What is the Recovery Time for a Broken Finger in Baseball Players?

White medicine bandage on human injury hand finger
A man holds up his right hand to show a bandaged index finger. (Image: NagyDodo/iStock/Getty Images)

Recovery time for a broken finger can vary. It’s partly based on the severity of the fracture. Severe breaks can take longer to heal and rehabilitate than minor injuries. But recovery time is also affected by your body’s response to treatment. The rate of healing in one person isn’t always the same in another, so your doctor can best tell you when you can expect to return to playing baseball — or any other activity, for that matter.

Timing

Most people need to wear a splint on their broken finger to immobilize the digit for roughly three weeks, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If the break is severe, however, you may need to wear the splint or brace for longer, sometimes upward of six weeks. Even baseball players should follow these standard guidelines for recovery.

Surgery

If the fracture is too severe to merely splint, or the fracture radiates into the joint, you may need surgery to correct the injury. In this situation, your surgeon will realign the bone and then keep the alignment in place with pins or screws. Recovery for this procedure may take longer then the three to six weeks already mentioned.

Care

During the course of your recovery, your doctor will likely ask you to return to the office periodically for checkups. At these times, x-rays are taken to determine the progress of healing. Your doctor can then tell you whether the splint or brace should be worn for three or closer to six weeks. The same applies for surgical recovery.

Rehabilitation

After the splint or brace is removed, your doctor may then suggest rehabilitation. This often entails hand exercises. One of the more common is a ball squeeze, where you place a ball in the palm of your hand and then tighten your grip, holding for about five seconds. Release and repeat for a total of 10 repetitions, three times a day. This activity is often combined with finger extensions, where you extend your finger wide and then place the hand against a solid surface. As before, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions, three times a day.

Recommendation

Instead of focusing your attention on the timeline of recovery, rely on the markers of your recovery, recommends the Sports Science Orthopaedic Clinic. Don’t be tied to three to six weeks. Playing baseball too soon after the fracture can exacerbate your injury and sideline you for longer than if you waited for your symptoms to improve and the full range of motion to return to the affected digit.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.