Fingertip Amputations And How To Treat Them
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Understanding The Healing Process For Fingertip Amputations
We use our fingers everyday and we hardly notice. Our fingers are always at work, typing into our phones and keyboards, scratching our faces, and quieting our children. Our fingers are essential to our daily tasks, but, unfortunately, they also run the risk of injury, and in some cases, fingertip amputation.
Our fingertips are vulnerable to injury, deformity and disability because they’re full of nerves and sensitivities – plus they’re an extremity, out there in the open to be pulled, ripped and wrangled very easily. Treating a finger wound right away is crucial in preventing injury and amputation.
If you understand the ins and outs of the healing process for fingertip amputation, your path to recovery will be kindly paved.
How Does Fingertip Amputation Happen?
There are many different scenarios that can lead to an amputated fingertip, let’s talk about them below.
Grabbing, swatting, pointing – these are all examples of the things we do with our fingers, and if we’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, losing a finger is a grave consequence. Getting cut, crushed, jammed, or puncture wounds are some of the examples of traumatic events that result in finger injury.
Statistics show that more than 50,000 people visit the emergency room for this type of traumatic injury each year.
Chronic health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others cause blow flow to slow, especially blood flow to the extremities, like the fingers and toes. Your fingers need proper circulation, without it, your blood will begin to form little, mini clots and you’ll get ischemia, which is when blood flow is cut off in a certain area of the body. Amputation becomes the only treatment possible because ongoing oxygen deprivation has lasting consequences.
First Aid Tips For Injured Fingers
First aid can help your chances of a successful recovery. If the finger is still intact, wash the wound with clean water, and then add a clean, dry bandage. This will stop bleeding and prevent bacteria from getting inside the wound.
What should you do if the finger is completely detached?
If the fingertip is detached following the injury, follow these procedures:
- Clean the fingertip wound with clean water or sterile saline solution.
- Take lightly moistened gauze and wrap the fingertip in it.
- Place the fingertip in a sealed, waterproof bag.
- Keep the bag sealed and put it into a container with ice.
- Don’t let the amputated finger come in direct contact with the ice.
- Go to the emergency room with the amputated finger.
It may be possible to replant the finger, but the odds of a doctor being able to treat it decrease the more time that passes. Here are some other factors that may make amputation less likely:
- It’s been more than 12 hours.
- The amputated finger was either crushed or contaminated in some way.
- The injury is extensive.
If it isn’t possible to reattach the finger, these amputations can heal well if they’re taken care of.
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What's The Process For Healing An Amputated Fingertip?
The process for healing an amputated fingertip depends on the extent of the injury. Minor injuries that just affect the tissue can heal on their own in about 2 to 4 weeks. An injury that penetrated into the tissue may require post-surgical treatment and could take months to heal.
When you go to see your doctor, they’ll remove the debris and any tissue that’s too damaged to remain.Then, the edges will be sewn together and the finger stump will be left. The stump should heal on its own, without complication.
Your doctor will then check to see if you have any comorbidities, these are the chronic conditions that make your chances of healing less viable. It takes some people longer to heal than others; your health and lifestyle will come into play here.
How To Speed Up Fingertip Amputation Healing
Nobody wants to stay injured longer than they have to. There are things you can do to speed up the process of healing so that you can get back to living your life.
Aggressive wound care
The first step to faster healing is to treat the wound agressively. This is a way of ensuring that the incision is:
- covered in a clean bandage
- free of drainage.
To beat infection and prevent complications, the wound needs to be monitored and taken care of at the very first sign of infection.
Contact Wound Care OC for puncture wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.