As the temperatures begin to rise here in Arizona so do the number of finger injuries that we see at Cactus Pediatric Orthopaedics. This occurs as kids come out of winter hibernation and transition back into organized sports, mainly ball sports. It can be difficult to initially differentiate a minor injury (sprain) from a major injury (fracture), so we’d like to present some helpful information to navigate your child’s injury.
A sprain is an injury to a joint that causes a stretch or small tear in a ligament. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. It is common in ball games such as football, basketball, volleyball, etc. Typically these injuries present with pain, swelling, decreased motion, tenderness, and eventually can cause bruising. In general, these injuries do not cause a deformity of the finger and tend to show improvement within days of injury.
Types of Sprains:
- Finger Sprain (Jammed Finger) – sprain of collateral ligaments at the interphalangeal (finger) joint
- Thumb Sprain (Gamekeeper’s or Skiers Thumb) – an injury typically to the ulnar collateral ligament at the base of the thumb. Often caused by hyperextension/radial deviation of the thumb with a fall or impact