Everything You Need to Know About Making a Homemade Finger Splint
If you have jammed your finger and do not want incur a hefty doctor bill, it is possible to make a finger splint at home and save yourself some money. This is a fairly easy process and can often be accomplished with items found around your home.
Please keep in mind that if you think you have broken your finger and that it may need realignment a doctor’s visit should still be added to your to-do list. A homemade finger splint is good to stabilize your broken finger until you can seek medical attention.
There are two main elements to any good finger splint. You will need tape, preferably medical, but fabric strips will work in a pinch. In addition to this, you will also need to find two popsicle sticks or other hard, flat items that will prevent your injured finger from bending. This is very important because you don’t want to cause your finger any undue stress. This will cause irritation, pain, and will disrupt the healing process.
If tape is not available, raid your closet. Fabric ties can be made easily from an old t-shirt, sock, or even underwear in a pinch. Cut several strips with a pair of scissors, or have someone else do it for you if possible. These strips should be in varying lengths because some will be used to wrap around your finger and some will be used to temporarily adjoin your finger to a “buddy finger.”
If you’re the crafty type, you will likely have popsicle sticks available in your kitchen or craft area. If not, you will need to get creative. Ideally you need two flat, firm pieces of wood, metal, or plastic that will prevent your finger from moving around. In a pinch you can cut two strips of thick cardboard from packing or computer boxes.
Making Your Finger Splint
Again, it is very important to stress here that if think your finger is broken this splint should just be used temporarily until you can get to a doctor and have it realigned if necessary. This is important because if it does need to be aligned and heals wrong, your doctor will have to re-break your finger and start over again.
Begin by placing one of the popsicle sticks underneath of your injured finger. This is the preferred placement unless your finger has a compound fracture and is sticking out of the skin on top. In that situation, the popsicle sticks need to be placed on the sides. Once the stick is beneath your finger, place another stick on the other side of your finger. Run the sticks parallel to one another and make sure that they follow the length of your finger. It may be necessary to have someone help you with this if your dominant hand is the injured one.
Next you will need to take some of the tape or fabric strips and wrap them around your finger. Do not wrap too tightly, but make sure that the sticks are secured to your finger, preventing any wiggling and movement.
Finally, using more of the tape or fabric, anchor your injured finger to a “buddy finger.” This will provide much needed stability for your injured finger and will help greatly in the healing process.
Note for parents: If you are making the finger splint for your child, you can make their injury less scary by allowing them to decorate their splint. If you have paint or markers nearby they can choose what colors they want their popsicle sticks to be, and you can use fun fabrics instead of tape.