Metacarpal fracture of David’s ring finger

Some of you might be curious what is happening with David, so we thought to give you an update.  I think the last we told you is that we went to see the hand specialist on Wednesday and when we left him we had a lot to think about. He had a look at the x-rays that we got taken here in Morristown Monday night and confirmed the metacarpal fracture of his right ring finger bone. If he had seen David after this happened, his treatment from the start would have been to put in a plate to straighten the bone best possible. However, having done a cast only is or was another valid option. Now, after one and a half weeks of healing, he kind of recommended still putting in a plate, but the decision was entirely ours, or David’s for that matter, because it would mean surgery and breaking the already healing bone. He explained very detailed the possible outcomes of both – surgery to get a plate or having a cast and no plate, pointing out that if we opted for surgery it would have to be done within this week, because of the ongoing healing. Not an easy decision to make when the outcome i.e. which procedure is better is pretty much uncertain. But by Wednesday evening David had made his decision: Surgery. So, I called the doctor’s office and got everything arranged for Friday.

20130503-226Wednesday evening we still saw the special hand therapist for the first time and she gave David a cute little splint instead of the clunky cast. Thursday was a normal workday and even on Friday David went to work as did I, if very briefly. The surgery was scheduled for 1 pm so we had to be at the hospital at 11.30. Since the procedure was done under general anesthesia David was not allowed to eat after midnight Thursday and drink anything after 7 am Friday – not as easy as you might think. Anyways, Friday at 11 am I left my office and picked up David at his to drive to Morristown, where we checked in at the hospital. Everything went really smooth, we talked to a couple of nurses, the anesthetist and lastly also to the hand surgeon. David was already connected to the iv and was starting to get drugged. 12.45 pm – it was time for me to leave while David was taken to the operating room. So, I went back to work. Wrapped up a few things and two hours later was on my way back to the hospital again. The nurse actually called me while I was still driving, because David was already awake. When I got there he was smiling (on drugs!), slurping a ginger ale and eating pretzels – food! And his hand – well, it could or can not be missed. It is bandaged up hugely! As the nurse told us, on purpose, so that there is compression on the wound to keep the swelling down and also to guard it from bumping it. And as we all know, David needs that guard!

Shortly before 4 pm we left, in our20130503-228 hands some more paperwork on what to do, what not to do, what to look for over the weekend, and, of course, a prescription for pretty strong pain killers. Next stop: CVS pharmacy. The doctor had already called in the prescription for antibiotics, so they had those. But unfortunately they did not have the pain killers. However, they checked with another branch a few miles down the road and they had them. So, we drove some more, waited some more (in the US you don’t get the drugs right away, you always (!) have to wait 10 – 20 minutes) and finally made our way home. Oh, I forgot, we also stopped by a supermarket to get a chicken, so I could make chicken soup for David. He was supposed to eat nothing too spicy, because of the anesthesia drugs and not eating for so long, so we thought fricassee might fit the bill.

20130503-229While in the parking lot of CVS we also got the call back from the doctor to find out from him how everything went. Since I went back to work, I didn’t have a chance to talk to him earlier. The outcome of this conversation basically confirmed that the decision to have the surgery was a good one. Why? Because when he opened up David’s hand and had a closer look at the bone and more x-rays, he saw that what had looked like a clean spiral metacarpal fracture with two big bones, was anything like that. Yes, one of the bones was intact and one big piece, but the other one was actually in pieces. It isn’t shattered, but split like a shaft. I cannot explain it any better, but on Monday when we will see him again he is going to show us pictures. But what it obviously meant is that he was not able to put in a plate, which would have had to be fixed with screws. But screws would not hold on a multiply split bone. So, the only option to get the bone straight and immobilized was to use pins. So, instead of a plate David has now got multiple pins in his hand to make the bone heal together in a straight manner. If we hadn’t done the surgery and thus found out about the shattered bone, most likely David would have had way more complications healing the hand with a cast only. Always wondering why it won’t heal or take so long. Hence, the decision to have surgery was a good one, if not quite what we expected.

We finally were home at 6 pm, when I started cooking, while David got comfortable. At our usual time we had a yummy dinner that did not cause any upset with him and watched a film. Last night was not the best or most comfortable ever, but both of us were pretty beat from the week(s) before. Now we are taking it slow for the rest of the weekend. Monday David will not go to work, because we are going to see the hand surgeon again and then later in the afternoon the hand therapist. With a plate he would have to start occupational therapy right away, now with the pins… we don’t know yet. We shall find out on Monday. Until then, David is happily using his left hand to move a lefty mouse, which we got last week, and update his short story and work on some gaming software, while I hope to finally get some work on photos and website done. And that’s the news from us for now.

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6 thoughts on “Metacarpal fracture of David’s ring finger”

  1. Da bin ich ja froh, dass Ihr die richtige Entscheidung getroffen habt und alles soweit gut verlaufen ist…. was machste auch immer fuer Sachen David! Alles liebe und ganz viele Gruesse von Ute

  2. Wow. Sounds complicated for a fracture in a finger. Sometimes these “little” things are worse that a big break! Hope he heals fast and gets back full functionality in that finger! Schoenes Wochenende!


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