Merck Manual

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Quick Facts

Broken Fingertip

(Fingertip Fracture)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2019
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You can break any of the 2 or 3 tiny bones in your fingers, but fingertip injuries are most common. All broken bones are considered fractures. For more information, see Overview of Broken Bones.

  • You usually break your fingertip when you crush it, for example, by hitting it with a hammer

  • You often have blood under your fingernail

  • Your fingernail may fall off and then grow back crooked

  • Your finger may feel sensitive long after the fracture heals

Avulsion Fracture of the Finger

In avulsion fractures, a tendon or ligament pulls off a small piece of bone.

Avulsion Fracture of the Finger

What are the symptoms of a broken fingertip?

Common symptoms:

  • Swollen, painful finger

  • Buildup of blood under the fingernail

  • Torn fingernail

How can doctors tell if my fingertip is broken?

Doctors do:

How do doctors treat a broken fingertip?

Doctors will:

  • Wrap your fingertip to protect it—you'll usually wear this finger covering for about 2 weeks

  • Drain blood that has collected under your fingernail by making a small hole in the nail with a needle

  • If the fracture is severe, do surgery to put the bones back in place

  • If your nail is badly damaged, take the nail off and fix the tissue underneath

If your nail is badly damaged, the tissue under the nail is usually damaged too. That tissue is where the nail grows from and needs to be fixed so that your nail won't grow crooked. Doctors inject numbing medicine in your finger and take off your nail. Then they can sew up any damage under the nail.

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