Finger dislocations occur when one of the bones in a finger joint are forced out of their normal alignment. This can result from traumatic incidents such as sports injuries, falls, or accidents. The most common joints affected are the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints.
Symptoms of a finger dislocation include severe pain, swelling, and deformity of the affected finger. In some cases, there may be visible misalignment of the joint. Prompt medical attention, like presenting to your GP or local emergency department that day, is essential to assess the extent of the injury, alleviate pain and prevent long-term complications.
Healthcare professionals like GPs or physiotherapists typically diagnose finger dislocations through physical examination and may use X-rays to confirm the extent of the dislocation and identify any associated fractures. Treatment often involves manual reduction, where the dislocated bones are carefully manipulated back into their normal position, but this must be done by a medical professional (and not within the physiotherapy scope of practice). Immobilization, through splinting or taping, helps support the healing process and these interventions can be facilities by your physiotherapist. It is important not to try and relocate your finger yourself, as is there is a fracture this can cause further damage to the potentially broken bones or ligaments.
Following reduction (relocation) of the joint, rehabilitation exercises are crucial to restore range of motion, strength, and functionality. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to address severe fractures or ligament damage. Complications, such as recurrent dislocations or chronic instability, may require additional medical management.
Overall, early and appropriate medical intervention is vital for optimal recovery and to minimize the risk of long-term complications associated with finger dislocations. If you suspect you have a dislocated finger, you can call our team for advice, but we recommend head into the medical system first and we’ll see you for rehabilitation after that.