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Sports Medicine

Pinky Pain

10/17/2011

Question:

A month ago I was playing football on the beach and someone threw me the ball. As I bobbled the ball my fully extended pinky hit my thigh and it started to hurt. It has been a month and it still hurts especially when i wear a baseball glove or extend it. It has never swollen up, never turned colors so I figured it was jammed but I have pulled on it and nothing. Can you provide me any insight or recommendations because I thought a month would heal on its own but it hurts just as bad now as it did 30 days ago???

Answer:

You may have jammed or "stoved" your small finger ("pinky") causing joint inflammation, stretched ligaments (sprain injury), tore a tendon, and/or sustained a bony injury/fracture.

Injured joints usually require protection in the form of splinting or "buddy taping", the duration of which may need to be several weeks, but some of these injuries are best treated surgically.

Since you mentioned your pain now is about the same as when you first injured your finger a month ago and these symptoms are interfering with your function, it would be best for you to consult with a physician, who may wish to perform X-rays prior to a physical examination - if there is any suspicion that you may have sustained a fracture and/or ligamentous damage which could be made worse by an examination to test for joint range of motion and looseness.

Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, the most appropriate treatment, duration and degree of activity restrictions, and prognosis can then be determined. 

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University