(See also Overview of Dislocations.)
Finger dislocations occur when the bones of the fingers move out of their normal position.
Most finger dislocations occur at the middle joint, usually when the finger is bent backward,
Usually, the finger is obviously crooked.
To diagnose a finger dislocation, doctors take x-rays from several angles.
After injecting an anesthetic into the base of the affected finger, doctors can usually manipulate the bones back in place without surgery.
Typically, people need to wear a splint for about 3 weeks.
Most finger dislocations occur at the middle joint. But they may occur at other finger joints. They usually occur when the finger is bent backward, as may occur when a basketball or baseball strikes the tip of an outstretched finger. But they may occur when the finger is bent sideways or forward. The ligaments that hold the finger bones together may be torn. If a finger bone is pulled away from tendons attached to it, a piece of bone may be broken off and stay attached to the tendon (called an avulsion fracture).
To treat most dislocations, doctors inject an anesthetic into the base of the affected finger, and the finger bones are put back in place (called reduction).
Sometimes reduction is done without surgery (closed reduction). However, surgery is often required—for example, when
After the joint is put back in place, doctors also gently move the finger in different directions to determine how badly the ligaments are damaged. Usually, a splint is applied and is typically worn for about 3 weeks.