A sprained finger is a relatively common condition characterized by damage or tearing of the connective tissue such as the ligaments, cartilage or joint capsule of one or more finger joints. Finger sprain symptoms include pain in the finger at the time of injury. Once swelling is developed over the joint, there will be restricted movement of the finger or fingers.
Each of the 4 fingers, excluding the thumb, comprises of 3 small bones known as phalanges. They join each other at the Interphalangeal Joints (IP Joints) and to the bones of the palm, called as metacarpals at the metacarpophalangeal joints forming 3 joints for each finger. To identify which ligaments might be injured, bending the finger in different directions to stretch the ligaments will reproduce pain. The joint will be unstable if there is a severe or a complete rupture of the ligament.
It is important for patients with this condition to perform movement and strength exercises early in the rehabilitation process to prevent stiffness and weakness from developing and also to ensure the finger is functioning correctly. The exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist should be performed under his observation to ensure that the ligaments and the joints remain in their proper place.