Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention:
Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Injury Treatment and Prevention

Premier Sponsor:

 


USnavy


Nov 29, 2008, 3:08 AM
Post #1 of 21 (3981 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

I had a piece of 7/32" steel rod go 3/4" they way through my pinky finger about 25 days ago. The pain has subsided a lot since the accident and the puncture wound is completely healed (visually). However I still cannot bend the finger over the last digit. I have regained no ability whatsoever since the accident to bend it. If I attempt to bend the finger normally through use of the tendon, the finger hurts mildly and it wonít bend. When I try to bend the digit it only moves about 5% of the range it should cover. If I manually bend it over with my other hand, it does not hurt. When I go climbing the finger hurts from pulling on it but not to an unbearable level. During every day usage the finger does not hurt.
So should I keep waiting for this thing to heal? I kind of feel like its healed long enough to the point where if I was going to regain any functionality from the finger I would have started to see that now. The pain is slowly going away but the functionality is not coming back. I am going to go visit the doc next week and try to get a diagnosis but in the mean time does anyone have any thoughts?
This picture shows the exact angle and position (in red) where the rod entered the finger and the approximate depth of penetration (in blue).



(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 29, 2008, 3:11 AM)


Partner j_ung


Nov 29, 2008, 4:56 AM
Post #2 of 21 (3955 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18687

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm thinking you sliced a tendon most, but not all the way through.

(Sorry, USN, got to move this to the Injuries Forum.)


thatguyat99


Nov 29, 2008, 8:24 AM
Post #3 of 21 (3866 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 24, 2008
Posts: 121

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 
Yeh..could've sliced the tendon.
Also it could have residual swelling to
the tissue and scar tissue could already
have started to form. When scar tissue wraps
around ligaments and tendons it can and usually
does restrict mobility.
It can usually be worked out though.


Hennessey


Nov 29, 2008, 6:51 PM
Post #4 of 21 (3759 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 2, 2007
Posts: 595

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey Sayar you better go to the doctor and get that finger better. I need you in tip top shape for Red Rocks in March. Good Luck


USnavy


Nov 29, 2008, 8:15 PM
Post #5 of 21 (3729 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Re: [Hennessey] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Hennessey wrote:
Hey Sayar you better go to the doctor and get that finger better. I need you in tip top shape for Red Rocks in March. Good Luck
Well itís not slowing me down much. I finally redpointed my first 5.11D the other day. Now I can finally start moving up to the rank of 5.12. :)


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 29, 2008, 8:15 PM)


Hennessey


Nov 29, 2008, 8:24 PM
Post #6 of 21 (3720 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 2, 2007
Posts: 595

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

F@#kin eh brother. Dosen't sound like it's slowin you down much. Just make sure you don't make it worse. Good luck with it


USnavy


Nov 29, 2008, 8:28 PM
Post #7 of 21 (3716 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Re: [Hennessey] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Ya soon I am going to have to switch from doing hard short routes to medium long routes. I want to try to lead that 10b sport multi-pitch route at Red Rocks and Prince of Darkness but I need to train for that some more. I can onsight 10c sport but not 7 pitches of it. I also would like to climb Epinephrine but I have a lot of mental work before I can lead an R rated route with huge run outs. Maybe I will be able to find someone else to lead the dangerous pitches and I will second them. :)


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 29, 2008, 8:30 PM)


rtwilli4


Nov 29, 2008, 10:51 PM
Post #8 of 21 (3674 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 14, 2008
Posts: 1867

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

With your palm toward the sky, Hold your pinky finger so that only that last pad is free. That is... only the part above your last knuckle where your fingernail is, is able to move. Try and bend that last pad toward your face. If you can't bend it, then you have a tendon problem. Good Luck.


Partner angry


Nov 30, 2008, 2:12 AM
Post #9 of 21 (3642 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 8405

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USnavy wrote:
Ya soon I am going to have to switch from doing hard short routes to medium long routes. I want to try to lead that 10b sport multi-pitch route at Red Rocks and Prince of Darkness but I need to train for that some more. I can onsight 10c sport but not 7 pitches of it. I also would like to climb Epinephrine but I have a lot of mental work before I can lead an R rated route with huge run outs. Maybe I will be able to find someone else to lead the dangerous pitches and I will second them. :)

This doesn't make any sense, at all.


rockie


Nov 30, 2008, 3:08 AM
Post #10 of 21 (3634 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 18, 2007
Posts: 1113

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Seeing the doc is a good idea.
Hope you had your tetanus shot before that occurred.


vegastradguy


Nov 30, 2008, 4:40 AM
Post #11 of 21 (3629 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 28, 2002
Posts: 5919

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USnavy wrote:
Ya soon I am going to have to switch from doing hard short routes to medium long routes. I want to try to lead that 10b sport multi-pitch route at Red Rocks and Prince of Darkness but I need to train for that some more. I can onsight 10c sport but not 7 pitches of it. I also would like to climb Epinephrine but I have a lot of mental work before I can lead an R rated route with huge run outs. Maybe I will be able to find someone else to lead the dangerous pitches and I will second them. :)

what runouts? epi isnt 'r' rated.

and what multipitch sport route at RR? unimpeachable....sporty- not quite a sport route, tho....


USnavy


Nov 30, 2008, 4:13 PM
Post #12 of 21 (3552 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Re: [vegastradguy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

vegastradguy wrote:
USnavy wrote:
Ya soon I am going to have to switch from doing hard short routes to medium long routes. I want to try to lead that 10b sport multi-pitch route at Red Rocks and Prince of Darkness but I need to train for that some more. I can onsight 10c sport but not 7 pitches of it. I also would like to climb Epinephrine but I have a lot of mental work before I can lead an R rated route with huge run outs. Maybe I will be able to find someone else to lead the dangerous pitches and I will second them. :)

what runouts? epi isnt 'r' rated.

and what multipitch sport route at RR? unimpeachable....sporty- not quite a sport route, tho....

Its listed as being R in the routes section. I know unimpeachable is mixed. Is Prince of Darkness more of a real sport route?


boracus


Nov 30, 2008, 9:09 PM
Post #13 of 21 (3498 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 29, 2005
Posts: 70

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Navy-
7/32" rod stock is a pretty big chunk of metal to try and put through your pinkie. The most concerning part to me is where the rod went, from the picture it looks like it could easily have involved the DIP joint of the 5th finger. If that's the case I would worry less about a direct flexor tendon injury and worry about what sort of damage could have happened to the joint capsule and the articulation itself. If the joint capsule sustained moderate to severe trauma the stiffness in the capsule in itself could certainly limit the ROM of the finger.
Though I was a little confused by your description, are you unable to bend the entire finger, both DIP and PIP joints, or do you just have trouble bending the last knuckle(the DIP)?
My suggestion is to be sure to get a good explanation from the Doc about what is or is not going on w/ the joint itself since any type of joint damage can lead to premature joint degeneration which will be a major pain in the ass to deal w/ later.
If the joint is not involved then time and a good rehab program that addresses myofascial adhesions/scar tissue and re-strengthening the finger is the next step.
good luck w/ the healing process and congrats on the send,
cheers, BA


USnavy


Dec 1, 2008, 12:24 AM
Post #14 of 21 (3470 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Re: [boracus] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

boracus wrote:
Navy-
7/32" rod stock is a pretty big chunk of metal to try and put through your pinkie. The most concerning part to me is where the rod went, from the picture it looks like it could easily have involved the DIP joint of the 5th finger. If that's the case I would worry less about a direct flexor tendon injury and worry about what sort of damage could have happened to the joint capsule and the articulation itself. If the joint capsule sustained moderate to severe trauma the stiffness in the capsule in itself could certainly limit the ROM of the finger.
Though I was a little confused by your description, are you unable to bend the entire finger, both DIP and PIP joints, or do you just have trouble bending the last knuckle(the DIP)?
My suggestion is to be sure to get a good explanation from the Doc about what is or is not going on w/ the joint itself since any type of joint damage can lead to premature joint degeneration which will be a major pain in the ass to deal w/ later.
If the joint is not involved then time and a good rehab program that addresses myofascial adhesions/scar tissue and re-strengthening the finger is the next step.
good luck w/ the healing process and congrats on the send,
cheers, BA

Its the very last joint that wont bend. The finger wonít bend at the last joint closest to the end of the finger where the injury occurred. The rest of the finger is unaffected.


vegastradguy


Dec 1, 2008, 7:15 AM
Post #15 of 21 (3440 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 28, 2002
Posts: 5919

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USnavy wrote:
Its listed as being R in the routes section. I know unimpeachable is mixed. Is Prince of Darkness more of a real sport route?

fixed epi- dont know why i would have marked it r.....

pod is bolts only after the first pitch- which is 5.6- most solo it, otherwise, you'll need some smallish gear.


sungam


Dec 1, 2008, 7:54 AM
Post #16 of 21 (3405 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 26569

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

LYMEZ DEZEZE!!!!


boracus


Dec 1, 2008, 7:59 AM
Post #17 of 21 (3402 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 29, 2005
Posts: 70

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USN-
This may be a little difficult to answer, do you feel as though you've lost a substantial amount of strength in the injured finger? I realize that it's going to have to be a little weaker given the injury and detraining that's occured while it's been healing but have you noticed a substantial loss of strength in that finger on holds like slopers, open handed crimps(if you use your pinky) or pinches?
A significant loss of strength in these situations would make me concerned that maybe the flexor digitorum profundus is involved, if not than I'm back to being concerned about joint damage or... best case scenario you've just got a lot of scar tissue around that last joint that's keeping it from it's normal Range Of Motion. If it's only fascial damage then it's back to my previous suggestion of myofascial release to get the ROM back and doing some hand/finger specific strengthening.
BA


USnavy


Dec 1, 2008, 8:48 AM
Post #18 of 21 (3376 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 5, 2007
Posts: 2658

Re: [boracus] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

boracus wrote:
USN-
This may be a little difficult to answer, do you feel as though you've lost a substantial amount of strength in the injured finger? I realize that it's going to have to be a little weaker given the injury and detraining that's occured while it's been healing but have you noticed a substantial loss of strength in that finger on holds like slopers, open handed crimps(if you use your pinky) or pinches?
A significant loss of strength in these situations would make me concerned that maybe the flexor digitorum profundus is involved, if not than I'm back to being concerned about joint damage or... best case scenario you've just got a lot of scar tissue around that last joint that's keeping it from it's normal Range Of Motion. If it's only fascial damage then it's back to my previous suggestion of myofascial release to get the ROM back and doing some hand/finger specific strengthening.
BA

Well I canít really tell if there is any loss of strength because if I try to do any high power move involving the finger, the pain becomes overwhelming. So I cannot put the finger in a situation where it would be tested to its maximum strength limits because the pain will cause me to let go before I max it out. I do find it moderately difficult to pull moves using my left hand versus my right hand but at the moment thatís simply because I cannot use my pinky finger without causing pain so I am pulling moves on three fingers versus four on the other hand. Furthermore I canít really move the finger "out of the way" when doing moves so even if I put the hand on a hold and pull on the other three fingers, some tension will inevitably be put on the finger causing an increase in pain which will limit my maximum capabilities using that hand. At the moment I cannot place any weight on the finger without causing pain. The finger does not hurt under normal daily activities but if I try to climb on it, it will. Itís been getting better since the accident but the pain still does exist when the finger is put under stress.


boracus


Dec 1, 2008, 12:35 PM
Post #19 of 21 (3316 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 29, 2005
Posts: 70

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

USN-
I apologize, I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, it's just that from your firs post it seems that your primary concern is the lack of ability to move injured finger and how long you should expect it to take to heal.
From a medical perspective there's just not a whole lot of information in the post to go on. I don't know if you've had an X-ray taken of the hand. My line of thought here is that the piece of metal you described is large enough that it is going to have disrupted a lot of tissue going through most of your finger. There's two possiblities 1) it hit the bone and essetially was deflected and then tore through the soft tissue only or 2) it caused some type of trauma to the bone itself in the form of a compression, stress, or simple fracture (has this possibility been ruled out?)
So even if the rod only "bounced" off the bone it still probably did some damage, I'm brining this up because a really good insult to the periosteum of the bone can take longer than 25 days to heal and may still be painful when pressure is put on it for a couple of months. So if that's the case than, No I'm not surprised to hear that it's intensely painful to try and pull hard w/ that finger.
The fact that you can passively use your other hand to flex you're injured finger w/ out pain is curious. (How stiff does the last joint of the injured finger feel when you passively move it? If it's really quite tight then it could be scar tissue which can be broken down by massaging and stretching the finger passively like it sounds like you're doing)
I would still strongly suggest seeing the doc and making sure that the bone and DIP joint are sound, the next major concern is what everyone else here has expressed (whether the flexor digitorum tendons are involved), as far as time frame you can probably expect another month of tenderness in the tissues (moderate trauma to soft tissue, which you certainly achieved, can easily take 8 weeks to heal and will be pain sensitive)
Hope that some of this info helps, BA


Adk


Dec 2, 2008, 8:02 AM
Post #20 of 21 (3262 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 2, 2006
Posts: 1084

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

It took my finger months and some "z-plasty" on my pinky when I got shot, military combat injury, to recover fully.
It took my forearm, injured the same time, years to recover. No exaggeration here!! Every once and a while it would just pop open when under heavy load.
Go see a surgeon and then be patient.


sladehawke


Feb 3, 2009, 8:05 AM
Post #21 of 21 (2759 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 8, 2005
Posts: 8

Re: [USnavy] Had a piece of steel go through my finger and 25 days later it still wonít bend. Will it ever work again? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

After my tendon injury in the last joint of my right ring finger, i probably had 10 percent range of motion back after 1 month.

I attempted to tape it and climb without it after 3 months, which was a very bad idea in retrospect. I should have gone to see a specialist instead.

After 6 months it was 60% and I started climbing on it again after 11 months.

It's been a year and I would say I have 98% range. I really wish I had gone to see a specialist. If nothing else I would have gotten some imaging done and known exactly what/where the damage was. Now I just have to wonder what it looks like in there.

adatesman is right... it could have been worse. Since you are still climbing, just be glad it was only your pinky finger. After a year I'm just starting to think about 5.11's again. Fear of re-injury has taken away my immortality.


Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$137.70 (10% off)
$205.16 (10% off)
$40.46 (10% off)
$8.96 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook