We’ve all gotten a paper cut or two from time to time. They’re minor injuries, and while inconvenient, they typically heal pretty quickly. However, if you’ve sustained a more serious fingertip injury, you might be in need of a hand therapist to help you recover!
To learn more about fingertip injuries and how a skilled hand therapist can help you to find pain relief as you recover, call our clinic today to set up an appointment.
What is a fingertip injury?
It is common for the tips of the fingers or the thumb to be injured. These injuries vary from simple cuts to significant bone and soft tissue damage. The end joint of the finger, the finger pad, and the nail are all affected by fingertip injuries. Your fingertips have tons of nerves and are extremely sensitive.
A fracture (broken bone), a laceration (cut), an amputation, and nail damage are all examples. Blood arteries, nerves, and tethered muscles can all be injured as well.
Ortho Info states “Without prompt and proper treatment, a fingertip injury can cause problems with hand function, and may even result in permanent deformity or disability. To ensure the best outcome, it is important to have your doctor examine your finger or thumb after an injury.”
Causes and symptoms of fingertip injuries
Injuries to the fingertips are common in accidents at home, work and during sports. The tips of the longer fingers tend to be injured more often because they are the last to escape from harm’s way. Injuries occur when a fingertip is closed in a car door, while chopping vegetables, when removing grass from a lawnmower or when a baseball hits the tip of a finger.
The best way to avoid sustaining these kinds of injuries is to be very careful when using sharp objects or heavy machinery. It’s relatively easy to know if you’ve injured your fingers, because you use your hands for so many activities. Fingertip injuries can cause bleeding, bruising and swelling. There may also be decreased feeling and a change to the shape of the finger. Some fingertip injuries may develop an infection. Due to nerve endings on the tip of the finger, these injuries may be painful and sensitive when touched.
How can a hand therapist help relieve pain?
First off, an injury to the tip of a finger or thumb should be examined by a doctor. The type and degree of the damage determine the course of treatment. A fingertip injury, if not treated properly, can result in irreversible deformity and impairment. Some injuries necessitate surgery, while others only necessitate wound care and the use of a finger orthosis to protect the healing tip.
A hand therapist can help relieve pain caused by a fingertip injury in a variety of ways.Your therapist may make a fingertip orthosis to prevent the tip from being hit while it is healing. Additional treatment includes wound care and exercises to regain motion and improve sensation, strength and use of the finger. If your finger or thumb was severed in a traumatic accident and required surgery for reattachment, a therapist can ensure that you are able to regain function in the hand and finger following your operation.
What should I do immediately after sustaining a fingertip injury?
Fingertip injuries, for the most part, are preventable. However, if you have injured your finger, you should the following as you are preparing to see your doctor for treatment:
- “Clean the injury, if possible, and cover it with a lightly compressive sterile dressing to minimize bleeding and protect the injured finger.
- Elevate the injured hand to minimize swelling.
- Immobilize the affected hand and wrist with a short splint.”(OrthoInfo)
In the case of an amputation,try to gently clean the amputated part with water or a sterile saline solution if you have it. Cover it with gauze wrap that has been lightly moistened, and place it in a baggie.
The bag should then be put on ice in a sealed container, but make sure not to put the amputated part directly on top of the ice without gauze or a baggie as this could result in more damage to the nerves.
Your doctor will be able to provide you with more information on how to proceed with the treatment of your injury. They will most likely recommend that you see a hand therapist after the finger is reattached, to make sure that you regain as much functionality, feeling, and movement as possible.
To learn more about fingertip injuries and hand therapy treatment, call our clinic today. Our hand therapists are knowledgeable and attentive individuals who would be glad to help you as you begin to recover, no matter what the cause of your injury was.
Don’t wait any longer. If you’ve sustained an injury to your hand, call our clinic today.