Friday, December 26, 2008

You don't want to give up the finger

…Dana Scarton (NYT, Dec 16, 2008) says losing your pinkie finger seems like small change, but it isn’t.

…First, you lose 50% of your hand strength. Wow—half!

…The author snapped her right pinkie, which soon could not bend. She couldn’t make a fist, hold a tennis racket,or vacuum (don’t laugh, that last could be bad).

…She broke the metacarpal—the bone that extends into the hand. This happens more to the pinkie than any other finger or the thumb. It’s a “border digit”—doctalk for on the outside.

…Sometimes breaks in the pinkie don’t even hurt—yet can take plates and screws to fix.

…This, the author says, is followed by physical therapy—which hurts! You don’t want scar tissue forming.

…Sure enough, after all this, an MRI showed that scar tissue had immobilized the flexor tendon.

…She needed another operation to free it—then more PT. That little finger carried a big punch—thankfully, she can now form a fist.

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