Finger(s) - smashed; Crushed digits
Smashed fingers is an injury involving trauma to one or more fingers.
If an injury to a finger occurs at the tip and does not involve the joint or nail bed, you may not need the help of a health care provider. If only the tip of your finger bone is broken, your provider may not recommend a splint.
Fingers can be smashed by a hammer blow, car door, desk drawer, baseball, or some other force.
Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Difficulty moving the tip of the finger
- Discoloration or bruising of the finger or fingernail
- Finger pain
- Loss of fingernail
Apply an ice pack to decrease swelling. Be sure to wrap the pack in a clean cloth first to prevent cold injury to the skin.
Over-the-counter pain medicines may help relieve discomfort.
If pain becomes severe, with blood under the fingernail, call your provider. Your provider may guide you in taking measures to relieve the pressure and blood and prevent the fingernail from falling off.
- Do not splint a smashed finger without first consulting your provider.
- Do not drain blood from under the fingernail unless your provider instructs you to do so.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Seek medical attention right away for any of the following:
- The finger is bent and you can't straighten it.
- The skin is cut open and bone is exposed.
- The injury involves the palm or any of the joints, such as a finger or the wrist.
Teach safety to young children. Use caution when shutting doors to make sure fingers are not in danger.
Kamal RN, Gire JD. Tendon injuries in the hand. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 73.
Stearns DA, Peak DA. Hand. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 43.
Last reviewed on: 6/13/2021
Reviewed by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.