Jammed Finger Clinical Presentation

Updated: Aug 29, 2023
  • Author: Thomas H Trojian, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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The athlete typically sustains an axial loading blow to the finger that is combined with hyperextension.

Dorsal trauma produces a volar dislocation force with a concurrent central slip injury.

Radial- or ulnar-directed forces could produce a collateral ligament injury/lateral dislocation.

Inquire about potential dislocations that were reduced on the field. Careful attention to the mechanism of injury may help pinpoint the diagnosis.


Physical Examination

Consider obtaining radiographs before physical examination of the affected finger to evaluate for potentially unstable fractures/dislocations.

Document the integrity of the neurovascular status of the affected finger as well as that of the entire hand.

Observe and palpate the affected finger, with attention to focal areas of tenderness and edema.

Assess tendon function and ROM of the affected finger, with particular attention to active extension. Loss of active extension indicates a central slip injury.

Assess the joint stability of the affected finger.

If pain of the affected finger precludes a definitive diagnosis, consider using metacarpal block anesthesia to examine the digit's tendon function and stability. [10]