Why You Should Not Ignore a Broken Finger

I broke my right index finger last week. I wasn't certain about the fracture at first, more concerned with the pouring blood from a wound near my nail after I shut my own hand in my own car door (insert eye roll here.) 

broken finger

In the immediate aftermath I took some pain killers, did the whole RICE thing (rest, ice, compression and elevate) and family members dressed the wound.

The evening passed with bearable pain and occasional throbbing and I went to bed attempting to sleep with my arm up over my head. Yes I know that doesn't help when lying down  - I blame the codeine I took.

Next day I awoke realising there was no way I could drive safely but my eldest son gamely volunteered to drive his sister down to her University halls to clear the room she hasn't been into for three months. I went along for the ride, mainly because a drive through burger was on the cards.

Within a few miles sitting as I was with my hand on my knee I noticed pain, pressure and significant swelling. I promptly raised my arm again and marvelled at how effective that was at reducing the symptoms.

The pain however seemed more concentrated in the area around my now very swollen knuckle. Arriving home the family consensus was that I should probably splint the injured finger to the one next to it to stop me from accidentally using it.

The splint they created was ok (thanks to my youngest for obligingly eating a rocket ice lolly to provide us with a stick) but spotting my neighbour who is a trained and qualified healthcare provider I decided to ask her to check it over.

She informed me that it seemed clear that it was broken and contrary to popular belief you should not avoid seeking medical help. It's true that the doctor may just splint the injury (although probably doesn't have to eat an ice lolly before doing it) but at leats an X-ray will confirm how bad the damage is as some finger fractures require surgery.

Most require physiotherapy or at the very least, rehabilitation advice to avoid long term damage or loss of use to the digit.

Still rather doubtful I'll confess I went along to our local urgent care centre, masked up and went in (alone as a plus one is not even allowed in the waiting room).

Fast forward an entertaining hour or so playing "guess the injury/illness" and a very nice chap sent me for an X-ray and confirmed the bone near my knuckle was broken in not one but two places. If I had left it the i injury could have created real long term issues and could even have threatened my livelihood.

(Luckily I've worked out a slow but effective typing method and can manage if I don't overdo it. I wear a sling quite a lot, purely to help raise the hand and to stop me accidentally using it.)

typing with broken finger

Urgent Care guy confirmed what my neighbour had said about always seeking help for a potential fracture, cleaned, redressed and splinted my finger and referred me to the fracture clinic. I am told I will hear from them in the next few days.

So be brave, if you suspect a fracture anywhere go and get it checked out. 

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