Finger splint


A finger splint, also known as a finger brace or orthosis, is a medical device used to stabilize and immobilize a finger following an injury, providing support and protection. The specific type of splint required and the duration of its use depend on the severity of the injury, as determined by a healthcare provider. They will also recommend any additional treatments necessary to promote healing and restore the finger’s normal function.


The appropriate type of splint is determined by the patient’s injury. The healthcare provider will recommend the specific splint required and provide instructions on its usage. The most common type of finger splints are as follows:

  • Gutter Splints: These are rigid structures, typically made of metal or plastic, shaped like a U or half a circle. They are positioned beneath and around the injured finger, providing support from the sides and the palmar side (the side facing your palm).
  • Ulnar Gutter Splints: These are a variation of gutter splints that extend from the forearm, covering the wrist and encircling the ring and pinkie fingers.
  • Two-Finger Splints (Buddy Splints): In this type, the injured finger is enclosed in metal or plastic and secured to the adjacent finger with tape or a bandage. They are sometimes referred to as buddy splints.
  • Stack Splints: These splints cover the tip, palmar side, and sides of the injured finger by fitting over its end.
  • Dynamic Splints: These splints consist of a frame, often equipped with a spring or hinged joint, encompassing the palmar side and sides of the finger. Dynamic splints permit movement with support, similar to how a knee brace allows movement of the knee. They can be beneficial when your provider prescribes stretches or exercises as part of your recovery.
  • Thumb Spica Splints: Starting from the forearm, thumb spica splints extend over the wrist and encircle the thumb.

Reasons of the procedure

The following are some of the most typical conditions that finger splints treat:

  • Finger tendon injuries (Sprained fingers, Mallet finger)
  • Distal phalanx fractured fingers
  • Dislocations
  • Osteoarthritis


Finger splints typically involve minimal risks, although there are some potential complications associated with their use, including the development of skin pressure sores, nerve impingement, and infections.


To make a finger splint, first measure the length needed from the top joint to the fingertip or to the base joint if necessary. Mold the splint to fit the finger’s shape and immobilize it correctly. Then, position the splint on the back of the finger and use tape to firmly secure it by wrapping it around each section of the finger, ensuring the targeted joint or joints remain immobile, such as the middle and top joints if needed.


The duration of wearing a splint depends on the initial injury, typically ranging from a few weeks to potentially over a month, as determined by your healthcare provider. Follow their guidance on when to remove the splint and which activities are safe without it, especially during physical therapy.

For pain and swelling management, you can use over the counter NSAIDs or acetaminophen, but consult your provider if you need them for more than 10 consecutive days. If pain worsens or doesn’t improve with these medications, contact your provider.

Make sure to schedule appropriate follow-up care, keep the splint dry to avoid skin issues, and if you have a mallet finger, maintain finger extension during splint changes. Seek further medical attention if pain remains unmanageable at home.