I Hurt My Finger/Toe – Is it Fractured?

shutterstock_136665947Patients frequently come into the urgent care after injuring a finger or toe and are concerned about the possibility of a fracture.

A finger or toe fracture is when a person breaks a bone within their digit. There are different types of fractures, and they are described based on how the bone breaks and whether the broken bone actually sticks out of the skin or not.

Symptoms of fracture:

1) Pain
2) Swelling
3) Bruising
4) Stiffness
5) Weakness of the finger/hand or toe
6) The finger or toe looks bent in an abnormal position

Testing: You healthcare provider will examine your finger or toe and obtain an X-ray

Treatment: The treatment depends on the type of fracture and where it is. Some possible treatments may include:

1) Medication for pain such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol
2) Splinting or “buddy taping”
3) If the fracture is severe with a bone sticking out of the skin, you will need antibiotics and referral to a bone specialist (orthopedic physician).
3) After the splint can come off, your healthcare provider may recommend you work with a physical or occupational therapist. The therapist can show you exercises to strengthen your finger muscles and keep the fingers from getting stiff.

Length of time to health: Finger/Toe fractures can take weeks to months to heal, depending on the type of fracture.

Home therapy: to help the bone heal rapidly we generally recommend the following:
1) No smoking
2) Keep the cast or splint from getting wet, and keep it clean
3) Keep the finger splinted and immobile to decrease movement

This document is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual patient.  If you have questions please contact your medical provider.


I hope that you have found this information useful.  Wishing you the best of health,

Scott Rennie, DO

Blog: https://doctorrennie.wordpress.com


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