Digital Ligament Injuries

Digital (finger) ligament injuries involve damage to the collateral ligaments that stabilise the finger joints along the sides.

What is it?

The damage can be of various degrees of severity, ranging from stretching, partial tears or complete tears. Injuries are sometimes associated with fractures about the finger joint surface. These are called avulsion fractures.

Causes

Commonly the result of jamming type sports injuries or falls that force the finger into a backwards or sideways position.

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Decreased range of motion

What to do

Most ligament injuries can be treated conservatively (without surgery) in the following ways;

  • Wrapping in Coban (for some stretch injuries this may be all that is required)
  • Splinting to restrict sideways movement to allow healing of the ligament between four to six weeks
  • Regaining mobility of the finger through active and passive exercises (sometimes further splinting is required)
  • Some ligament injuries can cause persistent swelling, aching, discomfort and stiffness for many months after injury

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