Best therapy for sprained finger?

I have heard ice, heat, alternating ice and heat, single malt scotch, etc. What is the best DIY therapy for a sprained finger 19 days after the injury?

I am posting this to GQ in the belief that there is a general-purpose answer and that one sprained finger is pretty much like the rest. You are not a doctor, you are not my finger’s doctor, etc.

(Backstory: Actually, it’s a broken bone in the tip of the finger, but there is other soft-tissue damage tantamount to a sprain. I saw a hand surgeon two weeks ago, who fitted me with a little splint and said come back in 6 weeks. But he gave me no instructions for care in the meantime. I have left two messages in two days with his assistant with no response. I broke it catching a baseball wrong. Normally this would have been a sprain but the doctor explained I have a benign tumor inside the bone, which causes the bone to hollow out, leaving the remaining bone more susceptible to fracture. After the break heals he recommends removing the tumor, after which the bone should grow back in.)

Why not call YOUR Dr. and ask him?

And you are post here 19 days late? :rolleyes:

Don’t roll your eyes at me, while using incorrect grammar! I *did * call–dja read?–and they haven’t returned my calls. I am asking now (and not two weeks ago) because there is still pain and swelling.

We now resume our regular programming for a helpful answer.

I don’t have much. Ice it a couple times a day, and take an anti-inflammatory. Aleve is my favorite, but I use the generic Naproxen.

I suppose somebody has to offer the traditional, “Soak it in cider.” :wink:

It appears you called two weeks ago and gave up.So why not call daily, twice a day or whatever till you get an answer. In the meantime I’ve done your homework for you…

** Treatment for Strains and Sprains **

Use google, about, dogpile, etc. and get more that you want to bother to read.

I have no answers, but I wanted to say I really agree with this sentiment. :slight_smile:

I treat a lot of fractured fingers. Fractures of the end of the finger that don’t involve the knuckle tend to heal well.

Sprains in general are treated with RICE – Rest briefly then move early, Ice (ice or bag of frozen vegetables 10 minute cycles on and off), Compression, Elevation; and anti-inflammatories to help with pain and swelling.

19 days on, any swelling has already happened, reducing the benefits of ice, elevation and compression. Immobilizing a finger longer than 2-3 weeks leads to stiffness and decreased function, so some movement is often a plus.

Finger sprains often heal badly, and this is because they are often initially trated poorly, especially if involving the “middle” knuckle (PIPJ). A good overview can be found at – there is a real benefit to splinting sprains, in flexion, early in the course of treatment for a week or two, but removing splints early or intermittently to reduce stiffness.

19 days on, treatment would depend a lot on your curent symptoms. Some of the damage may already be done if the finger is stiff or dislocated. I’d consider taking some ibuprofen three times a day, would use ice rather than heat, might wear a splint some of the time if it hurts when I bang the finger, would probably not use a tensor (obviously not for a finger), would not bother with elevation. Your doctor should be involved since finger sprains often heal badly and treatment differs quite a bit depending on the presence of fracture, dislocation, etc.

To clarify, I started calling Tuesday because two weeks after the doctor’s visit I was still experiencing pain and swelling. I have left 6 messages for the physician’s assistant since then.

I finally got a call back, and the physician’s assistant said the same thing. She said that finger swelling does not go down quickly and generally does not respond to elevation, although I could use ice if I want. She also recommended Ibuprofen.