Gloveless Gloria absolutely loves her job as a general construction worker! She loves being outside, she loves working with her hands, and she loves her fellow workers at the construction site. In fact, the only thing she doesn’t love is the necessary attire for the job, mainly the gloves. And although gloves are required, sometimes she can be found on the construction site without wearing those protective garments on her hands. Gloveless Gloria has had minor injuries in the past due to her opposition of wearing gloves, but the latest injury she sustained is anything but minor. While attempting to open up a box of supplies with a box cutter, Gloveless Gloria managed to slice her finger on the palm-facing side, instead of the box. The laceration instantly started bleeding, and she was in need of medical attention.
Gloveless Gloria was able to clean and cover the laceration, but it was still bleeding pretty profusely. So, she decided to give the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas a call via their hand emergency hotline, 844-HAND911, and she was able to get an appointment that day.
“Gloria, what happened to your finger? You seem to have a pretty deep laceration,” the doctor asked. “Well, on our construction site, we are required to wear gloves. But I hardly ever wear mine, which now I see was a huge mistake. I was trying to open a box with a box cutter and I sliced my finger, instead. Now, it won’t stop bleeding, and I can’t bend my finger,” Gloveless Gloria explained.
The doctor calmed Gloveless Gloria, and explained that it was the right decision to visit the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas versus an emergency room. Now, Gloria would get treated by a hand specialist immediately instead of having to be referred through the ER. While simple lacerations may require only a bandage; deeper cuts may require sutures to close the wound. And more complex and deep lacerations may even require surgical repair of tendons, arteries, or nerves, which needs to be performed by a hand specialist.
After examining the wound, and hearing that Gloveless Gloria cannot bend the injured finger, the doctor decided that Gloveless Gloria needed an x-ray to check for bone damage, severe tendon injury, or debris in the wound. While this scared Gloveless Gloria, she knew that she was in the best hands.
Once the doctor read the x-ray, he explained that the box cutter actually tore through Gloveless Gloria’s flexor tendon in her finger, which is why she could not bend her finger. The flexor tendons are located on the palm-side of the fingers and attach the flexor muscles to the finger bones, which allows the finger to be flexed into the palm. The doctor further explained that tendons cannot heal unless the ends are touching, which is why surgery is required to repair a fully torn tendon.
“Wow,” Gloveless Gloria exclaimed, “I never thought a simple cut would cause this much damage to my finger. So, is the surgery to fix my finger very invasive?”
The doctor explained that tendons tear in different ways, therefore there are many different methods to repair them. All the methods for repair, however, involve special sutures, or stitches. While this terrified Gloveless Gloria, she understood that this was the only way to repair the damage the box cutter caused.
Given the severity of the laceration, the doctor was able to fit Gloveless Gloria in for her surgery that day. Once the surgery was complete, Gloveless Gloria was able to go home that night with her wound dressed and splinted, to prevent her from moving her finger. Gloveless Gloria had to remain in the splint for 6 weeks, and then complete a few more weeks of physical therapy in order for her finger to return to normal functionality and mobility.
Now, Gloria is back to doing the work that she loves, but you will never find Gloria without her gloves again.
Do your daily activities expose you to the danger of suffering from laceration similar to Gloria’s? The treatment of lacerations is critical to the future use of the hands and fingers, so it is important to get a hand specialist to evaluate the wound, and determine if other damage occurred. Make an appointment with one of our hand specialists!