Finger Fracture: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Bones of the fingers

Breaks in the bones of the finger usually heal well in about 3 to 4 weeks. The pain and swelling from a broken finger can last for weeks. But it should steadily improve, starting a few days after you break it.

It is very important that you wear and take care of the cast or splint exactly as your doctor tells you to so that your finger heals properly and does not end up crooked. Wearing a splint may interfere with your normal activities. Ask for help with daily tasks if you need it.

You heal best when you take good care of yourself. Eat a variety of healthy foods, and don't smoke.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor put a splint on your finger, wear the splint exactly as directed. Do not remove it until your doctor says that you can.
  • Keep your hand raised above the level of your heart as much as you can. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on your finger for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin. Keep the splint dry.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your finger is cool or pale or changes colour.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your pain gets much worse.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your finger.
  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your finger is not steadily improving.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 23, 2016