Finger and Hand Injuries

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What Are Common Finger and Hand Injuries?

Finger and hand injuries are common among athletes.

Hand and finger injuries occur most often in contact sports, such as those that involve catching a ball or using hand equipment like ski poles or common sports, like basketball and volleyball. They also occur in high-speed sports like skating and biking.

Common acute finger and hand injuries include:

  • Bruises
  • Ligament damage, such as skier's thumb
  • Tendon injuries, such as mallet finger
  • Joint sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Crushing injuries

You can also injure your finger or hand from overuse. Overuse injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinosis.

Any finger or hand injury requires proper treatment to ensure you have no permanent loss of function or deformity.

Make an appointment for finger or hand injury care

To make an appointment or learn more about finger and hand injuries, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

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Finger and Hand Injury Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of finger and hand injuries

Injured hand and finger symptoms rarely go unnoticed.

Symptoms of finger injuries (below) can help you tell the difference between a jammed finger and broken finger.

The most common symptoms of hand and finger injuries are:

  • Pain at the injury point or in your fingers.
  • Inability to move the finger.
  • Limited hand motion.
  • Deformity.
  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Weakness of the hand.

Tendon pain in the hand may be a sign of tendinosis — a series of very small tears in the tissue surrounding that tendon.

Finger and hand injury diagnosis

Because there's a wide range of finger and hand injuries, your doctor will start with a physical exam.

He or she will check:

  • How well you can move your finger.
  • The strength in your fingers or hands.
  • For visual signs of the injury.

Your doctor will also:

  • Discuss your medical history.
  • Ask how and when you injured your finger or hand.
  • Order an x-ray or other imaging scan if he or she suspects a fracture or serious injury.

Make an appointment for finger or hand injury symptoms

To make an appointment for a finger or hand injury, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Learn more about finger and hand injury symptoms and testing

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Finger and Hand Injury Treatment

Nonsurgical treatments for finger and hand injuries

When you hurt your finger or hand, rest and ice are often the first treatments for broken finger care. You can also take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain.

For injuries that don’t require surgery, your doctor may treat your finger or hand problem with a:

  • Splint or “buddy taping.” This involves taping one finger to another to keep it from moving.
  • Cast.
  • Brace.

After your finger or hand injury starts to heal, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy.

Finger and hand surgery to treat sports injuries

Your doctor will take x-rays to see if you need surgery for a broken finger or broken hand.

In some cases — such as fractures or torn tendons — you may need surgery to repair the damage and restore function to your fingers or hand.

Make an appointment for finger or hand injury treatment

To make an appointment or learn more about finger and hand injury treatments, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Learn more about finger and hand injury treatments

The links below will open a new browser window.

UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

From our Health Library: