Ruptured tendon in RH

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Kenbobpdx
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by Kenbobpdx » Tue May 13, 2014 2:58 pm

I ruptured a tendon in my RH middle finger. Its weird because it happened a few weeks ago and was purple and stiff for a few days. Now it is just swollen, stiff, and painful to bend. It doesn't really affect my playing too much but still... The word is that I just have to let it resolve itself unless I want to pursue surgery which seems worse than the injury itself.

Has anyone else experienced this? How long will this take to get back to some semblance of normal?
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
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Nate Miller

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by Nate Miller » Tue May 13, 2014 3:20 pm

I spent a lifetime playing sports, and yes, I have had injuries of that type before, but not that exact injury

it takes 8 to 12 weeks for tendons and ligaments to heal, if they are not injured further by daily activity. if your finger was purple and swollen, you will be on the long side, more like 12 to 16 weeks

It really would be best to stop playing until you are healed up. don't play if your finger is swollen. The swelling is your body trying to protect the damaged tendon.

what you have to remember is that trying to play through it only elongates the time it will take to heal.

after you have healed, you will then have to build strength back in the hand and flexibility back in the tendon. When tendons and ligaments heal, they are often shorter and less stretchy than they were. So you need to rehab.

Basically, the more you treat yourself like an athlete, the better you will recover

but if you just try and soldier on, you'll be regretting it every time it rains for the next 10 years

best of luck getting back to the guitar

doug
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:32 pm
Location: Arapahoe, North Carolina 28510

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by doug » Tue May 13, 2014 5:46 pm

I agree with Nate. Rest it.
I sprained a tendon in my right thumb, and it took a long time to finally heal, because I kept re-injuring it. I finally wore a thumb brace for a while, and it slowly healed. It was almost a year before I noticed that it was completely back to normal.
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SteveR

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by SteveR » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:26 pm

I bent back the tip of my right index finger about two weeks ago taking off my walking boots. There was a slight twangy feel as if something had given/broken. It hyper-extended about 20 to 30 degrees past normal I guess. It was bruised and swollen for a couple of days and still hurts if I put any pressure on it.

The doctor said that I had probably partly torn the sheath that surrounds the tendons. She said it will take 4-6 weeks to heal and another year of physio to get it back to full strength (using a small ball like a squash ball). She said I should refrain from guitar playing until then. She didn't think I needed to splint it but I have been using buddy splinting when I've been doing some activities. It seems to have reached a plateau at the moment and it is not painful unless I put pressure on.

Any advice? Should I use a splint?
Steve

Kenbobpdx
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by Kenbobpdx » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Steve,
Really sorry to hear about that. Mine was injured opening a gate latch that was stuck. It turns out mine was a torn sheath as well. Still sore but not swollen in the morning like it was. I can play guitar but it sometimes swells a bit afterward. Its been over two months since the original injury so there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.

My wife has me digging bamboo out of a bed by the house and grabbing and pulling motions are still a problem. Of course, it may be that I really don't want to dig the damned bamboo out anyways!
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

mikeguy53

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by mikeguy53 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:16 pm

And I've been bitching about a broken nail. Hope you all get well soon.

SteveR

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by SteveR » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:36 pm

Just re-read my post and realized it sounds like I can't play for a year. No, it's the 4-6 week period I have to lay off, thank goodness.
Sorry to hear about your injury, kenbobpdx. I did some weed pulling in the garden last weekend and I think I will just have to let them grow for now as it's so easy to forget the injury and pull on it which, as you imply, hurts. Digging out bamboo sounds like a mechanical excavator job to me!

Gardening is good for breaking nails too, mikeguy53.

Steve

shira

Re: Ruptured tendon in RH

Post by shira » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:56 am

I wonder if splinting might be helpful because it makes sense to put the two ends in closer proximity to help healing and decrease further activity about that joint. I can see how if it was a sprain/strain that they would just recommend just rest but who knows to what degrees it's been disrupted. I don't have personal experience with these injuries but just my thoughts from a medical training perspective.

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