Almost every task that is performed on a daily basis involves the hands and fingers. With this in mind, injuries to the fingers are the most common traumas in emergency rooms being treated. A broken knuckle is one of these injuries that have affected many people. If an individual has injured, dislocated or sprained the knuckle, it results to discomfort and pain as well as limited movement. It is important that proper care of the broken knuckle is provided so that its normal functionality is restored.
First aid for a broken knuckle
These first aid measures must be carried out if you suspect that an individual has a broken knuckle.
- Open wounds, scrapes or cuts must be washed with soap and water or any antiseptic product. This must be done right after the injury in order to minimize infection from developing.
- The open wounds must be covered with a clean bandage in order to put a stop to the bleeding while at the same time prevent bacteria from entering the broken skin.
- The affected hand must be immobilized by instructing the individual to hold it in the other hand or wrapping it with an elastic bandage. Always remember that the main objective is to avoid moving the hand. Any movement will only aggravate the injury and increase the risk for infection.
- A cold pack or ice wrapped in clean cloth must be applied on the broken knuckle. The cold will help diminish the swelling while at the same time provide pain relief.
- The affected hand must be elevated so that it rests higher than the heart level. This will help the blood drain from the affected area, thus minimizing bleeding from the open wounds as well as reducing the swelling.
Important considerations when treating a broken knuckle
If you suspect that an individual has a broken knuckle, you have to take note of these important measures.
- Over-the-counter medications for pain such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help ease the pain until the individual is taken to the emergency department or once the swelling is reduced.
- If there are open wounds incurred during the injury becomes warm, drains pus or does not stop bleeding, it is likely that it is infected and need immediate medical care.
- Always remember that even if home care for a broken knuckle was provided, it is still important to have the injury checked by the health care professionals. A doctor can ensure that any wounds sustained are not infected and that the injury will properly set. In most cases, the doctor will apply a cast or splint as well as prescribe medications for pain relief.
Even though a broken knuckle is quite common, it is important to take the individual to an emergency department so that proper treatment can be provided right away.