A sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments in the finger. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another to form the joints. When a ligament is injured, it can be stretched, partially torn, or completely torn.
A sprain is caused by a sudden activity that twists or tears a ligament. This could happen, for example, when a ball hits the tip of your child’s finger or if your child falls onto his or her finger.
Symptoms may include:
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms, activities, and medical history and examine your child. Your child may have X-rays or other scans.
Your child will need to change or stop doing the activities that cause pain until the ligament has healed.
Your child may need a finger splint or may need to have the injured finger taped to the finger next to it ("buddy taping") for several weeks after the injury.
Your child's healthcare provider may recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to help your child heal. In many cases, your child will be able to return to sports or activities as long as he or she wears a splint or has the fingers taped together.
The pain often gets better within a few weeks with self-care, but some injuries may take several months or longer to heal. It’s important to follow all of your healthcare provider’s instructions.
To keep swelling down and help relieve pain for the first few days after the injury:
Your child should do the exercises recommended by your healthcare provider.
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
Make sure your child follows safety rules and uses any protective equipment recommended for his or her activities.