Skip to main content

Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Smashed fingers

Definition

Smashed fingers is an injury involving trauma to one or more fingers.

Alternative Names

Finger(s) - smashed; Crushed digits

Considerations

If an injury to a finger occurs at the tip and does not involve the joint or nail bed, you may not need the help of a health care provider. If only the tip of your finger bone is broken, your provider may not recommend a splint.

Causes

Finger(s) can be smashed by a hammer blow, car door, desk drawer, baseball, or some other force.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Difficulty moving the tip of the finger
  • Discoloration or bruising of the finger or fingernail
  • Finger pain
  • Loss of fingernail
  • Swelling

First Aid

Apply an ice pack to decrease swelling. Be sure to wrap the pack in a clean cloth first to prevent cold injury to the skin.

Over-the-counter pain medicines may help relieve discomfort.

If pain becomes severe, with blood under the fingernail, call your provider. Your provider may guide you in taking measures to relieve the pressure and prevent the fingernail from falling off.

Do Not

  • Do not splint a smashed finger without first consulting your provider.
  • Do not drain blood from under the fingernail unless your provider instructs you to do so.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Seek medical attention right away for any of the following:

  • The finger is bent and you can't straighten it.
  • The injury is involves the palm or any of the joints, such as a finger or the wrist.

Prevention

Teach safety to young children. Use caution when shutting doors to make sure fingers are not in danger.

References

Brunton LM, Graham TJ, Atkinson RE. Hand injuries. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 77.

Mailhot T, Lyn ET. Hand. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 50.

Review Date:4/18/2017
Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No