ZocdocAnswersMy pinky and wrist are swollen, what's wrong?

Question

My pinky and wrist are swollen, what's wrong?

a few weeks ago I punched a hard object and my pinky bend in towards my palm regular and all the pressure was on the pinky. Now its swollen and red at the top. (Above the middle knuckle) it hurts when I squeeze my pinky in a fist. Also my wrist has like a ball in it when I make a tight fist. Any ideas what's wrong?

Answer

Thank you for your question regarding finger swelling and pain. After punching a hard object, it is not surprising that you may be experiencing pain, swelling, and discomfort in your fingers and wrist. This may simply be temporary and will improve with interventions such as icing the hand and taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil, Aleve). The concern, however, is if you have done more serious damage to the area. It is possible that you may have fractured or even broken bones in your hand. Therefore, it is very important that you visit your doctor. He or she will be able to perform a physical examination and order imaging tests such as an X-ray if needed. Boxer's fractures are a common type of fracture of the ring and pinky fingers that is caused by (as its name implies) hitting hard objects with the hand in a clenched fist. Pain and tenderness of the affected finger is seen usually around the knuckle. You may see bruising and swelling of the area as well. A doctor will need to assess the fracture and the severity to which the fingers may be misaligned. Depending on the level of misalignment, intervention could range from conservative measures to the need for hand surgery. Therefore, it is important that you visit your doctor right away for this injury.

This answer 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 or (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.