How to Apply a Finger Splint

Written by karen lovell
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How to Apply a Finger Splint
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Applying a finger splint yourself may save you a trip to the doctor. One of the most common finger injuries is the mallet finger, also known as the dropped finger, which happens when the tendon comes away from the bone. Mallet finger, sprained, broken or dislocated fingers all would benefit from strapping a rigid support that disallows movement and keeps the finger stable, decreasing pain and preventing further injury.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Splint
  • Tape
  • Non-stick sterile gauze
  • Ice pack

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  1. 1

    Apply ice or clean the wound if the finger is bleeding. Ice should be applied in 12-minute intervals with a 20-minute break for the first 24 hours. If the injury is a dislocation, don't apply ice until after it is put back in place.

  2. 2

    Apply non-stick sterile gauze if the finger wound is exposed.

  3. 3

    Do not attempt to straighten the finger. Instead, keep it in the position found.

  4. 4

    Put the foam padded side of the splint against the finger and mould the finger against it. Extend the splint above and below the place of injury.

  5. 5

    Tape it in place, using enough to cover the splint. Avoid over tightening.

Tips and warnings

  • Many finger splints are available, so be sure to match your injury with the right splint. If needed, you can make a homemade splint by taping a Popsicle stick to your injured finger.
  • Keep your splint dry. If it gets wet, change to a new one.
  • Should the tips of the fingers start turning blue, loosen the tape.
  • Consult your doctor immediately if there is continued pain, swelling, numbness or it is difficult to straighten your finger.

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