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Can You Straighten a Bent Finger?

Updated: Jun 14

Are you struggling with a crooked finger, wondering if there's a way to restore it to its natural, straight position?

The good news is that in many cases, a crooked finger can be corrected with specialised help from a hand therapist. At Bayside Hand therapy we provide a number of techniques to help you regain the functionality and appearance of your finger. One of the most effective ways to restore extension to a bent finger is by applying a gentle sustained corrective force over a long period of time with a custom-made splint/orthosis. Our therapists are experts in the fabrication of orthoses designed to straighten a bent finger.

What Causes a Finger to Bend After Injury?

When a finger becomes bent following an injury or surgery, it is usually due to shortening of the connective tissues around the joint, or shortening of scar tissue from the surgery. Hand therapy and splinting can help to reverse the shortening and restore the straightness of the finger. The type of splint we use will depend on the time since injury, the type of injury and whether you are also having difficulty bending the affected finger.

Solutions can range from a simple splint which is worn overnight to correct a mild deformity, such as this one where the strap is progressively tightened as the finger improves.

A splint worn at night to pull the finger into extension
Custom-made static progressive night splint to correct a crooked finger

For fingers needing a bit more help, our therapists may make a splint with a spring which applies a constant corrective force to the finger. This splint may be worn on and off during the day as well as overnight.

A custom made splint worn to correct a bent finger
Custom-made capener splint to fix a bent finger

For fingers that have been bent for several months or are very painful, one of the most effective treatments is a series of plaster casts applied to the stiff joint. The finger is heated and stretched, then a small cast is applied to hold the soft tissues at their maximum length. At each appointment the process is repeated, with the finger being cast in a progressively straighter position each time.

An example of progressively casting a bent joint into more extension
Serial casting to straighten a bent finger

These are just some of the treatment methods used to correct a bent finger. A crooked finger is also often swollen and painful, so our therapists will also help to reduce the pain, swelling and restore the strength and flexibility to the finger.

If you have a crooked, swollen or painful finger, we would love to help.

Your fingers deserve the best care, and we're here to provide it.

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