Hand Injury

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Hi,

Around 10 days ago, I was doing some work in my kitchen when I slipped on some water and fell quite heavily. I hurt a lot of things in the fall but none of them were too crazy, except from my hand. I landed on my right hand in such a way that the back of my hand hit the ground first. A large blue bruise formed instantaneously and I was in a lot of pain, convinced it was broken. 

The next morning I woke up and my whole hand was black and blue, all of the back of my hand, all of my fingers had little bits of black and blue and it was extremely painful to even brush over the place where the bruise first emerged (along my 4th metacarpal). 

I can move my hand and use it but if I so much as brush the back of my hand off anything it's really really sore. I decided to go to the doctor about it when the bruising hadn't gone down after 5 days. She was convinced I had fractured my fourth metacarpal and so sent me to my nearest ortho dept. to be xrayed. 

When I got there, I was xrayed and the radiographer told me that there was nothing obvious so I should leave the facility, the radiologists and orthopaedic doctors were busy with people who actually had a reason to be there. A report would be sent to my doctor within 2 weeks. 

So, I left the dept, I was rather upset by her whole demeanour. I felt I need to be there and still feel like there's something not right. 10 days on, I still have mild bruising and that spot if still extremely tender. There has been a slight improvement but not much.

I am yet to hear anything re: my X-ray and don't want to ring anyone to bother them given the treatment I was given. I feel like if something was broken, I would have heard by now but in my heart, I feel like there is.

I'm just wondering what you guys think. Am I just being a baby who's complaining too much about a bruise? Can radiographers read an X-ray well enough to know when everything's ok or should a radiologist be the one doing the diagnosing? Also, does the fact that the severe bruising has now become mild and there is a slight improvement in pain mean that there isn't a broken bone or would some improvement after 10 days be normal?

Thank You!

 

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I am  not a dr but with loads of bruising a fracture could well be hidden.  That the bruising is going down is a good sign but does not rule out a fracture.  You need to ask your GP to review the x ray and maybe even order a new one where any fracture maybe more visible now. or doc might order an mri.

    You need the doc to be sure its not fractured and if it is whether it is clean in which case it will probably just heal or displaced in which case realignement needed which is harder as time goes on

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry this happened to you.  Accidents at home are so unexpected and also dangerous.  You need the full use of your hand as soon as possible!  You had as good of a reason to have your hand xrayed as anyone else and more of an answer than "nothig obvious" so go away and wait 2 weeks.  How many xrays were taken?  Surely more than1.  You need to stand up for yourself and make those calls now.  Do not let anyone make you feel that you and your health is not important. You are important and more important than anyone else!  You need to "bother" them over and over and I would also tell them that you did not feel that your "treatment" was respectful and that all patiences should be treated with the same deference.  You need to feel confident that you are receiving the correct and best treatment and not have to also worry that things are not quite right.  It's bad enough to be injured without having to worry about your physical/mental treatment too.  You are definitely not being a complaining baby.  You are just complaining to the wrong audience.  You need to complain to the right source that can help you feel better.  Good luck.  You are important............let them know that! 

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    • Posted

      devsmom, I agree with you she has all the control and can get something done, I wish I did, mine was work related and I think I am going to wind up with some disability in my whole left arm and hand. You give good advice..
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    • Posted

      Thanks Eva,  I just read your post to Elena.........boy you've had a time of it!  I know that doctors are just "practicing" but do they really have to practice on us??  You would think that you could rely on a specialist, an orthopedist or neurologist, to know what in the world they were doing.  I'm glad that you're getting a second opinion.  It sounds like your twisted ankle was a sprain only.  Mine too but I had to do exercises for it. Your wrist is another story, 2 opinions 12 days apart both looking at xrays.  I made my orthopedist show me my (broken foot) xrays.....all of them and tell me exactly what he saw....improvement or not.  So is it correct that you went for 12 days without any "treatment" at all for your (maybe/maybe not broken) wrist??  Your body did a lot of internal work in 12 days to repair your wrist.  I saw this "repair work" in my xrays.  My first xray showed the 3 blurred fracture lines, the 2nd xray after a week showed the 3 fracture lines with clear space between the 3  breaks.  The doctor said basically that my body had cleared the broken debris out of the way so that the fractures could mend.  The 3rd xray showed significently paler fracture lines.  Doc said my body/blood had carried the healing calcium to the site and healing was progressing nicely (for someone that wasn't 20 anymore)  After 12 weeks could your "arthritic episode" wrist actually be a broken wrist in the process of healing on it's own?  I wonder.  I also wonder just what is an arthritic "episode"?  I did experience arthritis in my big toe joint that had not bothered me before my foot was casted and immobile and non weight bearing for a month.  That arthritis also showed up on the xrays and looked similar to debris in a joint rather than a clean space between the joint.  Your doctor should be able to show you the arthritic joint as compared to what was thought to be a broken bone.  Have him show you the unbroken bone and ALL the unbroken wrist bones in ALL views so you feel comfortable that the original diagonis, a break, was wrong. Then you still have the issue about being worse off now than before the cortisone shot.  What a bummer.  Have you done internet research on cortisone?  I've recently heard that it can cause bone detoriation.  I've had that last thumb joint pain come and go with massage.  I've also had cortisone in my heel for pain without ill affects except initial PAIN.  Keep us up to date especially with what the neurologist has to say.  Oh, and carpel tunnel is often caused by job related repetitive movements.  What is your line of work?  Best on luck and stick up for yourself.  You can always mention "an attorney" that sometimes straighten people out!  Devs Mom      

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    • Posted

      Thanks hun, The first day after accident I went up to a place where I knew they were affiliated with a very highly respected hospital and the first x-rays took the doctor said that I had an Intra-Articular Distal Radius Fracture and they were imperative that if they could get me an appointment with an Ortho doctor, I think they were pretty sure he or she might would do surgery, Since this was work related of course you have to wait on workers comp to set everything up and they seemed to be setting me up with the wrong case workers apparently as they were either out until the following Monday and one was the following Thursday, so I went to the doctor on a Friday right before the 4th of July and I waited all the next week on someone to call me and let me know of an appt. didn't hear anything and I had tried to call the go between me and workers comp case worker didn't get a call back and then I had called HR and left message for her to call me back finally the following Monday I got tired of waiting and just showed up at work and figured she could get in touch with them with me sitting there which is what we did she said she had left messages and that I should hear something before the end of the day and low and behold I heard something before I had time to get home. So went 1st doc July 1st went to Ortho July 12th that's when he said no fracture, but I was in half cast from first doctor on my thumb side for almost 2 weeks, he took x-rays and said no fracture put me in a brace with the metal to keep wrist from bending and thumb stabilized, went back July 26th he took more x-rays still said no fracture, but this time I had first set of x-rays with  me and he said he didn't need to see them he had fresh ones. He said he would give me a Cortisone Injection and when he did he didn't seperate the joint and felt like he hit something. I talked with case worker and said I wanted to change doctors and was told that I couldn't change doctors at that time. He than put me in a CMC brace which is good for Arthritis and it kinda supports my wrist and stabilizes my thumb but I was still working just limiting use of thumb, no pinching movements or gripping with thumb. I was still in pain and getting worse went back Aug 10th, at this time he took more x-rays and said no fracture then did exam with movements of wrist and said he wanted to get MRI and no using left arm at work until further notice. I went to get MRI on Aug 15th, followup set for Aug 18th said no changes in MRI now and a year before when I got initial diagnosis of Arthritis. Still he kept my restrictions to no use left arm while at work. I went back Sept 6th he did another exam as I said things getting worse, he then said we needed to get Nerve Conduction Test. I go for that tomorrow, he said that he suspects Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and said that isn't usually related to work injuries, I'm thinking well my arm was fine I fell and now it's not fine and even worse after injection so I think maybe he hit something and that's why things are worse. I'm just tired of this freaking lite duty, I'd rather work 14 hours a day 5 days a week as do lite duty. I am a CNA, by the way I just remembered you had ask and yes I will keep you informed of what happens with this. Still don't know about the second opinion with other Ortho doc which I hear is brilliant. I go back to first Ortho doctor for results after test tomorrow and hopefully second opinion that he stands behind me getting, he's hoping both will be in on Sept 27th is when I go back to him. I'm just so frustrated with the way everything has gone why do doctors like to think they are God and know it all their just human like we are you know...

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  • Posted

    ElenaS, you need to bother someone about your hand because believe me it's nothing to wait about. You said that you landed with the top of your hand hitting the floor ? You could have all kind of damage. Some places you go are just plain stupid, sorry but I know from experience they think they know everything and you don't know nothing. I had a fall at work June 30 of this year and I went the next day to get an x-ray, work sent me to get one and I thought I had just bruised the bone maybe, I had twisted my ankle and fell off the sidewalk outside and landed face first as I was falling of course I did what anybody would do I put my hands out and when I went to the doctor they did x-rays on both my wrist/hand and my ankle and they said that my ankle wasn't fractured but that I had an Intra-Articalar Distal Radius Fracture and they ask me questions like when did you last have something to eat which wasn't a problem because it was 5:30 in the morning and the drink was at 9:00 and they said not eat or drink anything else they were trying to get hold of an Ortho doctor and wasn't sure if they would want to do surgery or just a cast, since it was the weekend of the 4th of July they had already gone out for the day they tried for the longest time to get hold of one, Since they could not they put me in a half cast and finally when they got me put with a Workers Comp case worker they sent me to an Ortho doctor 12 days later and he took x-rays and told me that it wasn't broken said that the fall had caused me to have an Arthritic Episode and the next time I went I was still hurting and he decided since he thought it was Arthritis he gave me an Cortisone Injection at the base of my thumb that was on July 26 and it has went down hill since then. My thumb hurt and the big ball part under your thumb in the palm of my hand was all that was hurting and now my whole palm hurts and it's went into my wrist and up my arm and I have pain in my bird finger through my pinky and of course my thumb is gotten worse and I think he may have hit a nerve or something because my hand and thumb hurt before but since it's gotten worse he had to have did something to make it this bad. Funny thing is at first I was supposed to do no pinching or gripping with my thumb and it went from that to not using my left arm at work until further notice and he told me I had the right to a second opinion so I'm waiting on that and in the mean time they are sending me to a Neurologist for a Nerve Conduction Study I think it's called an ERG so I think he realizes he hit a nerve but he's been playing it off like I have carpel tunnel syndrome because he said that wasn't usually caused from a work related injury and all I know is that before I fell I was fine and everything that has happened has been since then and it's gotten worse since the Cortisone Injection to me, I don't know what to think of feel anymore I just know that I can't go any length of time without some kind of brace on my hand. You said you fell at home right ? If so you have the control, you don't have to wait on someone else to set things up for you. Take care of yourself and either have your GP call and take care of things or go to a different doctor take the control and if you find out their wrong at least you can get yourself taken care of. Best of Luck and keep us informed with what happens and I wish you all the best of luck. God Bless you and I hope you get relief and find out whats going on soon...

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  • Posted

    I finally heard back from the radiology department about my X-ray. I'm more perplexed than ever now. I was told that I have a fairly old fracture on that hand. I can never remember injuring this hand before, it's never hurt and suddenly after this injury I'm in agony. &/ there anyway they could have mistaken a new fracture for an old fracture? They don't seem to listen to me when I ask and tell me that there is a very obvious difference.

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