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 over time (supposedly takes 30 days).
OK, that's my case. Two photos attached. Any help greatly appreciated!!!
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.
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.
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