Swollen Finger Treatment @ Finger Clinic

Symptoms and diagnosis for swollen finger
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By Orthopaedic and Neurology Clinic Singapore

Swollen Finger Treatment Main

Is your finger swollen?

Swollen fingers can be an alarming symptom, especially if they’re accompanied by other symptoms such as redness and pain.

There are many possible reasons behind a development of swollen fingers. Some are easily recognizable due to impact injury or straining of the fingers such as rock climbing. Others could be underlying medical conditions.

We shall consider the possible bone related reasons and what swollen finger treatment to consider.

What are some reasons for a swollen finger?

Some reasons of swollen finger due to:

1) Injuries 

Common types of finger injuries include jammed, smashed, sprained, or dislocated fingers, all of which may cause swelling.

After an injury, the body sends extra blood and fluid to the affected area to provide the raw materials for healing. This action can cause swelling, which leads to a limited range of motion, stiffness, throbbing, and pain due to pressure.

One type of swollen finger treatment involves keeping the hand elevated higher than the heart as much as possible. Splinting or wrapping the injured fingers can help by keeping them from moving too much.

Serious injuries that do not heal will require medical attention.

2) Arthritis

Many types of arthritis can cause swelling in the joints, such as in the fingers. Psoriatic arthritis can cause the whole finger to swell, while osteoarthritis is more likely to affect just the finger joints. The pain can be severe, with the fingers becoming hot and difficult to move.

3) Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve that runs through the center of the hand becomes compressed. This nerve affects feeling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.

Swollen fingers aren’t necessarily a defining symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. However some people have reported feeling like their fingers are swollen.

4) Tendonitis

Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that happens when the tendons become inflamed, leading to swelling, pain, and tenderness. Tendonitis commonly affects the tendons of the shoulders, arms, and legs.

There are three types of tendinitis that can cause swelling in the fingers:

These types of tendinitis specifically affect the tendons in the fingers.

One of the initial interventions for reducing the pain and swelling associated with tendinitis is cold therapy. Applying ice to the swollen fingers can help to reduce blood flow to the area and reduce pain.

More serious cases of tendinitis usually require medical treatment.

5) Bursitis

Bursitis is another inflammatory condition. It’s caused by inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that surround the joints. Bursitis tends to affect the larger joints’ bursae, such as those in the legs, arms, or hip.

If the bursae of the fingers become inflamed, it can cause swollen finger joints.

Cold therapy is also helpful in reducing the inflammation and pain from bursitis. Physical therapy and injectable medications may also be used for more chronic cases. In some cases, surgery may be used to drain the inflamed bursae.

6) Other Repetitive motion disorders

Repetitive motion disorders include mallet finger and ganglion cysts, among others. They result from a person making similar movements over and over. Along with swollen fingers, the symptoms can include pain, numbness, and loss of strength and flexibility.

Ceasing or drastically reducing the movement is key to relieving the symptoms. In combination with ice, pain relievers, physical therapy, and, in the most severe cases, surgery, this should typically bring about recovery.

7) Gout

Gout is an inflammatory joint disease often associated with the big toe, but it can cause finger swelling when crystals of uric acid form around the knuckles.

“To prevent swollen fingers, individuals should increase blood flow by performing forward and backward arm circles. Stretching the fingers wide and making fists several times during exercise is another way to increase circulation and prevent fluid buildup.”

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What types of diagnosis?

Before embarking any swollen finger treatment, our Orthopaedic specialist makes the diagnosis based on your medical history and a physical exam. During the physical exam, our doctor will ask you to open and close your hand, checking for areas of pain and smoothness of motion.

Our doctor will also feel your palm to see if there is a lump present. If the lump is associated with trigger finger, the lump will move as the finger moves because the lump is an area of swelling in part of the tendon that moves the finger.

Depending on the reasons for the finger to swell, our doctor may order X-rays to check the finger.

We highly recommend to seek professional help instead of self diagnosis to enable faster recovery. 

Possible swollen finger treatment?

The treatment of swollen finger depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the reasons of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment.

For a mild sprain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) techniques can help to reduce swelling and inflammation.

The doctor may also strap the finger to the one next to it to prevent bending and further injury. If the finger has swollen a lot, wait until the swelling subsides before taping it up.

In the case of Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, describes an injury to the tendon at the end of the finger.

This tendon usually helps the finger to straighten. An injury to the top of the finger can cause the tendon to rupture, resulting in swelling, pain, and bruising. The doctor may use a splint to straighten the finger until it heals.

If a finger appears to be broken or dislocated, Our specialist can put the bone back in the joint and fit a splint or cast to keep it in position.

For complicated breaks, surgery may be the best option. A surgeon may insert small pins, screws, or rods into the finger to hold the fractured bones together while they heal.

Overall, each swollen finger treatment would be tailored to the cause of swelling. Medication and therapy would be recommended to speed up recovery.

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