If someone has dislocated his finger (dislocated), usually a sports accident was to blame. For example, if the volleyball or handball violently hits the outstretched fingers, the head of one phalanx may slip out of the socket of the next member. The two articular surfaces then have no (dislocation) or only partial (subluxation) contact with each other. Most commonly, the middle finger joint is affected, in most cases on the middle finger. Find out how to perform first aid on finger dislocation and why a visit to a doctor is a must.
- What to do with a dislocated finger? Keep your fingers calm, cool against swelling and pain, take the affected person to the doctor
- When to the doctor? In order to avoid permanent restriction of movement, chronic pain and a deformation of the finger, you should always go to the doctor with a finger dislocation.
- Fingers dislocated – risks: Injuries to the tendons, ligaments and bone structures around the affected joint, restrictions on movement up to the stiffening of the finger
- Never place ice cubes or a coolpack directly on the skin for cooling, but always with at least one layer of fabric in between. Otherwise threaten local frostbite.
- Never try to pull your finger back. This is a job for the doctor!
Fingers dislocated: what to do?
If someone has dislocated the finger, you can see that even as a layman usually at first sight: The affected finger is visibly crooked and laterally shifted at the level of a joint. He hurts a lot, swells and can no longer move fully. As a first responder you should react in the case of such a finger dislocation as follows:
- Calm down the person concerned.
- Keep the dislocated finger as steady as possible. You can ask the person concerned to keep the injured hand healthy. Alternatively, you can fix the arm with a triangular cloth. The injured hand rests in the “belly” of the wrapped cloth.
- Cooling against the swelling and pain helps: Put ice or a cool pack (cool pack) on the dislocated finger.
- Bring the person concerned to the doctor!
Fingers dislocated: When to the doctor?
In a finger dislocation (finger dislocation) are actually always surrounding structures (such as ligaments, tendons, joint capsule, bone) damaged. Without expert treatment the person concerned can have permanent problems and limitations (see below). Therefore: Who has dislocated the finger, should always consult a doctor!
Fingers dislocated: risks
If a dislocated finger is not treated properly, permanent damage such as:
- Permanently limited flexibility of the finger up to complete stiffness of the joint
- permanent curvature (deformity) of the affected finger
- chronic pain
- permanent, painless swelling
If a dislocated finger is treated surgically, it can also happen that its mobility remains somewhat limited afterwards.
In a finger dislocation can also break the bone that carries the joint. Physicians then speak of a dislocation fracture or a fracture.
Fingers dislocated: Examinations at the doctor
First of all, the doctor will ask the person affected or the first responder how the finger dislocation came about. Then he will examine his finger. He also checks how flexible and stable the finger is.
Then the injured hand is X-rayed. This allows the doctor to determine whether the affected finger joint is completely or only partially dislocated and whether additional bones have been injured.
Sometimes a finger dislocation also requires a magnetic resonance tomography (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) or a computed tomography (CT). This can also detect soft tissue injuries, such as damage to ligaments and tendons.
Fingers dislocated: treatment by the doctor
Who has dislocated the finger, usually suffers from great pain. Therefore, the doctor will numb or freeze the finger before starting treatment. Then he can usually manually re-tighten him by pulling on the finger (reduction).
Subsequently, the doctor often checks again by X-ray, whether the joint is back in the correct position. He also tests how flexible the finger is and whether tendons and ligaments work normally.
Then the recessed finger is immobilized in a splint for one to three weeks. Thereafter, the sufferer should begin exercise exercises under expert guidance (e.g., physiotherapist). This prevents the finger from becoming permanently stiff.
In difficult finger luxation (e.g., dislocation fracture), surgery is needed. The same applies if the manual Einrenken fails (for example, in torn tendons).
After the procedure, the person affected must wear a splint for several weeks. Thereafter, physiotherapy is advisable: certain mobility exercises help to make the finger fully movable again.
Finger luxation: prevention
In contrast to other joints, it is rare in the case of finger joints for the surrounding structures to be damaged in such a way that the joint becomes unstable and repeatedly pops out. Nonetheless, preventive measures are useful. This also applies to people who have never dislocated their fingers, but belong to the risk group. This mainly includes ball players (such as volleyball, handball, basketball): a tape bandage on the fingers, which is applied before the game, stabilizes the joints. Then it does not happen so easily that one dislocates a finger when the ball bangs against it.