Treating Finger Fractures at Orthopedic Sports Medicine in Downtown Portland Oregon

Will I Need Surgery on My Broken Or Fractured Finger?

Although the bones in the hand are small, a broken (fractured) finger is not a minor injury. The bones in a normal hand line up precisely. They let you perform many specialized functions, such as grasping a pen or manipulating small objects in your palm. When you fracture a finger bone, it can cause your whole hand to be out of alignment. Without treatment, your broken finger might stay stiff and painful.

Anatomy

Your hand consists of 27 bones: eight bones in your wrist (carpals), five bones in the palm of your hand (metacarpals), and 14 bones in your fingers (phalanges). Fractures of the metacarpal bone that leads to the little finger account for about one-third of all hand fractures in adults.

Cause

Generally, a fractured finger occurs as the result of an injury to the hand. You can fracture a finger when you slam your fingers in a door, when you put out your hand to break a fall, or when your finger jams while trying to catch a ball. Carelessness when working with power saws, drills, and other tools can result in a fractured finger.

Symptoms

  • Swelling of the fracture site
  • Tenderness at the fracture site
  • Bruising at the fracture site
  • Inability to move the injured finger in completely
  • Deformity of the injured finger

Doctor Examination

If you think you fractured your finger, immediately tell your doctor exactly what happened and when it happened. Your doctor must determine not only which bone you fractured, but also how the bone broke. Bones can break in several ways: straight across the bone, in a spiral, into several pieces, or shatter completely.

Your doctor may want to see how your fingers line up when you extend your hand or make a fist. Does any finger overlap its neighbor? Does the injured finger angle in the wrong direction? Does the injured finger look too short? Your doctor may x-ray both of your hands to compare the injured finger to the uninjured finger on your other hand.

Treatment

Nonsurgical Treatment

Your doctor will put your broken bone back into place, usually without surgery. You will get a splint or cast to hold your finger straight and protect it from further injury while it heals. Sometimes your doctor may splint the fingers next to the fractured one to provide additional support. Your doctor will tell you how long to wear the splint. Usually a splint on a fractured finger is worn for about 3 weeks. You may need more x-rays over this time so that your doctor can monitor the progress of your finger as it heals.

Surgical Treatment

Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, you may need surgery to put the bones into alignment. Small devices, such as pins, screws, or wire, will be used to hold your fractured bones together.

Rehabilitation

You may begin using your hand again as soon as your doctor determines it is okay to move your finger. Doing simple rehabilitation exercises each day will help reduce the finger’s stiffness and swelling. You may be required to see a physical therapist to assist you in these exercises.


Orthopedic Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is located in Downtown Portland Oregon. Dr. Dominic Patillo, one of our Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeons, specializes in hand surgery. His practice focuses on the treatment of both simple and complex hand and upper extremity conditions as well as general orthopaedic trauma. He is experienced with modern microsurgical techniques including nerve and vessel reconstruction.

Common problems treated include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tennis elbow
  • wrist pain
  • sports injuries of the hand and wrist
  • fractures of the hand, wrist, and forearm
  • trigger finger

Other problems treated can include arthritis, nerve and tendon injuries, and congenital limb differences (birth defects).

If you have pain in your fingers, hand, wrist or arm, or if you have other upper-extremity related concerns, please consult our hand specialist Dr. Dominic Patillo for a consultation.

GOLF INJURIES TO THE HAND, WRIST OR ELBOW

Golf Related Injuries to the Hand, Wrist, and Elbow

Description

Hand, wrist and elbow injuries are common for golfers of all skill levels. The golf swing is a complex, coordinated series of motions. Golf injuries can result from poor technique, overuse or a single direct blow, like hitting a tree root.

Read more

Broken Arm: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

Broken Arm: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

Description

A broken bone is commonly known as a fracture. Any bone in the arm can be broken, but common areas for fractures in the arm are:

  • Wrist, specifically the distal radius
  • Forearm bones (radius and ulna) (Figure 1A)
  • Elbow
  • Humerus
  • Shoulder

Causes

Most broken arms are caused by trauma. In younger people, common causes are falls from a height, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents. In older people with weaker bones, a trip and fall from a standing height is a common cause of a broken arm.

Read more

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Description

Carpal tunnel syndrome is essentially a pinched nerve in the wrist. There is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand (Figure 1). Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when swelling in this tunnel puts pressure on the nerve.

Read more

Fractures in Children

Fractures in Children: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Description

Because children are still growing, their injuries need different evaluation, and sometimes different treatment.

Read more

OSM expands to include new location in Providence Hospital

We are pleased to announce we have expanded our practice to three locations. You may now find us at:

Portland

1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Monday – Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm


Providence

5050 NE Hoyt, Suite 668
Portland Oregon 97213

Mon, Wed, Fri
8:00am – 4:30pm


Scappoose

51385 SW Old Portland Road, Suite A,
Scappoose Oregon 97056

Friday
8:00am – 2:00pm

We are currently accepting new patients at all three locations.

If you’re looking for orthopedic care in the Portland-Metro area, feel free to give us a call at 503-224-8399.

Dr. Switlyk Retirement Announcement

SubstandardFullSizeRenderWe are both happy and sad to announce that Dr. Paul Switlyk is now officially retiring from OSM.

About Dr. Switlyk

Dr. Switlyk graduated from the C.M.D.N.J New Jersey Medical School in 1979. He interned at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont through 1980 and completed a four-year residency at Oregon Health & Science University in 1986. He completed a shoulder fellowship at University of Western Ontario with Richard Hawkins MD. Dr. Switlyk has practiced in Portland since 1987 and is board-certified with a special interest in the treating the shoulder and elbow. He has also served as a Clinical Senior Instructor in the Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation Department at OHSU.

OSM would like to thank Dr. Switlyk for his years of dedication and wish him a long and happy retirement!

 

Dr. Charles Petit has joined the OSM Team!

We are happy to announce the newest edition to our team – Dr. Charles Petit!

charles-2Graduated from Yale University in 1999 where he was captain of the men’s basketball team. He then attended UC San Diego School of Medicine, after which he completed his orthopedic surgical residency at the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program. He received advanced training in sports medicine and knee, shoulder, and hip arthroscopy at The Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado where he was an associate team physician for the Denver Broncos and the US Ski and Snowboard Teams.

From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Petit was in private practice in Hood River and The Dalles. He remains an active assistant team physician for the US Ski and Snowboard teams. His practice focuses on the arthroscopic treatment of knee, shoulder and hip injuries in athletes of all ages.

Dr. Petit is one of only a few surgeons in the northwest who is an expert in arthroscopic hip surgery. He also has a very strong background in joint reconstruction including knee and hip replacements, as well as complex shoulder reconstruction. In his free time, Dr. Petit enjoys flyfishing, basketball, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

We look forward to a happy future with Dr. Petit.