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Orthopedic Services
Glendale Adventist Medical Center
1509 Wilson Terrace
Glendale, CA 91206
Ph: (818) 409-8000

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I have the tiniest of fractures in my baby finger but still have to have surgery to put it back together. How long do you think it will be before I can get back to work?

Time to return-to-work after a finger fracture can depend on many different variables. Type of fracture, your age, your general health, and any complications from the injury (or surgery) can all impact your recovery time. A small finger fracture that requires surgery suggests the possibility of an avulsion (fracture). Avulsion means the bone has broken off with a piece of soft tissue still attached. There could be a slip of tendon, ligament, or volar plate still connected to the bone fragment. Reattaching the tiny bone fragment requires special surgical tools and techniques. As you can imagine they don't even make screws tiny enough for some of the smaller pieces of bone that avulse. And the force of putting a screw through the bone fragment can be enough to cause another fracture (or even break the bone fragment into a number of smaller pieces). To avoid such complications, a special hook plate has been designed. The hook plate is made of titanium. It is used when the avulsion fracture fragment is unstable and displaced (separated from the main bone). Joint instability and loss of finger function cannot be treated without some type of surgical fixation. After surgery, bone healing begins. By the end of six weeks enough bone formation has occurred to create a bridge across the fracture site. Full union us usually seen on X-rays by the end of three months. You will have to allow some time for hand therapy and rehabilitation. The hand therapist can gear treatment toward the type of work you do. Under the best of circumstances, you can expect 10 to 12 weeks before returning to work. At first you may have to return to work part-time or at a reduced intensity. Your therapist will guide you through this process and offer suggestions to help.


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*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

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