How To Splint a Finger

By Kenneth Coppens

Finger splints immobilize a finger after an injury. They can be used for anything from a slight sprain to a broken bone. Immobilizing the finger reduces the amount of stress put on it, which in turn speeds the healing process. Finger splints can be put on in a matter of minutes and require no special training to do so. Next time you have a minor finger injury, save yourself a trip to the doctor by putting on your own splint.

Decide which type of finger splint is best for your particular injury. Curved splints are best for fractures, dislocations and breaks. Straight splints are best to use for injuries to the fingertip.

Put the splint on your finger carefully. Do not try to bend or straighten the finger more than it wants to. Applying too much pressure to the finger can worsen the injury. If necessary, bend the splint slightly so it fits comfortably on your finger.

Wrap at least three layers of medical tape around the tip and the base of your finger. The tape needs to be tight enough that the splint cannot move around, but not so tight that your finger won't maintain good circulation. Do not put the tape directly over an open wound.

Tape your injured finger to the finger directly beside it to immobilize it even more. The thumb is the obvious exception to this rule.

Leave the splint on until the injury heals. Replace the tape daily to ensure it sticks at all times.

Tips

Ask your doctor if you are unsure about what type of splint to use.

See a doctor if you think you have a dislocated or broken a finger.

If a finger splint is unavailable, put two twigs or small sticks on either side of the finger and secure them in place with a shoestring. It is best not to use this as a long-term treatment.

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