Reconstructive Surgery Expert Forum
Finger (tendon?) problem that is becoming more painful
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Questions in the Reconstructive Surgery Forum are being answered by Dr. Archibald Sanford Miller III, MD,FACS, the Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

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Finger (tendon?) problem that is becoming more painful

Over the past three years my little and ring finger on my left hand were injured at least 8 times due to being a victim of domestic abuse. I'm out of the situation now. These injuries were never treated  with the exception of two.  I had a small crack in the little finger and a partial dislocation of the ring finger. I never experienced any cuts, wounds to these fingers. My fingers were bent forward, backward, stepped on, twisted, hit on the tip of the affected fingers with objects from the past abuse.

Since these injuries I have problems bending these two fingers. When I make a fist, my little finger will only bend part way. I can't bend it fully down to the palm of my hand even with my own strength. If I push it down with my good hand and let go, it pops back up again. My ring finger.. when I make a fist the joint closest to the fingernail.. it won't curl under, remains straight.

I did see a doctor (not a surgeon or specialist) and they told me that the little finger is not an important finger on your hand and  a surgeon wouldn't be interested in treating me.

I have noticed for the past few months that both fingers but especially my little finger is becoming painful. My little finger stays in a curled position although I wouldn't say it feels really stiff.

Could this be some type of tendon problem?

I have gone for physiotherapy and done therapy on my own for about a year now and haven't noticed any positive changes.

Any other treatments that may help?

Seeing my fingers this way reminds me of the past and I am hoping there is something that will make them better or at least offer some improvement.
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It sounds as if you have a tendon injury in each finger. The tendons are what enable you to bend your fingers. A good reconstructive hand surgeon can repair these problems but the rehabilitation is difficult, and long. But, to have a normally functioning hand, many make that sacrifice. You need to contact your primary care physician and get a referral to a hand surgeon. Respectfully,

                         arch s miller ms md facs
Thank you Dr. Miller for your help!

I live in Canada and in order to seel to a hand surgeon I need a referral from a family doctor. Unfortunately I'm having trouble getting a referral from my family doctor because I am told to live with the problem, or your little finger is not important etc. I tried one other doctor and was told similar.

I know we have an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in upper extremities and a plastic surgeon with additional training in hand surgery. There are other plastic surgeons who do both cosmetic and recontructive surgery. So it would be best to see the upper extremity specialist or the plastic surgeon with additional hand training?

I guess I will have to try somewhere else.

I'm willing to go through the long, difficult rehabilitation in order to get improvement in my hand even if its never 100 percent.
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