If you've sustained a hand injury and believe that you've broken a finger, you may be so panicked that you're unsure of how you should proceed. If you rush off to your local hospital's emergency room, you may risk getting turned away or forced to sit for hours until someone can see you. That's because while your suspected broken finger might be an emergency in your mind, the hospital staff doesn't view it the same way. A better idea is for you to travel to the nearest urgent care center to have the finger X-rayed and treated if it is indeed broken. Here are some signs that can suggest you have a broken finger.
In many cases, you'll be used to occasionally hurting a finger and dealing with some pain for a while. For example, if you catch the finger in a kitchen cupboard door, it will hurt — but you'll typically notice that the pain has subsided before too long. However, if you're dealing with a broken finger, you'll often experience pain that is more than you're accustomed to. And,another big factor that can suggest the finger is broken is that the pain isn't subsiding. If the bone is broken, you may have pain hours or even days after the injury occurs.
A broken finger will commonly result in significant swelling around the area of the injury and beyond. A minor finger injury may indeed swell, but the swelling shouldn't be major. When the bone is broken, the swelling may be alarming. For example, a finger may swell in a certain area to be significantly larger than you're used to seeing. In many cases, the swelling is accompanied by an inability to move the joint — sometimes because of the bone and other times because the swelling is impeding the joint's ability to move.
Although pain and swelling are common when you break your finger, you may also be able to suspect that this injury has occurred if the finger doesn't look right. While it's easy to detect a displaced fracture, given that part of the bone will be sticking through your skin, the bone doesn't have to be visible to concern you. In severe breaks, the finger will be bent at an angle that clearly isn't right. Any of these symptoms should compel you to visit your local urgent care facility as soon as you can.