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Ask Doctor K: Lingering finger pain requires trip to the doctor

Ask Doctor K: Lingering finger pain requires trip to the doctor
DR. ANTHONY KOMAROFF Published: May 8, 2012

DEAR DOCTOR K: I hurt my finger playing basketball last week. The pain is manageable, but doesn't seem to be lessening. Should I see a doctor?

DEAR READER: Catching a ball a football, baseball or basketball is a common way kids and young adults can injure a finger.

Fortunately, most finger injuries are not serious or lasting.

But sometimes a tendon (fibers that connect muscles to bones, and cause fingers to move) can be torn, or a joint can be dislocated, or one of the finger bones broken. So you've asked an important question.

To see a doctor

Some injuries should be evaluated by a doctor. See your doctor if:

You have severe pain and cannot put any pressure on the injured joint.

The finger is deformed, compared to the fingers next to it or the same finger on the other hand. This could indicate a dislocation or fracture.

You cannot move the injured joint.

You have numbness, coolness or discoloration in any part of the injured area.

You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury.

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