Sprain of the Finger 

Your hands and wrists are essential tools that allow you to work, play and perform everyday activities. How well the hand and wrist interact depends on the integrity and function of the ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints and bones.

Problems in any of these can affect upper extremity function, causing disruptions at home and work and negatively impacting quality of life.

The human hand itself is very complex and delicate in structure. At some time in life, you may experience hand or wrist pain.

Finger sprains and dislocations are common injuries.

Both sprains and dislocations cause damage to the ligaments that support the finger joints — in more severe injuries, a dislocation may occur, necessitating the finger to be “put back into place” or “reduced.”


Finger sprains are injuries that cause a stretching and tearing of the ligaments of the fingers or thumb. The most common causes of finger sprains are sports injuries and falls onto your hand. Often, the finger bends unusually, causing the ligament injury and subsequent pain.


Physical Examination & Patient History

During your first visit, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. During the physical examination, your doctor will check all the structures of your injury, and compare them to your non-injured anatomy.  Most injuries can be diagnosed with a thorough physical examination.

Imaging Tests

Imaging Tests Other tests which may help your doctor confirm your diagnosis include:

X-rays. Although they will not show any injury, x-rays can show whether the injury is associated with a broken bone.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If your injury requires an MRI, this study is utilized to create a better image of soft tissues injuries. However, an MRI may not be required for your particular injury circumstance and will be ordered based on a thorough examination by your Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic Orthopedic physician.

Treatment Options

Finger sprains are often splinted or buddy-taped (taped to an adjacent finger) for a short period of time. So long as there was no fracture or dislocation, most finger sprains should be allowed to move within about a week.

Splinting the sprained finger during sports can help protect the injury, but unnecessarily splinting the finger can cause it to stiffen up.

You should discuss with your doctor when to begin finger movements.

Conservative Treatment Options

  • Non-Operative Hand & Wrist Treatments

Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic

The Orthopaedic physicians at Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic provide comprehensive services to all members of the family.
Make An Appointment