Common finger fractures include
Avulsion fractures occur when a tendon or ligament pulls off a small piece of bone.
Fingertip fractures (also called tuft fractures) usually result from a crush injury, such as a hammer blow. Usually, blood accumulates under the nail (called a subungual hematoma). The nail looks bluish black and may be raised up. The nail bed, located under the nail, may be torn. This injury is very painful. The fingertip is swollen and tender.
After a severe finger fracture, sensitivity in the area sometimes increases (called hyperesthesia) and remains increased long after the fracture has healed. The area may remain very tender.
For most fingertip fractures, doctors wrap the fingertip with a protective covering (such as an aluminum and foam splint). People wear this covering for about 2 weeks.
For large subungual hematomas, doctors may make a small hole in the fingernail with a needle or a hot wire (electrocautery device) and drain the blood out (called trephination). If the nail is badly injured, it often remains misshapen.
For severe finger fractures, surgery is done to realign the many, separated pieces of broken bone.
If the nail is severely injured, the nail is usually removed. Then tears of the nail bed can be repaired. However, for most finger fractures, nail removal is not necessary.
If the fingertip remains very sensitive after the fracture has healed, treatment to decrease sensitivity (desensitization therapy) may be needed.
People should begin desensitization exercises when their doctor recommends it, usually as soon as possible after the injury has healed. If the wound is open, people can wear a latex or vinyl glove over the hand to prevent contamination while they do the exercises. These exercises include the following:
Gently dragging the fingers through various materials such as dry rice, corn, sand, pellets, or beans
After the wound is healed, rubbing the fingertip with materials such as Velcro, cotton, or denim for several minutes throughout the day
Gently tapping the sensitive area for a few minutes, until if feels less tender or becomes numb
To be effective, these exercises may have to done over a long period of time.