Q. After a fracture, my finger looks bent and swollen. Should I go for a surgery?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Chawla
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 23, 2017

Hello doctor,

I broke the top joint of my right pinky finger, two and a half months ago, late the night, before I was leaving for a two-month trip abroad. I tried to splint it, but it did not work, and it bent down by about 45 degrees, and now the joint is swollen. After getting an X-ray, now that I am home, the specialist said that I could try to splint it religiously for six weeks, to see if it works, with results of a 10-degree bend and a slight bump. He said it has a 50 % chance of working given the time lapse. If it does not work, I will need surgery, where he will clean up the extruded bone, and put something between the joints, and a pin, that will need to be removed. I will wear a splint for six weeks after and need some physiotherapy. The other option is just to have surgery now, and avoid the six-week test. It seems like the surgery now might be the better option to provide a better long-term solution, versus the results of the splint if it were to work. What do you suggest?

Dr. Sumit Chawla

Orthopedics And Traumatology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Two and a half months is a very long time for a phalanx fracture to heal. There is no role of splint after two months. So, I would not recommend wearing the splint for six weeks on a trial basis.
  • To decide whether there will be any movement at the joint or not, I need to see the current condition of the joint, to determine the congruity of the articular surface. If the joint is congruent, then physiotherapy or physical mobilization will bring a range of motion. If it is not congruent, then surgery is required.
  • Swelling in the region of fracture is very normal, due to increased blood supply to facilitate fracture healing.

Kindly follow up with your X-ray for further discussion.

Revert with more information to an orthopaedician and traumatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/orthopaedician-and-traumatologist

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