The possible long-term repercussions of a jammed finger that is not treated promptly are arthritis and significant pain, explains Dr. Michelle Carlson for the Hospital for Special Surgery. An injury to the finger’s middle joint can incapacitate a person because the joint is important for forming a fist.
A jammed finger, also called a basketball finger, usually results from sports activities in which a ball injures the hand, according to Dr. Carlson. The injury can be a sprain, a harmless dislocation that can be corrected by pulling on the finger, a severe dislocation or a joint fracture.
A person who suffers a mild or severe jammed finger should seek immediate medical treatment to recover properly and return to normal activities, notes Dr. Carlson. A jammed finger requires an X-ray because it cannot be detected easily based on the finger’s appearance.
A dislocated jammed finger is often treated by realigning the finger in an orthopedic surgeon’s clinic, as Dr. Carlson explains. A broken finger may require immobilization. Simple jamming may cause swelling for a long period of time, and it may improve within six to 12 months. Doctors may recommend rehabilitation exercises to prevent or control stiffness. A person should never engage in athletic activities when experiencing pain from a recent injury, especially if the pain is not yet diagnosed.