What are Common Types of Fingertip Injuries & Treatment Options?

We're happy to share insights from our doctors.

Given how extensively most people use their fingers and hands, it is exceedingly common to sustain a fingertip injury. From playing sports to typing or picking up regular objects, these injuries can occur for many different reasons. Once this type of injury develops, daily activities can become a challenge due to pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion.

Common Types of Fingertip Injuries

Many patients with fingertip injuries tend to fall into one of the common categories described

Subungual Hematoma — This condition typically arises from trauma or crushing of the finger. The patient will likely experience discoloration in their fingernail and painful throbbing in the same area. A common symptom of this condition is bleeding underneath the fingernail.
Nail Bed Laceration — This condition usually involves a deformed or fractured fingernail and cuts on the underlying nail bed. The patient typically demonstrates pain at
the fingertip and regular bleeding in the area. A nail bed laceration can be associated with subungual hematoma.
Distal Phalanx Fracture — This condition involves a fracture of a small bone in the fingertip. The patient normally experiences a swelling and acute pain in their fingertip and reduced range of motion. A distal phalanx fracture may also result in nail bed
laceration as well.
Mallet Finger — This condition involves a ruptured tendon and/or a fractured bone. The patient will likely experience pain and swelling in the fingertip and reduced range of motion in the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ). The fingertip “droops.”
Jersey Finger — This condition most commonly affects the ring finger and results from a ruptured tendon or fractured bone. The patent normally experiences pain and swelling as well as an inability to flex the DIPJ. This condition often develops due to a failed
attempt to grab something, such as a football jersey or door handle.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Fingertip Injuries

Given the delicate nature of the fingertips, it is inadvisable to engage in self-diagnosis or at-home treatment for these types of injuries. Any person suffering from this type of injury should seek medical attention and treatment from a licensed physician.

When a licensed physician attempts to diagnose a fingertip injury, the first step is generally a visual and physical examination of the injured finger. The physician may need to conduct
imagining tests to determine the precise nature of the injury, such as an MRI or X-ray.

After conducting a thorough diagnosis, the physician can progress to treatment options. Depending on the nature of the fingertip injury in question, the physician may recommend one of the treatment options below:

Subungual Decompression — The physician will drill several small holes into the fingernail to relieve pressure and allow proper healing;
Nail Removal & Suturing — The physician will remove the fingernail and repair any damage to the nail bed with sutures; or
Finger Splints — The physician may need to align the finger and apply a splint to immobilize the joint and allow proper healing.

Do You Need Medical Treatment for a Fingertip Injury?

If you need medical treatment for a fingertip injury, it can be extremely helpful to seek assistance from a proficient hand surgeon. At Midwest Hand Surgery, our physicians have the
experience and skill required to treat fingertip injuries and help you jumpstart the road to recovery. With fellowship-level credentials that surpass many doctors, our physicians can diagnose and treat a variety of hand, wrist, and elbow conditions, including fingertip injuries. At Midwest Hand Surgery, our physicians prefer to handle patient issues themselves, without relying on assistants to treat you. With same-day treatment availability, on-site surgical suites,
and occupation therapy services, we can help you recover quickly and efficiently. If you need medical treatment for a fingertip injury, contact us today to receive high-quality care and treatment.

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