Causes Of Dislocated Knuckle: Its Symptoms And How To Fix It?

Knuckles are the joints of finger which become prominent when you form a fist, or the hand is clenched. In medical terminology a knuckle is made up of two joints, interphalangeal joint and metacarpophalageal joint. The finger is made up of three knuckles (joints). Major knuckle is at the base of finger joint, while the middle and distal finger joint are called minor knuckles.

Dislocation of finger joint is one of the most common injuries of finger. The tiny bones of finger are displaced from their normal anatomical place. Usually it occurs after an injury such as a direct impact on the finger while playing a sports game or falling on finger of an overstretched hand.

Any joint of finger can be dislocated, however, in majority of cases it is the middle knuckle of index, middle, ring and little finger which is most often displaced.

Treatment consists of manual realignment of displaced bones under local anesthesia. Dislocated knuckle requires quick medical attention as delay may result in permanent disability.

Symptoms Of A Dislocated Knuckle

As soon as finger joint is traumatized the symptoms become obvious. Pain is the first symptom that a person complains of. In most cases of finger trauma, it is the middle knuckle which bears the brunt.

Soon after an injury, the finger appears swollen and crooked. It is associated with excruciating pain. The dislocation can be in any direction, but often it appears upwards or at an awkward angle.

One of the classical symptoms of dislocated knuckle is that the person is unable to move his finger in any direction. The injured finger may become numb. Due to rupture of tiny vessels, often the color of finger changes, it becomes pale. In severe cases of traumatic injury, the skin layer is broken giving rise to excessive bleeding.

How To Fix A Dislocated Knuckle?

It is quiet easy to detect dislocated knuckle from its awkward position. Pain and swelling soon follow after dislocation of finger joint. The person wearing ring should remove it as early as possible since the swelling will prevent removing it later. Medical treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

The treating physician will examine the dislocated knuckle. He will recommend for an X-ray of the affected finger to determine the exact location of damaged knuckle and whether there is a fracture of finger bone.

  • But before approaching a doctor, the primary first aid can be solicited at home. Apply ice to the injured area. This will help to reduce swelling as well as pain. Take few cubes of ice in a towel and place the towel over the affected site. Do ice fomentation at regular interval.
  • To prevent swelling hold your finger elevated as it will reduce blood flow and swelling. An anti inflammatory pain killer medicine may help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Next step is to realign the dislocated finger joint. Reduction and realignment is usually done under local anesthesia to prevent pain and the doctor is able to reduce it without any difficulty. Once the bone is realigned, the doctor may then put a splint over the finger to prevent active movement of finger. Splinting also allows quicker healing period.
  • Splinting is usually for a short period as keeping splint for long time may make the finger stiff, which is difficult to fold afterwards. For this reason early rehabilitating exercise for dislocated knuckle is always beneficial.
  • In rare cases where there is complete tear of ligaments and the damage is too extensive surgical method may have to be followed.