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Broken finger or thumb

A broken finger or thumb is an injury where a bone in your finger or thumb is broken (fractured).

Symptoms of a broken finger or thumb include pain, swelling and bruising. It may also look blue or feel numb.

Treatment for a broken finger or thumb usually involves wearing a splint, taking painkillers and rest. More serious breaks may need surgery.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of a broken finger or thumb include pain, swelling and bruising. It may also look blue or feel numb.

Call 111 or go to an urgent treatment centre if:

You have had an injury and your finger or thumb is:

Go to A&E if:

You have had an injury and the finger or thumb:

Read more on the NHS website.

Treatment for a broken finger or thumb usually involves wearing a splint, taking painkillers and rest. More serious breaks may need surgery.

Medical treatments

A doctor or nurse might:

  • try to straighten your finger – they'll give you an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the pain
  • put your finger in a splint or cast, or strap it to another finger to keep it in position
  • give you a tetanus injection or antibiotics if there's a cut to prevent infection

You may need surgery for complicated breaks – for example, if it's broken in lots of places or the nerves are damaged.

You may be invited back for a follow-up appointment to check how your finger or thumb is healing.

Self-care

There are some things you can do to ease pain and speed up healing of a broken finger or thumb:


Do

  • take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to relieve pain
  • keep your hand up to reduce swelling – rest it on a cushion or a pillow
  • gently hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a tea towel on the finger or thumb for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours

Don't

  • try not to use the affected hand so it can heal properly

Read more on the NHS website.