If you have injured your pinky finger, you may need to wrap it in tape or bind it to a splint to prevent further injury. For a quick solution, you may bind the injured pinky to an uninjured ring finger, a common at-home treatment also known as "buddy-taping." This form of self-treatment is a relatively easy way to avoid a pricey hospital or doctor's bill, though you must make sure that it is done correctly.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Medical tape
Cover the injury with a clean bandage and see your doctor if there is a bone protruding out of the skin. Do not attempt to bind or push the bone under the skin.
Find a clean wipe and press gently on the ruptured area if there is bleeding. Make sure bleeding has stopped before attempting to bind the finger.
Rest your hand on a flat surface if your pinky is swelling. Apply ice to the swollen area and press gently. If swelling continues, raise the hand above the head while keeping the ice compressed to the finger.
Bend the pinky slightly and secure it next to the ring finger. With the medical tape, begin wrapping around the pinky and the ring finger together at their base so that they are bound securely but not too tightly. Both fingers should be bound while bent and in a relaxed position. Secure at the top.
Remove the medical tape if you notice either finger turning purple, white or going numb. This is a sign that you have wrapped the fingers together too tightly. Clean the area, wait until colour and feeling return, and bind again with new tape.
Keep the bandage on until you feel that your pinky's movement and pain level have returned to normal. This can take as long as 2 to 4 weeks.
Tips and warnings
- If you suffer from diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, do not attempt to "buddy-tape" your fingers together as this can exacerbate existing circulation problems.
- Traditionally, injured fingers have been taped to a makeshift, straight splint such as a Popsicle stick. WebMD advises not to do this as it may cause improper healing. Instead, bind the finger so that it is in a relaxed position.
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