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Finger Sprains

Finger sprains are injuries to the ligaments or any of the three joints of the fingers. Commonly referred to as "jammed" fingers, sprains are usually caused by "jamming" the finger into an opponent or being hit on the tip of the finger by the ball. Fingers are also injured by being bent back (hyperextended) by the ball. Athletes often overlook finger sprains because it is "just a finger". However, finger injuries can be very painful and can lead to chronic ailments if not treated promptly. Although finger sprains may not be serious, there are several other types of finger injuries that can occur in basketball. Some of these are more serious and require much more extensive care. If symptoms persist and seem more severe than those described below, the athlete should see a physician immediately. If the joint is dislocated (out of place), do not attempt to put it back in place. Splint the joint as it is and refer immediately to a physician for evaluation.

Signs of a finger sprain:
  • Pain/stiffness with the motion of the joint
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Tender to touch sides of the joint
Treatment of finger sprain:
  • Ice 15 min - an easy way is in a cup of ice water
  • Immobilize or splint - can be done by taping 2 fingers together *always tape index finger to long finger and ring finger to small finger

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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