How Do You Treat a Jammed Finger?


Quick Answer

To treat a jammed finger, press an ice pack or a plastic bag containing crushed ice on the affected finger for up to 20 minutes per hour, and then cover with a cloth, advises Drugs.com. Frequently raise the affected hand above heart level by placing it on pillows. A doctor may recommend using a splint for six to eight weeks and continuing to use the splint for a subsequent six to eight weeks to promote healing.

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Full Answer

The term jammed finger refers to an injury of the finger joints. The joint most often affected by this injury is the one formed by the first and second finger bones, also known as the proximal interphalangeal joint. A common cause for this injury is athletic activity involving ball-handling, notes MedicineNet.

Ice application reduces pain and swelling and lowers risk of tissue damage, explains Drugs.com. When wearing a splint, remove it once daily to clean the jammed finger, but be careful not to curl the edge of the finger. Avoid exposing the finger for a long period. When applying new tape, ensure the splint is back in the same position. Change the tape if the splint gets dampened, and loosen the tape if a numb or tingling sensation occurs in the finger.

A jammed finger generally takes four to eight weeks to heal, notes Drugs.com. A doctor may prescribe acetaminophen to relieve pain or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to reduce fever, pain and swelling. Take the medications as directed to avoid side effects, and contact the doctor if the medications are not helping or if side effects develop. Worsening pain, swelling or redness also require medical attention.

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