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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is my little finger broken or sprained?

    I dropped something heavy on my little finger, and felt a sharp and intense pain. The pain turned into a burning sensation and then numbness, and I had muscle spasms in my finger. I couldn't move it. There was a lot of swelling that appeared quickly. I didn't see if there was any bruising immediately because it was very dark. The next day, I noticed reddish purple bruising that extended to my ring finger, and I was unable to move my little finger. Is it more likely to be a fracture or a sprain?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Simon Chan

    Hand Surgeon, Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Dr Chan obtained his medical degree from the University of Sydney. In 1998, he was awarded the Zimmer Research Fellowship at the Jo Miller Laboratory … View Profile

    Lucy, crush injuries often cause significant swelling.

    Is it a sprain or a fracture? It could be either. Even if there is a fracture, you may not require any surgical intervention.

    I would first recommend that you have it x-rayed. If the x-rays show a bony injury (fracture), then I would suggest that you be referred to a hand surgeon. As I said, you may not need an operation. Your surgeon may refer you to a hand therapist for a specific splint or rehabilitation program.

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