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- Playing sports, especially those involving the hands, such as basketball or volleyball
- Poor coordination or balance
- Weak ligaments
- Pain and tenderness in the finger
- Pain when moving the finger joint
- Swelling of the finger joint
- Stretching and microtearing of ligament tissue
- Stable joint
- Partial tearing of ligament tissue
- Mild instability of the joint
- Severe or complete tearing of ligament tissue
- Significant instability of the joint
- Rest—Take a break from the activity that caused the pain. This is often enough to clear up the shin splint within several weeks.
- Ice—Apply ice in 15-minute periods during the first 24 hours and for several days after if needed. Do not apply ice directly to the skin. This helps reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
- Compression—Wearing an elastic compression bandage may help prevent swelling and provide support for the shin and nearby soft tissues.
- Elevation—Keep the injured leg raised for the first 24 hours, including during sleep. If there is local swelling, this may help.
Splinting and Taping
- A small piece of bone has been broken off by the injury to the ligament.
- A ligament is torn completely.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Sprains and strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Sprains%5FStrains/default.asp. Published January 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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