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JoyceZ21is Julien Jenze

Fractured Finger

in Welcome Posts: 93
Anyone here ever experience a break/fracture in a finger on their fretting hand? I have an avulsion fracture (chunk of bone attached to ligament gets torn away) in my ring finger on my left hand. It's been two weeks. Went to an orthopedic doctor last week and have it buddy taped. They said it's about four weeks for it to heal, so I haven't been able to play apart from some two finger playing (which is tough with the tape). Been doing a lot of listening and playing in my head. I just was curious to hear about any stories about recovering from a finger injury or any injury for that matter.



  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,250

    No. I've never had that particular injury, but I've had other injuries to my hands and in general, I'll say that there is a very important period of time following an injury where rest is paramount, and then the period of time following that is one in which a specific regimen of recovery activities is important if you want to regain as much function as possible - and there are people who specialize in this sort of thing who are worth their weight in gold.

    Anyway, I've had a few hand injuries in the act of building, and I've come to the conclusion that hand therapists are worth the investment. Ask your doctor when you can begin therapy and go find a good specialist therapist. If you live in a metropolitan area, you'll be able to find something like a "Hand Clinic" or look for the rehabilitation medicine program of a local University or teaching hospital. Or just ask your doctor where the pro athletes go when they injure hands / feet / arms etc. A good therapist will educate you and help you understand the nature of the injury as it relates to performance of your profession or hobby. They'll help you understand how to get back into playing condition and how to maintain it because sometimes injuries require ongoing maintenance exercise / stretching to stay healthy so you don't re-injure. That's the key... keep it healthy so you don't re-injure because you lose functionality after each re-injury. I re-injured one finger twice before finding a specialist and it will never be 100%. Be smarter than I was - go find a therapist the first time around.

    Anyway - that's my feedback. Get very serious about your recovery - and if it requires resting until you're stir-crazy... do it. If it requires doing exercises that are uncomfortable... do them. But do so under the supervision of the best hand specialist you can find.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Posts: 93
    Thank you Bob for the insight; I am taking this seriously because I don't want the injury to have any future complications. I'm hopeful that all will be okay. Right now I am just resting and icing--these things and time are essential. I will consider contacting a hand therapist, especially now that I will be in my third week of recovery. I'm near State College in PA, and I have been working with the University Orthopedics there, but perhaps I should seek someone in the Pittsburgh area.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,661
    I stupidly injured the ring finger on my left hand the day of my return from Django in June two years ago - got careless with a folding car seat and crushed it, splitting it from underneath the nail about 180 degrees around, with blood gushing everywhere. Took four stitches (including two through the nail!) and several weeks of recovery. To make matters worse, my band had three gigs coming up within two weeks. I did not do any soloing, not having time to work out two-fingered stuff, but with some intensive practice I was able to reteach myself to play three-fingered chords using the pinky instead of the ring finger, so I could help keep the rhythm going. It eventually healed, and now you can't see any evidence of it, other than an almost imperceptible scar.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    I will echo the close relationship with a "hand specific" doctor. I have had my share of injuries.

    Shattered left wrist and the majority of the bones in my left hand.
    I managed to separate portions of my right thumb, index finger and four portions of my right middle finger...respect shapers. (jig broke)
    This does not include running my left index finger into a table saw blade while using it as a push stick.. or dropping a 350 Chevy engine onto my right hand, or busting my little finger or... well. you get the idea.

    All the parts were reattached , and contrary to the Medic's prediction that I would never be able to use my right digits again... I fooled them. Not as good as prior to the maceration, but serviceable.

    I survived and exceeded their expectations because of a determination and a rehab protocol which included dumping the hospital rehab team.. push , pull, click click, next. I was a dedicated survivor. No tolerance for mediocrity.
    Go for the gusto.. after the required healing period...
    Oh, did I mention busting the ball of my right shoulder.. no.. or the ganglion the size of a golf ball in my right wrist, or the boxer break..
    another time.

    Best of Luck....
  • Posts: 93
    Bohemian, that is an absolute litany of disaster right there. It's great that you've recovered from that. As for me, next week will be four weeks into this avulsion fracture and it is still swollen and painful. I go for a follow up on July 1 at the orthopedic docs. I want to work with a specialist if it continues to be a nagging problem.
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    There's more but I don't want to minimize your condition..

    A broken finger is a drag and potentially serious.

    Heal quickly.
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 262
    You may have already been pointed in this direction, but given that you're in a major university town, ask at the music school about their equivalent of sports-medicine specialists.
  • Posts: 93
    Had a follow-up with the orthopedic doctor today and the x-rays revealed the avulsion healed up quite nicely. He told me to go back to playing and it will develop strength and over a period of time the stiffness will recede. Got my Holo out today after a month, and though I was a bit sore, it was beautiful thing to play again! I will do some light playing for the next week. Arnica cream is a fantastic gel to use for joints btw!
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    edited July 2014 Posts: 936
    Great glad your back to picking, I'm sure your Holo has missed you.
    I'll have to read up on the Arnica cream.
    Have you ever tried Traumeel Cream it's done wonders for me with joint and tendon flare ups.

    Speedy recovery
    pick on

    pickitjohn :peace:
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
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