If you recently injured your finger and are wondering if it is broken, the best thing to do is get an x-ray to find out. You can get x-rays in your physician’s office, urgent care, or local emergency room. Many breaks or fractures in the fingers can be misdiagnosed as “just a sprain” or a “jammed finger.” If a finger fracture is not treated appropriately, the long-term results may not be good. I have heard from many patients “I could still move it, so I didn’t think it was broken.” While in many cases, a fracture causes the finger to be stiff and difficult to move, however, this is not true in all cases. When in doubt, get it checked out.

The signs of a broken finger are: swelling, bruising, pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, and increased pain with range of motion after an injury. Other concerning symptoms are deformity and lacerations in the skin. If these symptoms occur, apply a splint to immobilize the finger, elevate the hand to reduce swelling, and wash lacerations with running water to clean the area thoroughly. If the wound is bleeding, apply a clean bandage or cloth and hold pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Please seek medical attention promptly.

Signs of a broken finger:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • bruising
  • stiffness
  • numbness
  • pain with range of motion
  • deformity
  • skin lacerations