The list goes on and on. There are really an infinite number of different types of finger bone fractures.
Usually it's no surprise - the finger has been whacked, jammed, crushed, or sustained some other direct injury. However, fractures can also happen when the finger has been pulled or twisted suddenly and forcefully. Rarely, a bone may break through a weak spot caused by a tumor or cyst - this may be the first sign of the problem.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Ice, elevation and rest - and check with your doctor. If the injury involved a cut, medical evaluation is particularly important - check whether or not a tetanus shot, antibiotics or other treatment is needed.
WHAT CAN A DOCTOR DO TO HELP?
Confirm that this is the problem. X-rays are usually needed to show exactly what the problem is. Treatment really depends on the type of break. Your doctor may recommend:
•moving the fingers and doing exercises right away
•wearing a splint or a cast
•having surgery to set the break, possibly using hardware (pins, screws, wires, etc.) to hold the pieces in place.
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS TREATMENT?
Again, it really depends on what the break is. The biggest problem people have after a finger fracture is stiffness. Stiffness means difficulty bending or straightening finger joints. This is very common, and is more likely the closer the break is to where the finger meets the hand. The best way to prevent stiffness is to move joints as soon as possible. Sometimes the break is too unstable to let the fingers move - even with surgery, but otherwise, it's best to start moving the fingers as soon as possible.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T HAVE TREATMENT?
It's a roll of the dice. You may luck out and wind up with a pretty good result. However, if the break really needs to be set, it's best to do it right away. If the bone heals in the wrong position, it can be rebroken and re-set later, but the results of this late intervention are not as reliable, and usually not as good.