Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How long does it take for the swelling of a jammed finger to go down?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long does it take for the swelling of a jammed finger to go down?


I was playing basketball and the ball hit the tip of my ring finger and jammed it. It happened about 3 weeks ago and my finger hurts a tiny bit and it is not bruised. I can bend and move my fingers easily, the swelling is at the knuckle on my ring finger and it does not seem to be going down in my opinion. I have placed ice on it for a little while trying to reduce the swelling but I waited a couple of weeks to do this after the injury happened. Is there anything I can do to releave the sweling faster??


I am sorry that you have had to deal with this injury. As you know, they are quite common and will usually respond to conservative therapies like what you have tried already: ice, gentle use, and sometimes elevation. When the swelling persists, it is important to make sure that there is nothing more serious that has caused the swelling, which is something you should discuss with your doctor. You mention that the finger seems to move appropriately, which is one of the most important things to look for. Other concerns include the sensation of the finger, ie, can you still feel with it, feel things touching it, etc. If all of these seem to be normal, and it is just the swelling that has not resolved, then sometimes a course of a non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (an NSAID) can be effective. Some options include over the counter naprosyn or ibuprofen. These should not be taken by people with ulcers or other conditions, and you should make sure to follow the manufacturer's directions as well as your doctor's. As always, speaking with your doctor is the safest and most effective way to make sure that everything is ok and to speed along the healing process. Again, please speak to your doctor to make sure.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.