Dr. John Erickson explains when to visit a doctor for a broken finger.
If you recently injured your finger and are wondering if it is broken, the best thing to do is get an x-ray to find out. You can get x-rays in your physician’s office, urgent care, or local emergency room. Many breaks or fractures in the fingers can be misdiagnosed as “just a sprain” or a “jammed finger.” If a finger fracture is not treated appropriately, the long-term results may not be good. I have heard from many patients “I could still move it, so I didn’t think it was broken.” In many cases, a fracture causes the finger to be stiff and difficult to move; however, this is not true in all cases. When in doubt, get it checked out.
The signs of a broken finger are:
- Pain with range of motion
- Skin lacerations
I have pain in the palm of my hand at the base of my thumb. It hurts more when I try to open jars, and I frequently have to ask someone for help. Is there anything I can do to make this less painful?
Hand therapists discuss something called joint protection, which is all about – you guessed it – protecting your joints! Thumb pain can occur when there is joint inflammation and swelling. With the use of the right tools, you can perform the same tasks while minimizing or eliminating the pain. Tools to help with opening jars come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
For jars that have a vacuum seal (pasta sauces or jam jars), a device called a jar popper/jar key can help break the seal without stressing your thumb. This works similar to a church key for removing bottle tops. It catches the side of the lid and you use the leverage of the tool to release the vacuum. Once that is accomplished, opening the lid is much easier – and less painful!
That’s interesting. Does it work for pill bottles, too?
Good question! Because pill bottles don’t have a vacuum, it does not work for them; however, there is another option to help you out.
An elbow fracture is another term for a broken elbow. It can result from a fall, a direct blow to the elbow, or an abnormal twisting of the arm. An x-ray can confirm if you have fractured your elbow, but how do you know whether to visit a hand surgeon or the emergency room? Here are 6 signs of an elbow fracture:
- Swelling and bruising of the elbow
- Extreme pain
- Stiffness in and around the elbow
- Snap or pop at the time of the injury
- Visible deformity
- Numbness or weakness in the arm, wrist and hand
Some elbow fractures are more severe than others. If the bones have not moved and have low risk of moving, a sling, cast or splint will be used to treat the injury. If the fracture is more severe, surgery may be required.
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— HandCare (@HandCareMD) August 14, 2015
— HandCare (@HandCareMD) August 14, 2015
from the Naples Herald by Gary Levine
Zion Harvey…an archetypal eight-year-old in so many ways…yet wistfully distinctive in so many others…was the recipient, last week, of a gift like no other.
As a toddler (age 2), Zion horrifically lost both hands and both feet to Sepsis…a life-threatening complication from infection. Two years later, the infection severely damaged his kidneys and required a kidney transplant…the organ donated by his mother, Pattie Ray.
Despite unimaginable misfortune, Zion is bursting with bravura…with determination…with a gutsiness that most could never muster.
Approximately three years ago, Pattie began the search for prosthetic hands for her son. She approached Dr. Scott Kozin, Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia who, along with his partner, Dr. Dan Zlotolow, offered a far more progressive suggestion…Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation…make Zion the youngest recipient of a bilateral hand transplant.Zion has already been successfully fitted for prosthetics for his feet and utilizes them to the fullest.
Drs. Kozin and Zlotolow referred Pattie and Zion to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Hand Transplantation Program…led by Dr. Scott Levin.