Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you tear a ligament without any pain?"
My finger got bent in a weird direction when I was playing some backyard football. It is the pinky finger. Now it kind of feels numb and doesn't seem to work right. It doesn't hurt really though. Can you tear a ligament without having any pain? How can you look at a ligament to see if it is torn?
Tearing or injuring a ligament is called a sprain, and it is one of the most common forms of injury. It would be fairly unusual to sustain a sprain without experiencing some pain or swelling, as these are the two main signs associated with a sprain. However, occasionally very minor sprains may not give much pain or swelling. Furthermore, if you pinched a nerve in your finger when you had the injury, this may have given you the numb 'weird' feeling that you have now. The fact that you feel the finger is not 'working right' may have to do with either a pinched nerve or nerve injury or with a sprain. I suggest that you get in to see your primary care doctor about this issue. They will be able to examine your finger in detail to make sure that everything is working as it should and that there is no need for treatment. In particular, they can help determine if there is a broken bone or if there is a serious ligament injury requiring splinting or referral to an orthopedics specialist. If this visit checks out with no serious concerns, then you should begin to feel better over the next several days.
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