Have you ever been hit by something so hard that your mind starts buzzing and then everything falls apart in just a second? Well, if not, it's safe to say that you are one lucky person. But if you did go through this, the immediate question that comes up is - "Did I break my finger?".
Finger injuries can deteriorate rapidly when left untreated; thus, knowing how to identify them is incredibly valuable. Here's our guide on how to assess whether your fingers need medical attention or just some rest at home.
What Causes Finger Injuries?
Before we begin with identifying finger injuries' symptoms, let's have a brief look at what causes them.
- Direct trauma
- Repetitive stress
- Overexertion while playing sports
- Incorrect posture of the wrist (usually while using a computer/mouse)
These factors put significant pressure on the small bones in our fingers and may result in dislocations or fractures even due to minor impacts.
Prime Suspects - Symptoms of Broken Fingers:
Broken fingers come wrapped up in many assumptions as they aren't precisely uniform. It could be any bone from tip-to-joint involved and cause discomfort differently; however, here are common signs observed when there is an injury:
Pain Level: Mild Vs Severe
It would seem quite simple enough but often overlooked too. Sometimes normal functions even become too painful such as making fists gripping things or simply bending forward normally. Look out for sharp pain levels increasing right after an impact leading way into more extended distress that could last hours after taking medication.
Swelling: Puffed Up Like A Pumpkin
Swollen fingertips lead the charge most times since various tendons join together near this area giving way for more extra bleeding which backs-up other knuckles parts including software tissues ending up hardening quickly like concrete.
Having a puffy-looking finger that doesn't resemble its regular shape along with excruciating pain and slow movements indicates severe trauma leading to dislocation.
Deformity: Curving Fingers Inwards Or Outwards
Curving of the fingers either inwards or outward is also an indication of bone being broken. One can observe a misaligned joint area when this occurs, and movement restriction follows due to intense pain caused by displacement.
Sensitivity Towards Touching Certain Areas
Painful fingertip areas that loath even sudden jolts on touch indicate damaged tissues/nerves often seen as high inflammation too.
Common Sense Alert!
If you notice any bruising around the region of injury immediately after sustaining it, it's safe to say there's definitely something wrong with your finger.
"Leave It Off" Vs "Get Medical Help"
Self-care methods work for minor injuries, whereas serious injuries require prompt medical attention. Here are some ways you can tell which category your finger falls under:
- Consider RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) therapy for minor sprains/bruises.
- Rest : Keep the affected area immobilized assess what routine activities affect moving wrist/finger mobility more worst case scenario apply splints temporary help till consulted professional advice.
- Ice Application10-15 minute intervals every few hours applying pressure over covered ice prevents unwanted swelling oftentimes relieves pain need not necessary use directly near skin burns may occur.
- Compression: Offer support, Elevate above heart level lower down numbness surface from profuse bleeding if happens continue at least inputting gauze tissue paper on top before adding pressure slowly over time.
Minor fractures/dislocations can be treated using these steps—consultation with a doctor recommended:
1) Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil/Motrin etc. liberally for fever, pain and swelling medications if you're not okay to take Ibuprofen switch to an acetaminophen based painkiller 2) Rest your finger using a splint or immobilizing tape till it heals (few weeks- months) 3) Ice therapy can be administered 20 minutes every 4 hours simultaneously with rest.
Major fractures/dislocations require medical attention immediately:
- Ignoring Major Pain and Injuries Will Result in Prolonging Daunting Healing.
- The process of Treating More Serious Damage also requires more extensive treatment procedures by a professional:
- Getting x-rays done our reliable source for pin-pointing broken bones' location providing efficient ways of treating them;
If the doctor notices any severe injuries concern related dislocation leading to damage around existing tissues other areas like ligament restoration will require surgeries, hormonal therapies may be needed in worst-case scenarios.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
As they always say - "prevention is better than cure. Therefore here are some tips that help prevent finger injury:
- Stretch regularly before exercising/working on keyboard etc..
- Wear protective gloves when necessary/injury-prone situations EXAMPLE sports like golf/baseball batting/glove/handball/ hockey goalie/practice especially without considering weather conditions/environmental hurdles involvedeye wear/headgear worn all times as well.
- Improve balance while playing football/soccer/basketball using proper footwear."
Minor bruises on fingers often tend to heal up naturally over time, whereas major fractures/dislocations need immediate medical attention. Knowing how exactly one could identify these symptoms has its benefits such as getting treated beforehand avoiding long-lasting discordantness following-up recovering speedily resuming regular schedule! Just keep those bananas peeled(pun intended!), avoid distraction during activity .