An individual who has a bent finger after being caught in the door can cause the last joint to bend and will not even straighten fully. The reason why the finger will not straighten out is due to the tendon that is torn or overly stretched. Oftentimes, when a finger could not be straightened, it is due to the bone that has broken off where the tendon is connected.
How fingers work
It is important to note that the fingers are special since most of the muscles that move them are somewhat far away on the forearm. Some of these tendons for the fingers run past the wrist all the way to the tips.
There are tendons on the palm side of every finger to make it close and tendons on the back side of every finger to extend it. If the individual develops a tear or stretch the tendons on the dorsal side of the fingers, they will not straighten out properly. Take note that the bones of the fingers are called as phalanges and there are three for every finger.
The one at the tip only has one tendon to pull it out straight. In case the tendon is damaged or crooked, it will not straighten all the way. There are ways in which the tendon can be injured – overly stretched out, torn or an avulsion fracture.
Treatment for a crooked finger
The initial first aid care for a mallet or crooked finger is similar to any type of fracture. Remember that it should be allowed to rest and properly immobilized in the right position. The initial treatment must cover the usual basics such as the RICE method – application of ice to minimize the swelling, elevation to reduce the swelling and protection from further injury.
If the individual injured his/her finger and will not straighten out, a doctor should be consulted. Take note that this is not an injury that should be taken to the emergency room, unless there is blood under the nail or the fingernail is almost ripped off. Once blood is present under the nail or there is damage to it, it might indicate a severe cut or fracture.
Children should be taken to a doctor if they end up with a mallet or crooked finger. Among children, the region of the bone responsible for controlling growth might be affected. This can result to a distorted finger if not managed correctly.
It is vital to continue to apply an ice pack over the affected finger a few times in a day until a doctor is consulted. The doctor will likely provide a specialized finger splint that will keep the finger straight. In case the tendon is simply stretched out, it should be kept straight to allow it to heal. In case it is torn or if the bone is fractured, the doctor might recommend surgery so that the injury can heal correctly.