A finger dislocation occurs when the bones are displaced from their normal position. This is usally the result of an accident - for example, a ball hitting the tip of the finger, a fall, or the finger becoming caught in a piece of clothing or equipment.
The symptoms are immediate and obvious:
- Abnormal or crooked apperance
- Unable to bend or straighten the joint
Sometimes a sports physio or doctor will immediately realign the dislocation - indeed, in sports like rugby, it's not uncommon for a player to continue after an on the field realignment.
If you go to a doctor or hospital, you will typically need an x-ray to confirm the dislocation and to determine if there is also a break in your finger.
Typical treatment will involve using a protective splint on your finger for several weeks. Applying ice will also help to reduce the swelling and speed recovery.
Once the splint is removed, you will probably have a finger that is swollen and has a decreased range of motion and reduced strength. You will therefore need to follow a program of rehabilitation exercises to restore full function.