What is a fracture?
A fracture Bone fracture, broken bone, and bone crack all mean the same thing. The bone has been damaged such that it is no longer intact.
Bones break when they cannot withstand a force or trauma applied to them. Sometimes the bones are so weak that they cannot withstand the force of gravity, such as compression fractures of the back in the elderly.
Fractures of the skull, spine and ribs have their own unique diagnosis and treatment complications.
- Swelling of the fracture site
- Tenderness at the fracture site
- Bruising at the fracture site
- Inability to move the injured finger in completely
- Deformity of the injured finger
If you think you fractured your finger, immediately tell your doctor exactly what happened and when it happened. Your doctor must determine not only which bone you fractured, but also how the bone broke. Bones can break in several ways: straight across the bone, in a spiral, into several pieces, or shatter completely.
Your doctor may want to see how your fingers line up when you extend your hand or make a fist. Does any finger overlap its neighbor? Does the injured finger angle in the wrong direction? Does the injured finger look too short? Your doctor may x-ray both of your hands to compare the injured finger to the uninjured finger on your other hand.
Your doctor will put your broken bone back into place, usually without surgery. You will get a splint or cast to hold your finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals. Sometimes your doctor may splint the fingers next to the fractured one to provide additional support. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear the splint. Usually a splint on a fractured finger is worn for about 3 weeks. You may need more x-rays over this time so that your doctor can monitor the progress of your finger as it heals.
Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, you may need surgery to put the bones into alignment. Small devices, such as pins, screws, or wire, will be used to hold your fractured bones together.
You may begin using your hand again as soon as your doctor determines it is okay to move your finger. Doing simple rehabilitation exercises each day will help reduce the fingers stiffness and swelling. You may be required to see a physical therapist to assist you in these exercises.
Information provided by OrthoInfo.com