Quick-Handed Quinn had an advantage when it came to activities that involved his hands. He was always so quick! So, his job as a carpenter at the construction site only played into the strength of his hands’ speed. However, one day at a new job site, Quick-Handed Quinn’s hands were not quite quick enough. As he was hammering a nail into a newly constructed wall, he managed to hammer his finger, instead of the intended nail! The pain was instant and very intense in nature, and the impact occurred near the finger joint, which required him to seek immediate medical attention.
Quick-Handed Quinn’s fellow construction worker Jack recently visited the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas and recommended the doctors to him. And lucky for Quick-Handed Quinn, he was able to get an appointment that day.
“Quinn, what happened to your finger?” the doctor asked. “Well, I was working so fast to get this wall up at my construction site, and I accidentally hit my finger with the hammer, instead of the nail,” Quick-Handed Quinn explained. “Normally, I can work so quickly, but today I wasn’t moving quite quick enough, and my finger felt the pain.”
The doctor calmed Quick-Handed Quinn and explained that it was the right call to visit the doctors at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. They have the ability to perform an x-ray and treat the hand injury in-office, versus having to be referred to a hand specialist by an ER doctor.
Based on the physical exam, the fact that the impact occurred at the finger’s joint, and the increased swelling and bruising of the finger, the doctor decided that he needed an x-ray to evaluate the position of the finger bones. X-ray is the primary tool used to diagnose a broken finger.
The doctor explained to Quick-Handed Quinn that the stability of the finger and the intensity of the possible fracture needed to be evaluated. If the fracture is stable, which means that movement of the finger will not likely worsen or cause complications, then a splint can be used to treat the finger. However, if the fracture is unstable, the injured finger will need to be immobilized with further measures. A splint may be applied initially, but if this does not maintain enough stability a surgical procedure may be needed.
Quick-Handed Quinn was concerned. “My hands are my job, so this really affects my work,” he exclaimed. The doctor calmed him, and explained that before anything was decided, an x-ray was needed to determine the next steps.
After reading the x-ray, the doctor explained that the finger had a compression fracture or a fracture in which the bone was crushed. And due to the severity of the break, the doctor wanted to temporarily apply a splint but made an appointment the following week for Quick-Handed Quinn to return for another x-ray to evaluate the position of the fracture fragments. The doctor also cautioned Quick-Handed Quinn to not use the injured hand until the follow-up appointment since activity can aggravate the injury and cause increased pain. While this made Quick-Handed Quinn unhappy, he followed the doctor’s suggestion.
One week later, Quick-Handed Quinn returned for his x-ray, and the doctor determined that he needed a surgery to repair the fractured bones’ alignment. The doctor further explained that treating a fractured finger is so important because if the bones are not aligned correctly, it may affect the healing of the finger and leave it permanently malformed or disabled.
After the surgery, Quinn wore a splint for 6 more weeks, then he attended a few more weeks of physical therapy in order to address the joint stiffness that typically occurs after a finger is immobilized. Now, Quinn is back to working at a rapid pace, and constructing houses with his hurried hands. And while Quinn is working quickly, he is also working more cautiously to ensure he does not experience another injury.
Do your daily work activities expose you to similar dangers to Quinn’s? A fractured wrist, hand, finger, or thumb is a serious injury and should be examined by a hand specialist. If you suffer from symptoms of a broken bone, seek medical attention to prevent further injury and ensure that the limb returns to its normal state. Make an appointment with one of our hand specialists today!