Hand Injury Report

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Alex Bregman finger injury game 6 World Series

World series champions Houston Astros had one of their key players sustain an injury in the epic game 6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.  While the noise and celebrations of victory fill the Houston air, little is known about the extent of Alex Bregman’s finger injury.   We know he broke his left index finger sliding into second base.  While the video does not seem like there was much trauma or injury, let’s talk finger injuries and what it means for Alex in the off season.

First;  A broken finger or finger fracture are interchangeable and basically means there was a break in the bone.  The fingers, with the exception of the thumb, have three bones, called the proximal, middle, and distal phalanxes.  The thumb only has two (proximal and distal).   In between the bones are spaces called joints held together by ligaments.   The extent of the injury will depend on several factors: 1. how the bone broke – two pieces, multiple fragments, spiral, transverse, oblique breaks. 2. if the broken pieces stayed aligned or are out of place (displacement). 3. did it involve the joint (intra-articular fracture of the phalanx  or extra-articular fracture of the phalanx.  4. did the joint dislocate 5. Are there any open wounds.  These are just a few important factors to take into consideration.

Second:  What determines if it needs surgery, a cast, or splint?    A hand specialist is always best to make this type of determination.  Factors that could favor splinting or casting, and no surgery are ones with little to no displacement (the alignment is maintained), ones that do not involve a joint, ones that do not have multiple fragments, ones that do not involve displacement or ligament injury associated with it.    On the contrary, if the break is displaced, involves the joint, has multiple fragments or involves ligaments, or has exposed bone, there is a higher probability of surgery to help the finger properly heal.

How long does it take for a broken finger to heal?  Usually 6-8 weeks.

Is therapy needed?  Most of the time, after keeping a finger immobilized for that long, it will need rehabilitation due to stiffness and swelling.  Most patients can do a home therapy program.

Will Alex Bregman be ready for next season?  The good news is there is plenty of time for his finger to heal and rehab before the start of the new season.

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