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What are finger sprains?

A finger sprain is damage to the connective tissue and surrounding the finger joints. The fingers have three bones that make three joints. These joints are called the distal interphalangeal joint or DIP, the proximal interphalangeal joint or PIP and metacarpo-phalangeal joint or MCP joint. If you make a fist, the DIP is the joint closest to the nail, the PIP is the middle joint, and the MCP is often referred to the knuckles.

A sprain to the finger is when one of these three joints is bent in an awkward position or pushed to an extreme range of motion. A finger sprain is often called a jammed finger, and a common cause of injury is trying to catch a ball and bending the finger joint too far. 

These injuries can be very mild or quite debilitating. Severe sprains may require surgery or immobilization. If you suspect a sprain finger seek physician consultation; the joint can be dislocated or a small fracture may have occurred.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.