Non-operative Finger Sprain Treatments

In consultation with your Rothman physician, treatment may include:

  • Rest - Avoid using the injured finger.
  • Ice - Apply ice or a cold pack to your finger for 15-20 minutes, four times a day, for several days or until the pain and swelling goes away. Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling in the sprained finger. Wrap the ice or cold pack in a towel. Do not apply the ice directly to your skin.
  • Compression - Wrap an elastic compression bandage around your finger. This will limit swelling and support your finger. Be careful not to wrap too tightly or it can cut off the circulation to your finger.
  • Elevation -  Try to hold the injured hand above the level of your heart as much as possible for the first several days or until the swelling goes down. (For example, up on a pillow). This will help drain fluid and reduce swelling.
  • Medication - In consultation with your doctor, consider taking one of the following over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to help reduce inflammation and pain:
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Aspirin
  • Splinting and Taping - You may need to wear a splint to immobilize your finger. If you play sports, you may need to tape your finger to the finger next to it when you return to play. Your doctor can show you how to splint or tape your finger.
  • Surgery - Surgery may be needed to repair a finger sprain if:
    • A small piece of bone has been broken off by the injury to the ligament.
    • A ligament is torn completely.

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