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Help! Dislocated Middle Finger...

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txgal

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Jun 16, 2013
82
DD was working FHSO-FHS on floor today and dislocated the middle finger of her left hand! The coach popped it back into place, put a cold compress on it and sent her home with the suggestion of visiting a doctor if the pain and/or swelling is too much for her to handle. It has been several hours since the injury and she's up and running around, able to hold her weight on her hand (she was doing press handstands before going to bed!), but...she can't bend her finger without it being incredibly painful. She has a meet in 2 weeks in which her coaches are hoping to score her out and move her to 7.

Has anyone ever experienced a similar injury and, if so, how did you treat it? How long did it take for you to be able to make a fist with your hand? DD is very upset--this is a skill that never gives her any problems; today, she just happened to get her finger bent sideways under her palm in the FHS--and thinks she won't be able to compete because she can't yet make a fist with her hand.

(There's only a little bit of localized swelling, no pain when pushed or squeezed, and she can almost bend her finger all the way back both ways without any pain. I've been giving her ibuprofen and ice packs throughout the day and plan on keeping her out of practice for the next few days)
 

gymdog

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You definitely need to see a doctor ASAP. I hope her coach has some kind of medical training or degree to be diagnosing and replacing a compromised joint, because otherwise, yikes.

If it was dislocated at the knuckle, there's a fair chance she has a fracture. There's a fair chance she has a fracture either way, but they seems more concerned about the growth plates going into the hand.
 
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txgal

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Jun 16, 2013
82
She has an appointment with her pedi tomorrow. The finger was dislocated at the knuckle closest to her hand. The coach's main concern was that she had torn her joint capsule, but there seem to be no signs or symptoms of any kind of tear or fracture. All her coaches are certified trainers (none are MD's) and DD immediately felt relief once the joint had been popped back into place. We have it buddy taped to the finger beside it and she doesn't complain about a lot of pain, but DD is a 'masker'...she knows she has an important meet in 2 weeks and she *may* shade the magnitude of the injury to give the coach the idea that it isn't much to be bothered with. She is, however, distraught that she has trouble making a fist (the best she can do is make a 'C')...
 

iwannacoach

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Go see the doc. I've seen pretty swift recoveries from jammed/sprained fingers, but if she has a fracture or tear she'll need to follow docs orders.
 

profmom

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Orthopedist now (pediatrician will likely just refer her or tell her to take time off gym until she has no pain), just to be sure it's nothing more serious than a simple dislocation that's resolved. She will be one heck of a lot more unhappy if she peels off the bars during a tap swing and breaks something.

Just be aware that orthopedists tend to be a lot more conservative about finger injuries than coaches. DS was told to take six weeks off for a simple buckle fracture.
 

COz

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Jan 21, 2014
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Similar-ish injury, although worse by the sounds of it:
My sport pole dancing sister got her hand caught somehow whilst she was in some weird position upside down and at least partially dislocated the two non-knuckle joints of her index finger. By the time she was on the ground her finger was in place.
She had it splinted by a hand therapist (no, I didn't know they existed either), with a lovely splint that I think involved plastic and Velcro that was much better than just taping it. She works in a hospital so I assume she also waved it at various other people, but has also competed shortly after dislocating an elbow...
14 weeks later she can't put enough pressure on her finger to flick a light switch and certainly can't bend it into a fist. It isn't stopping her from throwing herself around upside down up a pole however.

My sister has a high pain threshold and has dislocated and broken all sorts of stuff. There wasn't any way that she was doing press handstands on it on the same day!
Sounds like your daughter has been lucky and has avoided doing too much damage. I hope it heals quickly.
 

COz

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BTW, there's an old ChalkBucket thread about finger dislocations here.
 

txgal

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Jun 16, 2013
82
Day 2 Post Injury: The middle knuckle on DD's dislocated finger is a really pretty purple, but there is very little swelling and she says she has no pain. She can hold herself up in a straddle hold (haven't tried handstands yet) without any pain. The doc said her coach did everything right and he thinks she'll be back to full functionality just in time for her meet on May 3rd. As a mom, I am so relieved to know DD is at a gym whose coaches know exactly what to do when one of their girls injures herself. She's going back to practice tonight, only working dance elements on beam and floor. When her teammates rotate to bars and vault, she'll come off the floor and ice up her hand. I'm so glad this wasn't as bad of an injury as it could have been.
 

lovegymnastics

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May 4, 2013
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That sounds exactly like what happend to me. I fell doing BT (conditioning), I dislocated my finger (same place),I tore a tendon and a small piece of bone chipped of. I didn't do handstands (on a floor bar, so I only used the palm of my hands) until 1 or 2 weeks later. After 5 weeks I did BHS and after about 8 weeks I did bars again. My doctor and coaches were very carfull and I am thankfull for that. It has been almoast half a year and it still hurts some to completely bent my finger.
This is just what happend to me and your DD might verry well be ready sooner or later. Be carefull! Hope this helped.
 

txgal

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Jun 16, 2013
82
Her hand today is very lovely shade of purple. BUT...
  • She can make a full fist again and hold it
  • She has absolutely no pain (even though it looks like it would really painful)
  • She was able to vault tonight, but favored her injured hand a bit
  • She cannot put her grips on just yet (she said it felt a little tighter than normal), but she was able to do cast handstands (again, favoring her hand a little)
  • Beam was a bit harder of a grip and it's not completely round...she could do most of her skills but, oddly enough, handstands bothered her more than anything
  • Tumbling was also a go for her tonight, but she was a little leery of the FHSO-FHS and stayed away from doing them. Back tumbling was not a problem.
Her coach was quite pleased with her. He kept having to make sure that she wasn't just masking to push herself to get back to normal, but she was laughing and cavorting around with her teammates--definitely not the sign of someone masking an injury. He told her she was about 50%, so she's motivated to get back the other 50% by the end of next week.

Ortho told her she could do anything she wanted so long as 1) it didn't cause excruciating pain, 2) it didn't cause her hand to swell back up, and 3) it didn't cause more bruising, and/or her hand/finger didn't lose color, change color (purple, apparently, is a good color for this sort of injury--who knew!), get numb, tingle, or stiffen up.

Her coach, who is from China, just shook his head at her. He said anyone else would have been out of commission for 6 - 8 weeks, but she walks away from a mildly serious injury with apparently nothing more than a really bad bruise.

Maybe I should take her to Vegas... :)
 
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txgal

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Jun 16, 2013
82
Well, DD's meet was this past weekend and she did AMAZING!!!!

Vault: 9.50 (3rd)
Bars: 9.40 (1st)
Beam: 9.75 (1st)
Floor: 9.45 (1st)
AA: 38.10 (1st)

She needed a 36 to score out of 5 and move to 7 and was beyond anxious that her hand wouldn't have healed enough for bars and that event would subsequently be scratched, thus killing her opportunity for the 36...Who the heck knew she could do all that less than 2 weeks after dislocating one of her fingers! So proud of her! :)
 
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