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Why Can’t I Straighten Out My Finger?

Why Can’t I Straighten Out My Finger?

You use your hands and fingers for just about everything throughout your day. This makes them prone to both acute injury and degenerative issues. If you’re struggling to straighten out your finger, it could be due to several different conditions.

At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our expert team of orthopedic specialists helps you when you’re having trouble with your fingers. Whether you have a broken finger or are suffering from osteoarthritis, our orthopedic experts help you get treatment so you can use your fingers and hand normally again.

What causes a bent finger?

Your fingers are made up of bones, tendons, and ligaments that enable them to keep their shape and allow you to move them. 

At any time, an injury to one or more of these structures may cause problems with straightening out the finger. Degenerative changes are also common in your fingers, given how much you use them. 

Some of the common causes of a stiff, bent finger include:

Finger fractures

If you break one of the tiny bones in your finger, it causes pain and trouble with movement. Depending on the severity of the fracture, you may not be able to completely straighten your finger.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the joints in your body. Your finger joints are just as susceptible to arthritis, due to the amount they’re used day in and day out. This condition causes stiffness, making it hard to straighten your fingers out.

Trigger finger

A trigger finger develops when the sheath around your tendon becomes inflamed, causing it to stick in a bent position. Trigger finger is the result of repetitive injury, and in severe cases, your finger could be stuck permanently in a bent position.

Dupuytren’s contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture develops when knots of tissue form within the tissues in your palm. These knots pull on the other tissues in your fingers, causing them to bend inward toward your palm.

Treatments that can help you

If you’re having trouble straightening your finger and it’s affecting your daily activities, you should seek expert consultation from one of our team members. A bent finger can be treated successfully in most cases.

When you come in for your appointment, our team assesses your finger and evaluates your symptoms. An X-ray may help to determine the extent of injury or damage in your finger. 

Once the team determines the cause of your bent finger, they customize a treatment plan to help you get full use of your finger again. The type of treatment depends on what’s causing the problem.

Typically, our team manages your bent finger with conservative measures. This means physical therapy, injections, and anti-inflammatories to help restore movement.

However, if your finger doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be necessary to restore your normal range of motion. Surgery is typically reserved for tough cases where your finger doesn’t get any better.

If you’re having pain or problems moving your fingers, call our office in Daly City, California, today, or book an appointment online with one of our doctors now.

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