Hand and Finger Sprain

Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after doctors for hand and finger sprain in Palm Beach. Sprain is the medical name given to injury to the ligaments, in this case, those in the hand and fingers. Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to other bones. This injury can be simple bruising, a partial tear, or a full tear of the ligament.

Hand and Finger Sprain Symptoms and Diagnosis

The symptoms arising from hand and finger sprain are caused by inflammation of the ligaments and by mechanical symptoms of unstable bones in cases where the ligaments fully tear. Fortunately the majority of the tears that occur are partial. The most common complete ligament tears in the hand and finger are the “collateral ligament” tears of the PIP, MCP, and DIP joints. Some of the most common symptoms include:


  • Pain in the finger with bending
  • Swollen and puffy finger joint Cracking and popping when moving the finger
  • Decreased range of motion of the finger

In some cases patients present with all of the symptoms, and in some cases only with some of them. Other conditions like a finger fracture can cause similar findings.

The diagnosis hand and finger sprain is usually performed by clinical examination, history, and xray imaging. Dr. Rueda uses xrays to rule out any underlying fractures. In some cases, advanced imaging like MRI may be necessary if the suspicion for a more complex tear exists.

WHAT CAUSES Hand and Finger Sprain?

Ligament sprains are primarily caused by trauma to the affected area. They usually result in significant pain, and in the worse scenarios they may lead to instability of the bones that they are holding together if the ligaments are fully torn. Some of the most commonly injured finger ligaments are shown in the image below:

Hand and Finger Sprain Treatment Options

There are three main ways to treat hand and finger sprain: buddy tapping, steroid injections, and surgery. The treatment depends on whether a full tear or partial tear has occurred, as well as the intensity of the symptoms. The main goal of sprain treatment is to control pain, and restoring ligament function for those that were fully torn.
Buddy taping is the mainstay for hand and finger sprains. The goal of treatment is to regain finger motion to avoid stiffness and
Steroid injection is an alternative that reduces the inflammation and improves pain in the joint. It is done in the office setting and is very well tolerated. In most cases it provides symptoms relief from days to months. Its an optional treatment for those with ligament bruising and small partial tears.
Surgery is indicated for patients who have failed treatment with braces and steroid injections, or those with confirmed full ligament tears.

Hand and Finger Sprain Procedure

There are two types of finger sprain surgery: ligament repair, ligament reconstruction. Dr. Rueda is an expert in all of these procedures, and has presented on the subject in national meetings. Some of the differences across the types of surgery are listed below:

• Ligament Repair:

Repairs disrupted or torn ligaments to re-establish normal anatomy

• Ligament Reconstruction:

For injuries where the torn ligament is severely damaged. The ligament is recreated using the bodies own tissue.


Ligament Repair and Reconstruction: Outpatient procedures. There is tightness, swelling and bruising for 2-3 weeks after surgery. A splint is worn for 3-4 weeks. The patient begins therapy to gradually increase the movement in the fingers after splint removal.

Ligament Repair and Reconstruction: Return to work depends on the activity and profession. Those whose labor demands strong hand activity usually return to work for basic tasks in 2 weeks wearing a splint.

Why Choose Precision Hand Center for your Hand and Finger Sprain Procedure?

Dr. Rueda, a Hand Fellowship trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience will be your safe and best choice for hand and finger sprain. Successful results in this procedure requires a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in hand surgery and hand anatomy. Dr. Rueda has published articles in experd peer reviewed journals and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best hand and finger sprain treatment Palm Beach can offer.


Patients with complete rupture of collateral ligaments and active symptoms are good candidates for the procedure. Usually they failed an attempt at conservative treatment.

Complications in finger sprain surgery are specific to every procedure. Dr. Rueda will discuss these with you personally. Fortunately these procedure are safe and enjoy very high success rates with low complication rates. An unlikely but serious risk is failure or rupture of the repair.

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