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dislocated finger

kevin's picture

By kevin - Posted on 23 February 2007

Yesterday as I was venturing around manly dam I had a fall at low speed while dodging a rock at the back of the golf course. I landed hand out stretched and dislocated my middle finger.
The pain was by far outweighed by the appearance of my finger which was now on a very strange angle. This had never happened before and I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I go back the way I came and find a doctor? Or attempt to put the finger back in myself? So I grabbed my finger and pulled and it slipped back in and I very carefully finished my ride.
I was wondering if anyone else has had this experience and if there are gloves that will help prevent this. The obvious solution would be, 'don’t fall like that' but %%%t happens.

Rob's picture

Maaaate... you should wip out your camera when this happens Eye-wink

Joking aside, is it OK now? I have another mate who did something similar by the sounds of it, also at the Dam. He had a bulging knuckle on his left ring finger. Now has a wedding ring with a hole through it and a still swollen, but not as much knuckle.

Don't know if gloves will help, probably marginally, but I'd advise people not to ride wearing rings given my other mate's experience!

kevin's picture

Luckily it was my middle and not my ring finger. my finger is sore and swollen, especially at the knuckle. My biggest concern is I have heard once a finger is dislocated it can happen a lot easier. Believe me taking a picture of it was the last thing on my mind at the time.

Truthman's picture

Never had a dislocated finger, but heard any dislocation is very painful...

As I understand it most finger dislocations are caused by bending the finger too far back. I think some full-finger gloves might help prevent this somewhat, especially if they are a good snug fit. Dainese make some very nice MTB gloves. Also increasing the flexiblity and strength of the fingers with stretches/exercises might help prevent finger injuries.

Some info about finger dislocations and other common mountain bike finger injuries here:

They have a nice list of injuries/problems:

Alex's picture

often with a dislocation, you also have minor fractures or avulsion fractures (where the muscle pulls a bit of bone away from itself) and will need to be set accordingly, i would keep an eye on it..

Bruce's picture

Hey Kevin, you should of come out with us. I always miss the good stacks. Hope it gets better soon.

kevin's picture

Thanks that sounds like a good idea. At least there will be someone to pick up the pieces.. I'm going to look into getting some full finger gloves, dunno if they will help but will make me feel more comfortable.

Truthman's picture

In other sports they have gloves that prevent fingers from bending back, for example in soccer they have gloves like the Adidas Fingersave

Also, I think some motorbike gloves have similar protection.

Anyway, there should be something similar for mountain bikes around... If you find some let me know, I am on the market for some new full-finger gloves, since mine have a few holes...

Little-Ditty's picture

Hi Kevin,

I wear full fingered Harbinger gloves, which are actually made for weightlifters, not bike riders. But anyhoo.

These gloves have a hard plstic rib running along the back of each finger, and some fatter plastic blobs over each knuckle. A bit like MX, just more lightweight. Although they are good for protection against abrasion and impact (trust me, they have saved my hands and fingers plenty of times), I don't think they would be strong enough to prevent a finger getting snapped to the side and dislocated.

It seems to me that a glove strong enough to do that would need to be some kind of work, or industrial, glove. Not for sports and recreation. And as a result of that, they would be incredibly heavy and bulky. IMO, for the purposes of this discussion, you are screwed.

But as you say, all you need to do is learn to fall with grace! : P

Anyway, FWIW.

Noel's picture

There is a scene in Rambo where he pours gunpowder into a wound and lights it on fire to help heal it. Your story reminds me of that. Very Inspiring.

mattyt's picture

I've had mates with dislocations, mainly shoulders & they've never been the same since.
One of them only has to move his shoulder a certain way & it pops out again, now he needs an operation to fix it.
I'd strongly recommend you get it checked out by a specialist.

My brother had a bad finger, but i think it was broken though & wasn't treated properly, stayed crooked & over the years had no movement in the finger.
Now he's gonna have to have it chopped off.

So please get it checked out, better to get it treated properly the first time.

Brian's picture

Nice, I kicked my toe tonight and it has gone purple. I think I may have broken it Sad

I'll see how it goes in the next few days and go to the doc if need be.

craked's picture

dislocated my middle finger about 5 years ago it stuck out to the side behind my ring finger allmost at 45 degrees luckily there was a medical centre nearby and the doc manipulated it back into place, was swollen and turned purple took about 6 weeks before it worked properly ,now it's as good as gold. Smiling

ae93gti's picture

I don't like the sound of

My brother had a bad finger, but i think it was broken though & wasn't treated properly, stayed crooked & over the years had no movement in the finger.
Now he's gonna have to have it chopped off

I did something odd to my right ring finger joint (one closest to tip) and it's never been the same. It went black, then was ok'ish, then the skin died around it (the joint) and now it's slight larger than the equivalent on the other finger. If I squeeze it between thumb and finger it is uncomfortable...... I think I might get it checked out. Happened back in April but at the time (after going otb) I was more concerned about the chunk out of my chin.......

hawkeye's picture

I've stretched the ligaments on one of my fingers in an OTB - did it the same crazy weekend that guy got stretchered out from 19th Hole. I've been splinting it the last few weeks and that has helped it settle down, but the physio warned it will take awhile for the ligaments to shrink back to normal size.

Got to get me some skillz... Sad

Matt P's picture

As soon as you know you're not going to recover, make a tight fist, don't try to do a handstand and go into a roll through your shoulder.

I've learned the hard way that no matter how strong I think I am (oh very I can assure you), a couple of digits are not going to prevent am inverted landing.

I've also had some agnificent stacks at Oxford Falls that apparently looked very nasty but the only damage was a bruised ego. Just plenty of soil on clothes and well used armour.

Noel's picture

I kicked my big toe hard enough on something to break & bend it. The hospital wanted to get a doctor up at 3am to get out of bed, come in, do surgery and wire it up. It's now frozen straight and has been for more than 15 years. Maybe I should have said 'yeah ok' instead of 'nah don't worry about it'.

thehairynurse's picture

dislocations are easier to reset the quicker you can- so i think you did the right and least painfull thing in the long run . if you want to get it checked out go to sydney hospital in maquarie st. they are the hand (and eye) specialist hospital for nsw- all the specialists and physios are there. if you dont the risk of not having your finger return to full normal function increase- not a problem for most people - is so for others like muscians, jewellers etc

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