What Are the Most Common Causes of Finger Ligament Damage?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Finger ligament damage, where the tissue connecting the bones of the finger joints is strained or torn, is usually the result of trauma to the hand. Sprains are often the result of participation in sports such as football or basketball where the hands are heavily used and fingers tend to get jammed. A fall that causes a person to land on his or her hand may hyperextend the hand backward, damaging the ligaments between the palm and the fingers. These and other types of blows to the hand can also cause dislocation, where joints are forcibly moved out of their normal positions, which typically damages the ligaments there.

One of the most common causes of finger ligament damage is participation in sports, particularly those where it is necessary to handle, pass, and catch a ball such as basketball, football, or baseball. If the ball is incorrectly handled or hits the hand in an unexpected way, the fingers may get jammed, meaning there is trauma to the fingers that then puts stress on the ligaments. This may lead to a sprain, a condition where the ligament is stretched further than it can naturally go. In severe cases, the ligament may even be torn partially or completely.


Another common reason for finger ligament damage is falling. When a person falls, he or she may instinctively reach out with the hands to stop it. If the person lands with the hands down flat, they may be pushed backward, hyperextending and thus straining or tearing the ligaments that attach the palms to the fingers. Of course, the person may also land in other ways that can jam the fingers and also cause finger ligament damage.

It is also possible to cause finger ligament damage by dislocating any of the joints in the fingers. Joint dislocation may occur while playing sports or during a fall, but it can also be the result of other types of trauma such as a blow to the hand or from dropping something heavy on the fingers. When a dislocation occurs, one bone is moved away from the place it usually sits next to another bone, meaning the ligament attaching them is stretched or possibly torn. In some cases, it can even cause an avulsion fracture, where a piece of bone is torn off when the ligament is pulled away. The ligament often remains injured even after the dislocation is corrected and will typically require additional treatment, possibly even surgery.


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Post 2

I fractured a ligament in my finger when I had a car door slammed on it. We had one of those four door cars that didn't have a post between the front and back doors and I got my finger caught. It really hurt. I think I was about five.

It chewed my middle finger up pretty good, but also twisted it because naturally, I tried to pull my finger out and couldn't. Kids heal pretty quickly, so I haven't had any after effects, but I had a hard time moving it much for several days. Kids can find all kinds of new and different ways to hurt themselves.

Post 1

Don't ask me how, because I still don't know, but when I was nine, I got my pinky finger caught in a folding chair. I cannot begin to describe how it *hurt*! One of the worst pains I've ever felt.

My mom thought my finger might be broken, but it didn't show up on an X-ray. The doctor figured I had a fractured ligament and gave me Tylenol for the pain.

Over 30 years later, I still can't straighten that finger all the way out and it aches in damp weather. It's also a little crooked. But it works fine, so I can't complain.

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