Orthopedics Community
Sprained finger still stiff. Will I play guitar again? HELP!
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to orthopedics, back pain, bone or joint pain, broken bones, hip or knee replacement, neck and shoulder pain, orthopedic surgery, spinal injury, sports injury, and tennis elbow.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Sprained finger still stiff. Will I play guitar again? HELP!

Hi,

my index finger was broken and sprained 35 days ago (Jan 6, 2008).  It's still quite painful and the joint is very stiff.  I'm getting very concerned because I'm a guitar player and it's still basically impossible for me to play properly.  

The injury happened as follows: my fist was in a nearly closed position.  A person deliberately grabbed my index finger and forcibly wrenched it. The force applied was roughly perpendicular to the direction of joint movement, though slightly inwards as I recall.

X-rays revealed at least one small fracture (probably along the side, not sure).  The injury only seems to affect the middle PIP joint.  It hurts when I press on the sides and bottom of the joint.  The tendon along the top appears undamaged.  Most of the swelling subsided 2-3 weeks after the injury.

The biggest problem is that the joint will only bend about halfway through it's normal range of motion.  It bends fairly smoothly and painlessly until it hits the end.  Then it gets stiff and hurts very badly if I try to force it any further.  This makes it impossible to play guitar effectively.  I can type without pain or difficulty.

My questions are:
* Why is the joint stiff?  Is there material in the joint?  Is it swollen inside?  Is it due to damage to connective tissue?  As an engineer, I need to know - can't help it.
* What's the long-term prognosis?  Will my finger regain normal range of motion?  And will it be pain-free?
* What can I do to help the healing process?  Physical rehab?  Medications (like anti-inflamatories, etc)?

I'm doing stretching excercises.  The stretching (forcing the joint to bend past where it stops) hurts.  But it does extend the bending angle somewhat, after a few minutes.  However, in several hours it's swollen again and the stiffness returns.

I'm also taking multi-mineral supplements, MSM (Methylsuphonylmethane), Glucosamine, Chondroitin.  Also a product called Flex Now which contains Butyrospermum parkii which is supposed to decrease joint stiffness and inflamation (inflammation) over time (supposedly takes 30 days).

OK, that's my case.  Two photos attached.  Any help greatly appreciated!!!

- Chris
Related Discussions
3 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Joint stiffness means functionally you are unable to move you around your joint. Each and every joint has synovial material in its joint lining.
Yes it can be due to damage to connective tissue.
The long term prognosis depends on type of time of intervention. As I said, the recovery and joint movement would depend upon the type and time of intervention.
You can give rest to the joint, cryotherapy, elevation which will help, but you should see an orthopaedician at earliest for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.
Hope this helps.
Bye.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
i severely sprained my pinky finger about 3 months ago, no break or fracture though. I've read that for severe sprains stiffness and swelling can last 6-9 months. get yourself over to the orthopedic doctor and he'll probably recommend you for physical therapy.

ive been doing pt for a few weeks and I have almost regained full range of motion back but the swelling and stiffness persists.
Blank
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello!

While on physiotherapy if you have swelling and inflammation you can take a break for day or two and continue.

I would suggest you to take NSAIDs and apply ice packs to decrease the pain and inflammation.

Take care!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Orthopedics Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Orthopedics Answerers
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
JD1963
Little River, SC
7721494_tn?1408157057
Blank
philnoir
Four Corners, CO