How do I know if my Finger is Broken?


The human hand can be broken but is repaired using orthopedic care.

Anatomy of the human hand and wrist.

Here is the quick answer to How do I know if my Finger is Broken?

What happened? 

The mechanism of injury or MOI is very telling if the finger is broken or not. Some injuries are known for breaking a tendon or ligament and not a bone. Pain hours after an injury is a good indicator that something is broken or sprained.

How do I know if my Finger is Broken? Can you move the finger?

Many people will answer yes; however the question really should be “can you move it like you could before the injury”.  Most people can still move a broken finger to a certain extent. If you can not move it, you need to have a doctor look at it.

Is it crooked, or sticking out in the wrong direction?

Or was it,  and someone popped it back in place?  This could be a dislocation, meaning out of joint. A dislocation sometimes has a fracture too. If your finger is bent or crooked, you need to have a doctor examine it.

Is it bruised and swollen?

Even a “sprain” is bruised and swollen; however, deep dark purple-blue-black color is usually associated with broken bones.  If swelling stays in the finger or area for several days, it would not hurt to have a doctor examine it.

Can you wait a day or two before going to the ER?

If you are not bleeding, yes you can wait a day or two and see if “Mother Nature” helps it heal. However, if it is pointing in the wrong direction or just looks wrong, get an x ray and see your doctor. Sometimes fractures in the hand and wrist are so small that they do not show up on x-ray right away; and the ER tells you it is not broken. However, if pain and lack of motion persist, you should have a doctor examine it.

Where is Telemedicine Frequently used?

All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home. If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

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Dr. Kevin Kaplan seeing a patient through telemedicine.

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