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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Fall on hand/wrist

 Genebec - Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:01 am

I slipped on black ice about two weeks ago and landed on my right hand. It was stretched out in front of me so it hit the ground on the flat of my hand. Also, I was holding my cane in that hand at the time.

I splinted it, went to the ER, and was told they couldn't determine if it was broken. I saw an orthopedist a week later who thought it was probably sprained but also couldn't tell. He did, however, find that the brace the ER gave me was making it worse and put me in a new brace which I've been wearing ever since.

Most of my pain has been in my thumb moving down into my hand and a bit of my wrist. It worsens if I try to grip with the hand so I've been resting it. For the last hour my thumb has been nearly all numb. I can feel a bit on the surface but it's numb internally, if that makes sense. Of course this happens on a Friday night. I have another appointment with the orthopedist in two weeks, but I'm wondering if I should push to be seen sooner.

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:57 pm

User avatar Given that the thumb is becoming numb, It would be important to have the hand re-evaluated sooner than two weeks.
With limb injuries, we are concerned about the neurological (sensation and strength) and vascular (blood supply and return) integrity of the limb. Sometimes swelling can compromise blood vessels and nerves and cause problems like numbness.
Also, check for temperature of the skin compared with the other hand.

Keep us posted.
 Genebec - Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:14 pm

Thank you for the reply.

I did eventually call the doctor on call, who sent me to the ER to be evaluated. They thought the brace might have been rubbing on something and splinted it instead. I then spoke to my hand surgeon's PA earlier this week who seconded the brace theory and said it should clear up in a few more days.

However, not only has it not gotten better, but the numb area has gotten larger. The thumb is noticeably swollen compared to the other, though there isn't much difference in temperature. I'm still concerned about what's causing the numbness. If it is internal swelling pressing on a nerve, it's getting worse, and that makes me wonder why it is still doing so.

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:58 pm

User avatar Did the ER xray the hand? Since scaphoid fractures are frequently hidden on initial xray, it is important to re-xray the hand - especially if symptoms persist or worsen.

Keep us posted
 Genebec - Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:38 pm

That's exactly what the ER thought might be broken! They did new xrays and didn't find anything, however, they said that didn't rule it out.

The pain is getting worse as well, and is focused in a single spot in my hand, which makes me suspect a break rather than a more diffuse problem like a sprain, though I suppose a rip in a tendon or ligament might also be so centered.

Thanks for the help!


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