Finger dislocation - anyone know how long they take to heal?

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Finger dislocation - anyone know how long they take to heal?

Post by glupton »

Around 6 weeks ago I came off the bike and did this:


The doc reduced it and told me to buddy strap it for a couple of weeks and see how it went - which i did. The thing is, it is still giving me a fair bit of pain and even with regular physio it isn't really improving. Gripping a paddle isn't really an option. Any ideas?


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Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »


I diclocated my little finger but at the knuckle two years ago playing cricket. I also fractured the bone from the wrist to the knuckle, forget the technical name!

Once the tape and that had come of I was straight back on the water. Hurt to grip that paddle so I was a four finger warrior for a while. In all, prob about 6 weeks till I was paddling properly.

May be different though from where your finger is dislocated.

Good luck.

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Post by Rick Foster »

I think your should have left it where it was!

Very very Cool!

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Post by wezzzy »

Oh the memories come flooding back.

It took about 8 weeks for me to be back to normal.

Great pic BTW

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Post by peteri »

Might be worth thinking about going back to the doctor? See what your physio says.

I did something similar to my big toe jumping over a foot stool (don't ask!), went back and had an xray and I'd broken the face of the knuckle which had closed the gap in the joint.

Was this x-rayed when you saw the doctor?


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Post by glupton »

Nope no X-rays and the Physio is my wife. She aint a specialist in this stuff though.

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Post by hhzoombird »

Can be a long time before back to normal - mine took more than 6 months before it felt "normal" again (i.e. not wierdly weak and as if the end of it might fall off).

But for paddling, doctor told me I could strap it to next one, and the pulling exercise would actually possbly be good for it, so I paddled 5 days after the injury - a lot of padding and well strapped with plenty of duct tape.

For the recovery, A+E / fracture clinic doctor said I needed to work towards restoring strength and flexibility.

For strength, its all about squeezing exercises - Squeeze a soft sponge (soaked in witch hazel is nice), have it by your desk so that you can be exercising at any time - finger learns to manipulate again. Progress eventually to harder sponge then e.g. squash ball.

For flexibility, your body will do its mending thing, and will apparantly put in fibres every which way, some in the directions needed, and others which will prevent your finger from being as flexible, unless you break those "wrong" fibres again. Each day, you'll notice it being less flexible. The doc told me to start working on flexibility after the initial few days. Each day at least twice a day, bend it to its max - Both curling it as far as it wants to go (which won't be far) and pressing it a bit further, and also making it go straight. Making it go straight was something I found particularly painful, but I'm glad I perservered with this, as now it has just as much flexibility as before, while some folk I know who've had dislocated fingers, end up with fingers that never straighten properly.

Your fracture clinic would be a good place to ask for advice on restoring strength and flexibility.

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Post by Franb »

I dislocated my index finger at the joint with the hand in febuary, and had very limited grip in my R hand, so i paddled lefty for a couple of months to take the pressure off. I'm back paddling normally again now, although i still have limited grip in that finger.

I had some pretty good physio at the time, the ultrasound certainly seemed to help relieve the pressure in the joint a lot, so it might be worth seeing if you can get some of that.

Don't tell me i'm burning the candle at both ends..... Just give me more wax!!

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Post by Chris_Headleand »

I dislocated two fingers at the same time kickboxing in a competition 6 years ago, It hurt for a long period of time (3 months)and that was with occasional physio and trips to the doctors. the only thing that helped in the end was playing with a stress ball all the time, I just kept it in my pocket and had a play whenever I was walking somewhere or just stood around, a week of this and I had gained most of my movement back (but be prepared that it hurts)

P.s. I don't suggest you keep the stress ball in your trouser pocket as you get some funny looks squeezing it in public.

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Post by Jim »

I noticed in vertical limit the other night that after the woman in the rescue party dislocated her finger, the guy distracted her with banter and then wrenched it straight again and after a short bit of wailing her finger was good as new and she had no further problems climbing, hauling or helping carry the rescued woman with oedema back down the mountain.

So what's your problem? I saw this on telly so it must be true!


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Post by Hackworth »

Go careful!

I fell down a waterfall, trapping my little finger in a rock flake on the way - and it ended up looking just like yours. It hurt a lot.

I went to hospital (a small one) and they put it back in, except there wasn't a 'click'. The assembled medics shrugged and said no more.

About 2 months later it still hurt and wouldn't straighten. Turns out I had damaged the joint and that meant that it stayed bent at 90 degrees, thankfully downwards not sideways (I can move the tip of that finger about 1/2'' back and forth when I wiggle that joint with the other hand).

I was given 3 options:

1) Get used to it

2) Guinea pig for experimental joint surgery

3) Cut the end off!!!

That was 1993. It's still at 90 degrees today, me being too big a coward for 2) and 3)!!! It did hurt for a year or so though...

On the plus side, it helps you hold a paddle!

Seriously, check for range of movement regularly unless you want a claw instead of a finger (I'm told this is common with carpet fitters...)

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Post by capsized8 »

Jim wrote: So what's your problem? I saw this on telly so it must be true!

It is, I dislocated my little and ring finger RH whilst taking my martial arts class, the ring finger I managed to get back in by myself, but I ended up with another black belt giving the little finger an extra pull. It made a lovely crack as it went back in. Flexed my fingers a few times and carried on, a good reminder to keep my hands closed.
There was no pain or discomfort next day, probably the speed at which you get the finger relocated after the event dictates the discomfort level later on, as with shoulders.

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Post by briman »

Did i see that in one of the Mountain bike mags? (MBR?) seems a familiar pic.
Having done similar it can take anything from a couple of days to weeks. Plenty of support and don't put too much strain on it and you'll be fine.


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Post by glupton »

It was in MBR - won me a set of pads. Not that they'll do much to protect my fingers.

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