Finger Dislocation

Finger dislocation occurs when a bone in the finger is forced out of its normal position in the accompanying joint. Finger dislocation is a common, painful injury that requires medical treatment.

What You Need To Know About Finger Dislocation

What is Finger Dislocation?

A finger dislocation — also known as a dislocated knuckle — occurs when the bones of the finger move apart or sideways and become displaced from their normal position, typically after the finger is bent backward beyond its normal limit of motion.

Finger dislocation is a common, painful injury. Any finger bone can become dislocated, but most dislocations occur at the middle joint. A break in the bone may accompany these dislocations, but they frequently happen without any breaks.

Finding treatment for a dislocated finger starts with a visit to Resurgens Hand & Wrist Center. Schedule an appointment at one of our metro Atlanta locations now.


What Causes Finger Dislocation?

Finger dislocations occur when a finger is forcefully jammed or hyperextended past its normal range of motion. The injury may result from sports injuries, a fall onto an outstretched hand, a crushing accident, or congenitally weak ligaments.

A dislocated finger often happens at the middle joint. In the thumbs, the joint at the thumb's base is usually affected. Any application of pressure to the tips of the fingers — such as by a fast-moving ball — may cause the finger to extend beyond its normal range of motion.

Dislocated finger symptoms

Dislocated finger symptoms are painful. Swelling may be present in the area of the dislocated knuckle. Movement may be limited, uncomfortable, or impossible. The finger may look crooked or misshapen and feel numb or tingly. The skin may also become discolored from bruising.

A dislocated finger requires medical intervention, and the sooner you receive treatment, the better your chance for a successful recovery.

How is Finger Dislocation Diagnosed?

In order to make a diagnosis, your Resurgens physician will examine your finger, discuss the causes of the injury, and review your general medical history. X-rays will be needed to identify the dislocation and rule out broken bones or other injuries.

Your physician will evaluate the finger and hand for tendon and ligament injuries that can accompany finger dislocation. After this evaluation, your physician will design a unique treatment plan for your healing.

Dislocated Finger Treatment

Treatment for a dislocated finger does not often require surgery. Depending on the extent of your finger dislocation, your physician may recommend either non-surgical or surgical treatment plans.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In most cases, your doctor will be able to reset the dislocated bones manually. You may be given medications to numb the area and relax the muscles during the procedure. The finger may then be taped to the finger next to it, or a splint may be applied.

These measures will support the finger and limit movement during the healing process. Your doctor may order a second X-ray to confirm the realignment of the finger and to check for any broken bones that may not have shown up on the first x-ray. Further examination will help to establish if there is tendon or ligament damage.

Surgical Treatment

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to reposition the bones and repair any fractures or torn ligaments. Surgery is generally only used when bracing fails to stabilize the joint, or if you have complicated breaks and fractures.

Following surgery, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to aid in your recovery and maximize the function of the injured finger.

Getting relief for a finger dislocation starts with a visit to Resurgens expert physicians. Schedule an appointment at our Hand and Wrist Center now!

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