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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.

Check if you have a broken finger or thumb

It can be hard to tell if a finger is broken, dislocated or badly sprained. You'll probably need an X-ray.

Get advice from 111 now if:

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

111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

Other ways to get help

Go to an urgent treatment centre

Urgent treatment centres are places you can go if you need to see someone now.

They're also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.

You may be seen quicker than you would at A&E.

Find an urgent treatment centre

Go to A&E if:

You have had an injury and the finger or thumb:

If you cannot get to A&E by yourself, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

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.