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Proximal / Middle phalanx fractures

Patient information A-Z

What is a proximal / middle phalanx fracture?

This is a fracture, or break, of a small bone (a phalanx) in your finger.

Your fingers are made up of three bones. The proximal phalanx is the bone located at the bottom of the finger with the middle phalanx sitting just above. The joints allow you to straighten and bend your fingers and allow you to handle or manipulate items on a daily basis. Finger fractures are common due to the constant need for and use of the fingers.

X-Ray of Proximal / Middle phalanx fractures
Proximal / Middle phalanx fractures

Swelling and bruising at the fracture site is normal. Simple, over the counter pain killers and applying ice to the area will help to reduce swelling and pain. Ice should be applied, wrapped in a tea towel, for 20 minutes three to four times a day.

These fractures can be protected by strapping the fractured finger to the finger next to it. This may be done by taping your fingers together or using a double tubigrip. This acts as a splint to protect the healing bone from too much strain, but also allows for early movement of your fingers.

You should:

  • keep the splint / strapping intact until advised to remove.
  • apply ice to your hand and elevate it to reduce swelling.
  • move your finger as comfort allows with the splint / strapping intact.
  • take pain killers as needed.

You should not:

  • wear any rings on this hand until the injured finger has healed.
  • take part in any physical or contact sports for at least six weeks unless recommended otherwise.
  • miss your clinic appointment if this has been requested.

Please remember:

Please contact your GP if your condition is not improving, or if your pain relief is not adequate. If your condition is worsening please contact the Multi professional fracture clinic, call 01223 348299 or call 01223 257095.

For more information please visit Fraction information website (opens in a new tab)

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
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Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151