A Finger Sprain is an injury caused by violent overstretching of one or more ligaments that attach to the bones of the fingers and provide stability to the finger joints.
When the finger ligaments are overstretched, they can give way and detach from the bone or their fibres can tear within the body of the ligament itself. Other tissues surrounding the affected ligament can be damaged during a Finger Sprain, including blood vessels, tendons, bone, muscles and the membrane the covers the bones (periosteum). There are three types of Finger Sprains, which are graded according to the severity of the ligament damage: 1) Mild (Grade I). There is tearing of some ligament fibres, but there is no loss of function. 2) Moderate (Grade II). There is partial rupture (severing) of a section of the ligament and a partial loss of function. 3) Severe (Grade III). There is complete rupture of the ligament or the ligament completely separates from its bony attachment. There is a total loss of function in severe Finger Sprains. This type of Finger Sprain requires surgical repair.
Finger Sprains are caused by excessive forces on the ligaments of the fingers that extend the finger joints beyond their normal range of movement. Finger Sprains occur in many sports that involve catching and throwing, as a result of the impact of a fast-moving ball.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The signs and symptoms of a Finger Sprain include: - Severe pain at the time of the injury. - A sensation of popping or tearing inside the finger. - Tenderness, swelling and bruising at the site of the injury.
Your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat Finger Sprain. Your Doctor may request an x-ray of the affected finger to ensure that there is no damage to the bones in the area. The principles of the RICE technique (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) should be applied in the 48 hours following the injury. Please see the RICE Technique topic for more information. Pain-relieving medications with anti-inflammatory properties, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, may be suitable for your condition. Aspirin should be avoided in children under the age of 12 and those aged 12 to 15 who have a fever. A splint, tape or a bandage may need to be worn while the joint recovers to prevent excess movement. It is important to maintain some mobility in the joint while it recovers. Your Doctor or Physiotherapist may recommend an exercise programme and physical therapy to regain mobility and strength in the injured finger joint. Torn ligaments take a relatively long time to heal because they have a poor blood supply. The time taken for recovery will also depend on the severity of the Finger Sprain. Average healing times for Finger Sprains are: - Mild Sprains - 2 to 6 weeks. - Moderate Sprains - 6 to 8 weeks. - Severe Sprains - 8 to 10 weeks.
Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age unless specified by a Doctor.
Ask your Pharmacist for advice. 1) Remember the important rules, elevation, compression, ice and movement. Your Pharmacist has cold packs and compression bandages available for easy use after injury. 2) If there is swelling and pain your Pharmacist might suggest some anti-inflammatory and pain relieving tablets containing ibuprofen such as Nurofen. 3) A cream containing two active ingredients, heparinoid and hyaluronidase, might be used to slow any bruising and help prevent swelling. Hirudoid and Lasonil are two brands. Ask your Pharmacist. 4) A finger brace might be suggested to support the area. Ask your Pharmacist. 5) If dietary intake is inadequate some vitamin C might be taken to help with tissue repair.
VITAMINS/MINERALS/HERBS- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to reduce inflammation and repair connective tissue and collagen after injury. - Evening Primrose Oil contains gamm-linolenic acid (GLA) which is a building block for anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body. - Vitamin A and vitamin E help to repair connective tissue and cells. - Bromelain can help reduce acute, painful inflammation following soft tissue injuries.