Injury clinic: Dislocated finger

Our guide to those pains and strains that keep you out of the game, and how to recover

Where’s the pain?

It’ll hurt around the finger and the joint as the ligaments that normally keep your digits stable will be sprained. Also, the small finger muscles will be in spasm as they try to protect the dislocated joint.

Here’s what’s going on

It’s the classic goalkeepers’ injury: as the ball hits the end
of your finger it forces the joint back, causing it to dislocate and mis-shape.

More after the break

How to treat it

Putting the joint back in, by pulling the end of your finger, will instantly relieve the pain. It can be taped to the next finger (buddy taping), which will act as a splint. If you cannot continue due to the pain it’s vital to get an X-ray, as it’s likely there’s a fracture.

Make sure it doesn’t happen again

Normally keepers wear strapping on their fingers to reduce the likelihood of this happening. Gripping, throwing and catching exercises of various weights and different size balls will strengthen your fingers, protecting against it popping out in future.

Advice and treatment provided by Bolton head physio Andy Mitchell.

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