Fingers & Toes

Every finger has three joints. The thumb has two. These joints allow our fingers to bend and straighten. There are 26 bones in the foot; 19 are bones in the forefoot (5 metatarsals and 14 phalanges). Trauma and the injury to the foot often causes one or more of the toe bones to break (fracture). The most common injuries to fingers and toes include minor breaks of the bone or stress fractures, finger jam/dislocations, turf toe, and arthritis.  

Finger Jam / Dislocation
Finger Jam/Dislocation

Finger Jam/Dislocation occurs when any two bones are forced out of place at the joint, such as by a traumatic sports injury or a fall, the finger becomes dislocated.

Symptoms:

  • Your finger joint looks crooked or misshapen
  • Your finger bone appears dislodged, such as sticking out to one side
  • You have swelling and bruising around the joint
  • You have pain around the joint
  • You are unable to move your finger.
  • When you dislocate a finger, your finger may also be sprained or broken. Sprains and breaks share similar symptoms to dislocation, so it can be difficult to determine which injury you have without seeking medical help.

Diagnostic procedures:

  1. an X-ray can be used to rule out broken or fractured bones.
Broken or fractured toes are often caused by trauma or injury.
Stress Fractures

Prolonged repetitive movements can cause a type of broken toe called a stress or hairline fracture. Broken toes are often caused by trauma or injury.

Symptoms:

  • Pain, swelling, stiffness, bruising, deformity, and difficultly walking.
  • Fractures to the tip of the finger or toe are often left untreated.
  • However, some breaks may need to be splinted.
  • Seek immediate medical care if you suspect an open fracture of the toe; if there is bleeding; cold, numb, or tingling sensation; if the toe appears deformed or is pointing in the wrong direction; or blue or gray color to the injured area.

Diagnostic procedures include a medical examination, which may include X-rays.

A sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint.
Turf Toe

Turf Toe is the common term used to describe a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint. Although it’s commonly associated with football players who play on artificial turf, it affects athletes in other sports including soccer, basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping.

Degenerative arthritis is usually called osteoarthritis.
Arthritis

Degenerative arthritis is usually called osteoarthritis. The term arthritis means joint inflammation (pain, redness, heat, and swelling). The term degenerative arthritis means inflammation of a joint due to wear and tear.

Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Enlarged areas over the back of the PIP (knuckle) joints
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Stiffness, making it uneasy to run, walk or hold a firm grasp
  • Locking or sticking of the joint
  • Grinding noise (crepitus) during movement

Diagnostic Procedures:

  • A thorough examination which includes a range of motion, sensitivity tests, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, and bone scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.