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Fracture of Middle Phalanx of Finger


Each finger is made up of several bones, and the middle phalanx is the bone located between the first joint and center knuckle. The joints on either side of the middle phalanx allow you to flex and hook your finger, which allows you to handle or manipulate items on a daily basis. Fractures in the middle phalanx are rare, but finger fractures in general are common due to the constant need and use for the finger.


Since the hands and fingers are a vital part of everyday life, they are subjected to a variety of traumatic injuries. A fractured middle phalanx can occur for these common reasons:

  • Jammed finger
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Contact sports
  • Direct impact to the finger
  • Workplace dangers


As with any broken bone, the initial symptom of a middle phalanx fracture is pain. Even with a fracture, you may still be able to bend or move the finger, but pain will intensify if you try to do so. Other symptoms of a fractured finger bone include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffening in the finger or joints
  • Swelling and pain extends beyond the injured area
  • Numbness
  • Bruising and swelling underneath the fingernail, as well as the fingertip


If the skin is not broken, an x-ray is often enough to provide information and imaging to the doctor to diagnose a fracture. Depending on the injury, it is possible the doctor will request additional tests, such as:

  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • Bone Scan


Should you break your finger, stabilizing the injury as soon as possible is ideal. Ways to stabilize the bone on the way to the doctors is by:

  • Applying a bag of ice to the area to reduce swelling
  • Use a pen or pencil to place alongside the finger and wrap in gauze or cloth to immobilize the finger

Once you get medical help, the following steps are used to treat the fractured bone:

  • Stable -- Taping two fingers together to keep them immobile and stable
  • Unstable – After anesthesia, the bone will be re-aligned and put into a splint for healing


If the bone is shattered or unable to be re-aligned, surgery may be required. Re-aligning the bone and fitting it with a plate, wires and pins will keep the bones in place as it heals. If the bone broke through the skin, additional surgical treatment may be needed to repair any damaged tendons.