Any sort of fracture refers to a break in the bone. Sometimes this is a fine crack within one part of the bone, known as a hairline fracture. In other instances, a fracture can affect two or more pieces of bone. The more extensive a fracture is, the more likely it is to impair the function of the affected area.
Finger fractures are extremely common, occurring for many reasons. These include:
Blunt force trauma, such as a crush injury
Trips and falls
How can you tell if you have a fractured finger?
There are a number of different symptoms that could indicate that you have a broken finger. These include:
Swelling of the finger
Your finger is stiff and painful to move
You are unable to bend your finger
Your finger is pointing in an unusual direction
Your finger is numb
In some instances, it may be possible to see the bone protruding through the skin.
In order to confirm that your finger is definitely fractured, you will be required to undergo an x-ray. This will be used to determine precisely where the break is, and the best course of treatment to restore the strength and function of your finger and subsequently, your hand.
Surgery to restore the function of a broken finger
While some broken fingers can be strapped up and left to heal, some patients may have experienced a fracture that has severely compromised the use of that digit. This is normally because the fracture has also resulted in damage to the nearby nerves, tendons or other tissues. In these instances, an experienced plastic surgeon can not only undertake the necessary repair to the bones
The nerves are part of the central nervous system and are what carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body, including your fingers. If nerves in the affected finger have been damaged, this may cause you to experience a number of unusual sensations in the finger, from tingling to complete numbness. In addition to discomfort, this may also make it impossible for you to feel things properly, causing you to be unable to maintain a grip or pick objects up.
Nerve injury repairs can involve reattaching broken nerves and mending nerve covers so that messages can flow freely once more. It is important to note that nerve growth is at a typical rate of just 1mm a day and up to an inch a month. Therefore, depending on the extent of the injury, it could take several months or longer for normal sensations to fully return.
Meanwhile, tendons are responsible for enabling you to straighten and bend your finger. The extensor tendons run along the back of the hand right into the fingers, making it possible for you to straighten them. Flexor tendons are on the palm side of the hand and enable you to grasp objects and form a fist. Sometimes a fracture can cause a tendon to tear, in which case you will find your ability to move your finger impaired.
Tendon repairs vary depending on the extent of the damage. However, typically you will need to have a considerable incision made to complete the repair and you will need to have your hand and forearm in a splint for around a week.
If you have suffered a broken finger and the mobility of that digit has been affected, you may need the expertise of an experienced plastic surgeon to restore function. Please contact our offices today to schedule a consultation to discuss your injury. Clark Plastic Surgery is located in McKinney, TX and Dallas, TX.