A “jersey finger” gets its name from, you guessed it, a sports jersey! Jersey fingers are a casual name for the disruption of a tendon in the finger, often times caused by gripping someone’s jersey with a clenched hand during a game while that person runs in the opposite direction. The force can cause your fingertip to abruptly extend, resulting in your tendon being pulled and sometimes even a chipped bone. This typically happens with the ring finger, but it can technically happen with any finger.
Hand surgeon Ryan Zimmerman, MD answers your questions about fingertip injuries.
What are fingertips made of?
Fingertips have several parts, all with special purposes. At the core is the bone, called the distal phalanx, which provides support and shape to the end of the finger. On the top and bottom of the bone are tendons that attach to the bone and make it move. On the top rests the nail, supported by the specialized nail bed skin just below. The rest of the fingertip is covered by skin that has lots of nerves, which give fingertips their sensitivity.
Are fingertip injuries common? How do they happen?
Fingertips are one of the most commonly injured body parts, and injuries can happen lots of different ways. Two common ways are cuts, such as from a knife, or crush injuries, such as getting caught in a car door or under a heavy object.