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Tuft fractures

Patient information A-Z

What is a tuft fracture?

You have broken the tip (tuft) of your finger. This is known as a tuft fracture. Tuft fractures are often associated with crush injuries. These fractures are stable and can be treated with a plastic splint. The splint is usually worn for two to four weeks. You may also have a soft tissue injury and a nailbed injury. If you do have a nail bed injury you might need to be seen by Plastic surgery to discuss repairing it.

An X-ray of a finger with a tuft fracture (left) and a finger with a tuft fracture with a plastic splint on (right)

Swelling and bruising at the fracture site is normal. Simple, over the counter painkillers 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.


The splint needs to be taken off daily to clean your finger and the splint itself. If not, the splint will start to smell.

When you remove the splint to wash the finger, you must hold it straight on a flat surface and not allow it to bend. You will be shown how to change the splint safely. Healing may be delayed or may not occur at all if the finger is allowed to bend.

You should:

  • Check your skin regularly to monitor for any sores developing under the splint.

You should not:

  • Wear any rings on this hand until the injured finger has healed. All rings should be removed at the time of injury to avoid swelling and circulatory problems.
  • Miss any appointments with the specialists if these have 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 on 01223 348299 or01223 257095.

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

For any concerns on wounds email. Please include your hospital number and any photos of your wounds that you would like to be reviewed.

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151