Accidents can happen anywhere at any time and fractures to the fingers are one of the most common injuries that we treat here at Hands-on Therapy Services.
We’ve worked with people who have slammed the door on their hands, fallen and hit their fingers, and even worse – accidents with saws. The most severe finger fractures require surgery – but every once in a while, there’s a small fracture which can be stabilized with a small finger splint or cast.
The most important aspect of regaining function and movement if your finger and hand is getting the right hand therapy in the optimal timeline.
Here’s the protocol and order after a suspected fracture.
You have 3 bones in your fingers.
- Proximal phalanx – makes up your big knuckle
- Middle phalanx – makes up your middle knuckle
- Distal phalanx – makes up your little knuckle
Most people go to urgent care centers or their hand surgeon before making it to hand therapy. X-rays are taken to decide how severe the fracture is and if you need surgery or not.
If it’s determined that you don’t need surgery – you are placed in a finger cast or splint for 2-4 weeks depending on the severity. Then after the fracture is deemed stable, you can start removing the splint and start hand therapy.
How long you stay immobilized is determined based on the type of fracture. The most important thing AFTER the splint is finding a trusted hand therapist to help you understand the nature of your injury and help you get the best possible outcome.
If you need hand surgery, your best option is to get the surgery as soon as possible. You might need pins to stabilize the joints, or you may need plates and screws. Once your surgery is completed and you follow up with the hand surgeon, therapy can start within a week.
Here are some of the most common concerns and questions I get questions about finger fractures AFTER someone is stiff and pain:
- Should my splint have been this long or include these fingers?
- How long should I have used the splint?
- When was the best time to get rid of the splint and start in hand therapy?
If you are reading this blog, hopefully you will get a heads up on what to do for your finger fracture and therapy BEFORE it’s too late.
Here are my top 3 tips on how to get your fingers moving faster after a finger fracture and surgery.
- Ask the above questions. Does it REALLY need to include all the fingers or all the knuckles? Immobilizing joints that don’t need to be immobilized can cause more pain and stiffness later.
- Don’t wait….majority of the time finger fractures need help to get all the motion back. Most people think it’s like any other time they sprained a finger, but a fracture is different even if it’s a small fracture. Going to a certified hand therapist even once or twice can get you on track for a full recovery.
- Doing the correct exercises in the right order makes a big difference in achieving full motion with no residual pain and swelling. Doing the wrong exercises in the wrong order can cause continued stiffness, or worse, develop a trigger finger.
Majority of our clients end up finding Hands-on Therapy Services after not achieving the results they hoped for when going to generic, run of the mill clinics, where they are not given the time and attention.
If you or someone you know has suffered a finger fracture, whether they had surgery or not, give us a call here to speak with our hand specialists.
We’ll help you make a decision on when to get started and help you understand what’s possible for your full recovery.
If you are struggling with hand and wrist pain, including
● Trigger Finger Or Trigger Thumb
or any other hand condition, speak with one of our specialists for FREE by signing up for a 30-minute Discovery Visit here! Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.
PS. If you know someone who’s had surgery, grab my guide on what to consider after hand surgery….grab my free guide here.
About the author – Hoang Tran; an expert in physical & occupational therapy
Hoang Tran is a certified hand therapist, the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services, and the author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck, and shoulder problems because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her Miami occupational therapy practice is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections, or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.