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Snapped two bones and 2 weeks wait for specialist - Is it normal?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I broke two metacarpal bones on my left hand last saturday while skiing.  I went to the ER, got an Xray, got a temp. cast, and the ER doctor say  she will get me to see a specialist in 3-5 days.

 

However, when I called in about my appointment time today, I was told I have to wait until 25th. 

 

 

Is this a reasonable and safe time to wait? I don't want my bone to fuse without proper treatment and lose hand function because I rely my hand a lot and play musical intrusment. The ER didnt do anything to reset my bone except to put a cast on.

post #2 of 13

no, you should get some recommendations from some knowledgeable folks for a ortho in your area and get seen.  

post #3 of 13

nickia, I'm no doc but I've dealt with quite a few broken bones over the years.  Bones in the hands are like bones in the feet.  Lots of them and they are very important.

 

Like Finn says, you should be on the phone right now trying to find a hand orthopaedic specialist.  In my opinion, two weeks is simply too long to wait to have a definitive diagnosis.

 

You don't say where you live, but there have to be hand people nearby.  Ask your GP, ask your friends, get on the internet.  I don't think the ER is serving you very well.

post #4 of 13

Start calling around and find another. Don't mess around with your hands and feet. If you want to get seen by that particular doctor more quickly, call again and say either the pain has increased, the swelling his increased, and/or your are having numbness/tingling.

post #5 of 13

Many years ago I broke my foot (dancing, not skiing) and then got the flu.  By the time I got back on my feet enough to realize I couldn't walk very well, about a week, the bones had already started to knit crookedly.  The doc didn't set it, just casted it the way it was.

 

Of course, this was a "doc in a box" place and I still wonder if that was the right treatment.

post #6 of 13

I don't think you want to have the break begin to set up without the bones being properly reset. Did the person making the appointment understand the situation?

 

Years ago I broke my wrist (both bones completely fractured). I was lucky there was a skilled orthopod already in the ER (some construction guy had shot himself in the foot with a nailgun). The orthodoc  manipulated the bones back into place and put me in a temporary cast and later in a hard cast and they knitted back together in a position that allows me to more or less do everything with my right hand normally. I shudder to think of what might have been if they had not been skillfully put back to heal properly. I suppose it would have meant having them re-broken and possible nerve and tendon damage nevermind interruption of the blood flow to the area.

 

I wish you luck and hope you find a specialist willing to see you immediately. Indicate to the person making the appointment that the ER doc intended you to be seen by a specialist within 3-5 days.

post #7 of 13

Sounds crazy to me.  Do you live in Canada?  Get on it and let us know how you do and what they say.  Good luck!

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickia View Post

Hi all,

 

I broke two metacarpal bones on my left hand last saturday while skiing.  I went to the ER, got an Xray, got a temp. cast, and the ER doctor say  she will get me to see a specialist in 3-5 days.

 

However, when I called in about my appointment time today, I was told I have to wait until 25th. 

 

 

Is this a reasonable and safe time to wait? I don't want my bone to fuse without proper treatment and lose hand function because I rely my hand a lot and play musical intrusment. The ER didnt do anything to reset my bone except to put a cast on.

You got lucky!

At least the ER doctor noticed the bones were broken.  I ended up going to my GP and getting new x-rays ordered a week later, followed by an "emergency" operation to reset the capitate (180 degree rotated fracture) and get a couple of screws put into my scaphoid.

 

Possibly everything looked good, and that's why they just want you back to make sure everything is healing all right.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Many years ago I broke my foot (dancing, not skiing) and then got the flu.  By the time I got back on my feet enough to realize I couldn't walk very well, about a week, the bones had already started to knit crookedly.  The doc didn't set it, just casted it the way it was.

 

Of course, this was a "doc in a box" place and I still wonder if that was the right treatment.

Interesting term ("Doc in a box" place). What is a "doc in a box" place exactly?

post #10 of 13

Just to echo the above comments...  This past summer I broke my left thumb.  Went to the ER, they put it in a splint and basically said "no big deal, see an orthopedist when you get a chance"

 

So I called an orthopedist the next business day who took one look at the X-Rays and started calling hand surgeons to find somebody who could work on my hand that day.  They got me into surgery (to set the bones, etc.) that same evening in order to get the bones in proper alignment for healing, etc.

 

Now, that said, all broken bones are different.  i.e., where the bone breaks, how displaced the bones are, etc. all determines how "bad" the situation is.  For me, the break was at the joint itself and the bone fragments displaced a significant amount, so they had to be pushed back immediately   A hairline fracture?  Who knows?

 

The point is, definitely get another opinion.  Losing even partial use of your hands really sucks.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

Interesting term ("Doc in a box" place). What is a "doc in a box" place exactly?

It is an independent walk-in care clinic in a retail environment (strip mall or similar).  It is a somewhat-derogatory term I first heard from a friend in the traditional supply chain (a hospital adminsitrator, specifically).

 

About 20 years ago there were a lot of them here, but most of them are gone.  Lately there has been a wave of similar walk-in clinics, but affiliated with regular doctor's practices or hospitals or drug store chains.

post #12 of 13

Why do you think the bones aren't in the right alignment?

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

Why do you think the bones aren't in the right alignment?

I'm not saying the doc did the wrong thing, just that I sometimes have doubts.  When he casted it, he said they were a little bit out, but not enough to justify disrupting the beginning of healing.  My foot hurts some mornings, but then the other one does too.  So I guess the long-term outcome is that he made the right call.

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