• What Finger Injury Do You Have?

    Finger injuries are common occurrences, whether due to accidental falls, sports mishaps, or other activities. When you injure your finger, it can be challenging to determine if it’s a sprain or a break. 

    In this blog post, we will explore the key indicators to help you distinguish between a broken finger and a sprained finger. Understanding these differences can guide you in seeking appropriate medical attention and receiving the necessary treatment.

    Steps to Determine the Injury

    It is important not to get ahead of yourself after a potential injury. While it is essential to wait for the assessment of a professional, you can perform some early steps to get an idea of what the injury is. Follow these steps to get an idea of the injury you might have.

    Assess the Pain Level

    Paying attention to the intensity of pain can offer some clues about the severity of the injury. Both sprains and breaks can cause pain, but a broken finger tends to be more excruciating. If the pain is intense, sharp, or throbbing, it may indicate a fracture. Sprained finger symptoms include 

    Observe Swelling and Bruising

    Swelling and bruising are common signs of both sprained and broken fingers. However, the extent of these symptoms can provide valuable insights. If the swelling is significant, immediate, or accompanied by severe bruising, it may indicate a break. Sprains usually present with milder swelling and bruising that may develop gradually.

    Examine Finger Deformity

    One of the distinguishing factors between a sprain and a break is finger deformity. When a finger is broken, you may notice an obvious misalignment or crookedness. The finger may appear bent or out of place, especially if compared to the unaffected finger. Sprains typically do not cause visible deformities.

    Test Range of Motion

    Attempting to move the finger can help determine the extent of the injury. With a sprained or jammed finger, you may experience pain and limited range of motion. However, you can usually move the finger to some degree. In contrast, a broken finger may have severe limitations in movement or feel incredibly painful when attempting any motion.

    Consider the Mechanism of Injury

    Understanding how the finger injury occurred can provide additional insights. Falls, direct impact, or significant trauma are more likely to result in a broken finger. On the other hand, sprained or staved fingers often occur due to twisting or excessive stretching of the finger.

    The Round-Up

    Differentiating between a broken finger and a sprained finger can be challenging, as both injuries share some common symptoms. However, assessing pain levels, observing swelling and bruising, examining finger deformity, testing range of motion, and considering the mechanism of injury can help in making an initial evaluation.

     It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis through a physical examination, imaging tests, and appropriate treatment. Prompt medical attention ensures proper care and facilitates the healing process, helping you regain optimal finger functionality. 

    If you have a sprained finger, read our blog on how to treat a sprained finger.