A jammed finger is typically a sprain to the joint or knuckle of the finger. There may also be a small fracture or dislocation of the joint.

The injury can be extremely painful, and the joint usually becomes swollen.

To treat a jammed finger:

  • Ice the finger with a cold pack for 15 minutes. Placing your finger in ice water works, too.
  • Elevate your hand to reduce swelling.

To protect the finger during use:

  • Buddy tape the injured finger to an adjacent finger. Use a self-adhesive wrap to tape above and below the finger joint — for example, index finger to middle finger or ring finger to small finger.

Seek medical care if:

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  • Your finger appears deformed.
  • You cannot straighten your finger.
  • The area becomes hot and inflamed and you develop a fever.
  • Swelling and pain becomes significant or persistent.
  • The finger becomes numb and turns white or pale, less pink.

Children require medical care because damage to the growth plate of a finger bone can lead to long-term deformity.