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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: is it to late to see a doctor for a dislocated finger?

 Clare444 - Fri May 08, 2009 7:05 pm

I think I dislocated my left little finger about six weeks ago playing basketball. Since this time by middle joint on the finger has been severly swollen and slightly brusied. At first the whole finger was brusied, but this has now gone away, and its just around the joint. The first joint closest to the fingernail also has sharp pains from time to time. The finger can't be extended all the way, nor can I competely make a fist with the finger. My sister who is an ocupational theropist tells me that if I go to the doctor all they will do is x-ray it and put it in a splint. Therefore I should just ice and massage the finger to reduce the swelling. But my friend who has a certified EMT license tells me to go to the doctor.
My question is; is it to late for the doctor to resist the finger? If it is to late for the finger to be resist, should I even bother going to the doctor, since its been six weeks since the injury?

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu May 14, 2009 11:22 am

User avatar Hello,
I have seen finger fractures from the same type of trauma missed because no x-rays were taken.

There can be fractures in the finger (especially with ongoing loss of range of motion and pain) with this type of trauma.

It is better to have the finger examined now rather than wait. If the bone is fractured then waiting only makes correction later more difficult.

Thanks for writing in and take care.
 Clare444 - Thu May 14, 2009 7:07 pm

I went to the doctor, but he referred me to a hand specialist, since I injuried my finger several weeks ago. I don't see the doctor until next week, but do you have any idea what a hand specialist will do? The doctor I first saw, talked about possible surgery on the finger. Is there any other options besides having surgery to correct the finger?

 FearOfDoctors - Fri May 15, 2009 7:41 pm

Hi, I also dislocated my middle finger at the knuckle on my shooting hand during a basketball game. I went to the ER so they could put my finger back into wherever it belonged. It has been three months now and my finger is still extremely swollen, disfigure/discolored, and painful. It also doesnt bend or extend fully. You were talking about surgery for your finger, if its not too much trouble could you explain that because now im kinda freaking out. Thanks so much.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Tue May 19, 2009 8:04 pm

User avatar Hello,
I would do an x-ray first and then see if you need a hand specialist but there may be something your physician sees or knows about this injury that I do not since he has examined it in person.

Take care and let us know how it goes.
 FearOfDoctors - Fri May 22, 2009 11:22 pm

So i went to my orthopedist today and he took more xrays. He didn't say what was wrong, just that the swelling should have started to go down and its not normal for it to hurt/be so swollen after this long. He told me to take Alieve or Motrin and see a hand therapist. Medicine makes me really tired, so i usually only take it if i have a headache. Im currently playing other sports including basketball, and the finger is getting in the way. Any idea what is wrong and how i could fix it on my own really fast, instead of waiting more to see the hand therapist?
I know its stupid but Im 15 and for some reason really freaked out by doctors/hospitals/anything medical, so any advice would be great. Thanks again for your help.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun May 24, 2009 9:43 pm

User avatar Hello,
It sounds like th x-ray showed no fracture but continues to swell and is painful.

It may be wise to place a compression bandage (e.g. Coban) on the digit during the day and do range of motion exercises in warm water in the least until the hand therapist can suggest more rehab techniques.

Contrast baths for the finger in the evenings may help.

Take care.

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