Hand and Wrist

Our Specialties

Finger Fracture


Your hand contains 27 bones, including: the carpals (8 bones in your wrist); the metacarpals (5 bones in the palm of the hand); and the phalanges (14 bones in the fingers). Fractures to the metacarpal bone leading to the little finger accounts for about one-third of all hand fractures in adults.


The bones in your hand line up very precisely, enabling you to perform many specialized and detailed functions, such as grasping a pen or manipulating small objects in your palm. When just one finger bone is fractured, it can cause the entire hand to be out of alignment, making use of your hand difficult and painful. Without proper treatment, that stiffness and pain may become permanent.


In addition to pain, common symptoms of a fractured finger may include swelling, tenderness, bruising, or a deformed appearance or inability to move the injured finger.


A fractured finger generally occurs as the result of an injury to the hand. Slamming your fingers in a door, reaching out to break a fall, having your finger jammed by a baseball during a game, or accidents working with power tools are among the many common causes of a broken finger.


If you believe your finger may be fractured, have it examined immediately. Your physician will assess if the bone is fractured, and whether the break is straight across the bone, in a spiral, in several pieces, or shattered completely, which will help determine the best treatment. This assessment may include examining how your fingers line up when extended and when you make a fist, and checking for fingers that overlap, angle oddly, or appear excessively short. An X-ray of both hands may be needed to compare the injured finger with the corresponding uninjured finger on the other hand.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Your doctor will put your broken bone back into place, usually without surgery. A splint or cast will keep your finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals. Fingers next to the fractured finger are sometimes also splinted to provide additional support. Although each individual fracture may vary, a splint on a fractured finger is typically worn for about three weeks. Periodic X-rays may be needed during this time to allow your physician to properly monitor the progress of your healing.


Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, your physician may recommend surgery so that metal implants such as pins, screws and wire can be used to hold the fractured bone firmly in place until it is fully healed.


Your doctor will tell you when you can begin moving your finger again and may require you to see a physical therapist. Simple, daily rehabilitation exercises will help reduce the stiffness and swelling of the finger.