronounced, numbness may occur due to nerve compression.

  4. Step 3

    Watch for bruising

    Watch for bruising, which could signify severe fractures or jammed fingers.

  5. Step 4

    Get medical care

    Go to an urgent care facility or emergency room if you experience these symptoms and are in a lot of pain. The doctor will take an x-ray to evaluate the positions of any sprained or broken finger bones.

  6. Fingers are made up of ligaments, tendons, and three bones, called phalanges. There are no muscles in them.

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