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I jammed my ring finger playing keeper in a soccer game last night and it's pretty swollen and discolored. It hurts but I'm pretty sure it's not broken. What is the best way to treat it? Having done this before, I've heard varying recommendations over the years, including

  • tape it to the next finger
  • wear a splint
  • ice it
  • have someone "pull" it out (which scares me to no end!)

Is there anything else I should do?

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closed as off topic by Dori Oct 1 '11 at 9:08

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It should only be pulled back into its socket if it's dislocated. It sounds like yours is not dislocated because if it were, you wouldn't have been able to bear the pain to type this question. I witnessed this in a volleyball game many years ago. Someone went up to block a spike and his finger got dislocated. He was screaming for someone to pull it. A teammate did, and the finger started working again. –  JoJo Oct 1 '11 at 4:52
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Yeah I debated about whether or not it was on topic, but I decided it was after seeing the tag "injury" and a bunch of questions about knee injuries... So when are injuries on topic and when are they off topic? –  Lauren Oct 3 '11 at 13:07

2 Answers 2

When in doubt: ICE

I - Ice

C - Compression - wrapping (lightly) helps reduce swelling

E - Elevation - in this case restriction of movement (taping to the next strongest finger - middle)

(some people refer to it as RICE - where R stands for rest)

Don't ignore the injury and don't over tighten the wrap. The real answer depends on the severity of the injury, when in doubt see a Dr. DON'T pull the finger - this has a good potential of doing more damage. So, it's some combination of what you have above. For a female (yes, this is sexist) and especially for a woman's ring finger - see a Dr. if the swelling, bruising does not get better in a few days.

Here's a link to some more info:http://www.sports-injury-info.com/jammed-finger.html

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thanks for the advice! do you know if wrapping it alone is better, or if I should wrap/tape to the next finger? –  Lauren Sep 30 '11 at 20:03
    
Wrapping it to the next finger usually provides more support without wrapping it to tight - or you can use a splint (Popsicle stick). –  Meade Rubenstein Oct 1 '11 at 1:16

Listen to @MEade, don't pull it. I had someone pull on my jammed finger because it was crooked. It turned out to be a bad fracture. Hope that isn't your case. I don't know if the pulling on it caused it to heal with a rotational deformity or if it was from the initial jam. However, despite ultimately having surgery, my finger is crooked when I make a fist. See a hand doctor if you need to see a doctor.

In the meantime, yes follow RICE. Coban works nicely for a finger wrap because it sticks to itself and it is easy to wrap and re-wrap. I would first wrap the finger individually for the swelling and then wrap it to the adjacent finger for protection. (Not too tight - allow for swelling. Check the temp, sensation and color of your finger tip to make sure it is not too tight.)

As far as splinting, I found that it was more trouble than helpful, as it would bump things and cause more pain. Elevate your hand higher than your heart to stop the throbbing.

If you don't have a fracture you can start some gently motion as the swelling goes down. A contrast bath (alternating cold and warm water) is a nice way to do this. Good luck.

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