Maybe you're exercising, lifting gear or boxes at work, or just having a clumsy day. In any case, you've had an accident or fell and now have to deal with bruised or broken fingers. Finger injuries must be immobilized for a period of time, usually three to six weeks, to ensure that the finger (s) heal properly. Splinting your broken or bruised fingers will help hold them in place and prevent movement. It also increases the range of motion of the curved fingers, helping to stretch them. You can buy finger splints from a medical supply store or make them yourself. However, if your injury is too severe, you may need to see a doctor right away.
Method 1 of 3: Part 1: Determine How Severe Your Injury Is
Step 1. If bones are visible in your finger or protruding from the injured area, see a doctor right away
In severe cases, the force exerted on the finger can be strong enough to break the bones inside. This type of damage requires more intensive treatment than a splint.
Step 2. Get medical help if your finger is numb or tingling
These sensations are signs that the injured area is not getting enough blood and oxygen. You can also have nerve damage in your finger as a result of the injury.
Step 3. Have your doctor put a splint on if the injured finger appears deformed
Do not put on a splint yourself with this level of injury. This is an indication that your finger is broken or dislocated. Part of your finger may also be pointing in the wrong direction, or appear shorter or longer than the corresponding healthy finger on your other hand. The finger is also likely to be swollen, painful, and stiff.
- You may also notice bruises on your finger due to damaged tiny blood vessels and stabbing pain when you touch it.
- Your doctor will examine your broken finger and X-ray your hands. The X-ray is a non-invasive procedure and will help your doctor see the condition of the bones in your hands.
- Once your doctor has put it on, leave the splint alone so it can correct the injury.
Step 4. If your finger is swollen and stiff, but not deformed, self-medicate for your injury
These are all indicators of a sprained finger that you can splint yourself.
- Injuries to the finger usually occur at the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) (the joints near the fingertip) and the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) (the joints in the middle of the finger)..
- Sprained fingers usually heal in two to four weeks. Avoid putting pressure or weight on the injured finger to speed the healing process.
Method 2 of 3: Part 2: With a homemade splint
Step 1. Clean the wounded area before you shear it
Wash the wound with soap and water to avoid infection.
- Place three to four drops of iodine solution on a cotton ball and apply it to the entire wound.
- Let them dry.
Step 2. Find two straight, solid objects such as two large paper clips, two popsicle sticks, or two long, sturdy pieces of cardboard
Finally, if you are going to use cardboard, make sure that it is solid pieces of cardboard, and not thin or limp pieces.
If you can't find two similar objects, it's okay to use two different objects. They just need to both be straight and firm and about an inch wide
Step 3. Measure the length of your finger to determine the size of the cardboard splint
If you are using two pieces of cardboard, make sure they are both long enough to cover your injured finger.
- If the injury is at the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) (or the joints near the fingertip), measure the length of your finger from tip to center.
- If the injury is at the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) (or the joints in the middle of the finger), measure from the fingertip to the base.
Step 4. Cut the cardboard based on the length of your finger
Cut two pieces: one to place on top and one on the bottom of the injured finger. Make sure that each piece of cardboard can cover the entire top and bottom of the injured finger.
Step 5. Gather your materials
You should have two straight, narrow objects (preferably two pieces of cardboard), a tape measure, a roll of medical tape, and scissors.
Step 6. Put on the splint
Place a splint on top of your finger. Then place the other splint on the bottom of the finger.
- Use the medical tape and wrap at least two to three layers around your fingertip. Then, also wrap at least two to three layers of medical tape around the bottom of your finger.
- Glue between the first and second knuckles of the injured finger.
- Be careful not to move or bend your finger while putting on the splint, as further movement can cause further injury. Keep your finger as straight as possible.
Step 7. Make sure the splint is against your finger
Don't wrap the medical tape too tightly or too loosely around your finger. If the tape is too tight, it will block blood flow to your finger. Your finger can turn blue easily and the pain can become more intense. If the band is too loose, the finger will not be properly stabilized so that you can move it within the splint. Neither of the two scenarios is of any use to your injured finger.
Press the nail of your injured finger for three seconds to check blood flow. The splinted finger is well supplied with blood if it appears pink again in less than three seconds. If it doesn't turn pink after three seconds, the splint is likely too tight and restricting blood flow. Remove them and put them back on, or adjust them as needed
Step 8. Use the finger next to your injured finger as a movement lock
Glue the two fingers together to give your injured finger more support.
Wrap at least 2-3 layers of medical tape around the tips of both fingers. Then, wrap at least 2-3 layers of medical tape around the bottom of both fingers
Method 3 of 3: Part 3: With a standard splint
Step 1. Measure your injured finger
Commercially available rails are available in various sizes and have openings for good ventilation. If you can buy one yourself, customizing the finger splint is easy. However, if you can't buy it in person and need someone else to do it, measure your injured finger to make sure it fits properly.
- Commercially available rails have sizes on the packaging, such as small, medium or large.
- To measure your finger, use a tape measure to measure the circumference or measurement around the affected finger. If the injury is at the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP), determine the length of your finger from tip to center. If the injury is at the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP), measure from the tip of the finger to the base of the finger.
Step 2. Buy a commercial splint from a medical supply store or online
The most common splint is the foldable finger splint.
Step 3. Prepare your materials
You should have a commercially available splint, a roll of medical tape, and scissors.
Step 4. Support the injured finger with the other hand and carefully align it
Then place the standard splint on the injured finger until it fits perfectly and comfortably. Keep the affected finger in a straight position.
- If you're using a bent finger splint, slide your injured finger into the underside of the padded splint. The folded part of the splint should be at the tip of your finger.
- If the broken finger is at a strange angle and cannot be straightened, see a doctor immediately.
Step 5. Attach the finger to the splint by taping it around the base of the finger
Make sure the tape is touching the skin so it is properly attached.
- Put two layers of tape on top of your finger and two layers of tape underneath.
- Once done, wrap your finger in tape and use scissors to cut the tape.
Step 6. Press in the nail of the injured finger for three seconds
This suppresses blood flow to the splinted area. If the nail looks pink in less than three seconds, the splinted finger is well supplied with blood. If the nail does not appear pink after three seconds, the tape or splint is too tight and is causing poor blood flow.
If it's too tight, remove the finger splint and reapply it until it feels firm, rather than too tight or too loose
Step 7. Avoid getting your splinted finger wet
This can cause the skin around the injury to become moist and itchy. This in turn increases the risk of skin damage and the formation of wounds. These can become infected if they come into contact with the dirty surface of the splint.
If you are bathing, cover the splinted area with a double layer of plastic and tape the edges to prevent it from getting wet
- Finger injuries, especially sprained fingers, usually take 4-6 weeks to heal.
- Once your finger has healed and your doctor advises you to remove the splint, make sure you move your fingers. This will prevent them from stiffening.