Another Round in the Finger Saga

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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A few weeks ago I was pretty happy to hear that because my finger injury was a break in the bone, my Eherls-Danlos syndrome (EDS) likely wouldn’t significantly impede my recovery. For the actual bone, that’s true. However, what we’ve since figured out in physical therapy is that I probably badly sprained the finger at the same time that I broke it, meaning that all of the tendons and ligaments in my finger and hand are actually involved. Yay.

Without going into gory details, I’ll just say that my finger wasn’t exactly straight when I first broke it. As a result, my tendons and ligaments likely got stretched badly in the initial injury. Thanks to EDS, once they stretch out, they unfortunately have a tendency to stay that way even after they’re healed.

Usually, if you flex your fingers upward you can see the tendons that run from each finger down the back of your hand. I can see them all on my uninjured hand, and most of them on my injured hand, except for the one that connects to my broken fourth finger. I’m also unable to straighten my finger on its own — meaning that the range of motion is theoretically there, as I can straighten it passively with my other hand — but the tendons and ligaments necessary to do it aren’t firing properly.

Thankfully, my physical therapist says that’s something we can work on, and that we can reteach those structures how they’re supposed to work. I’ve had to do that before, when relearning the proper way to do a lot of things after my EDS diagnosis, but I also know that it’s not easy and tends to take a very long time.

I’m definitely not excited about this newest development, but I’m still grateful that it’s something we can work on. Also, as long as I have my grip strength back, perfect straightening of my finger is far less necessary for my daily life than being able to make a functional fist.

On the plus side, I have found a splint that allows me to use my middle finger for barn chores and riding, which means I won’t run into the kind of issue like I did a few weeks ago when my horse Cherry and I encountered a bear. With this brace, I can manage my reins pretty normally, so I can ride and be safe about it. At least that’s a win for this week!


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


D Kroll avatar

D Kroll

Not a doc, but when I "snapped my "extensor tendon" in a finger they said I had to keep it in a straight splint, then a hyperextended splint as the swelling went down. They said the tendon will"reattach itself to the bone wherever it currently lays inside the finger." I'm very glad I went to a hand surgeon, as my finger is straight. Most docs leave you with a bent finger.
Just a thought.

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

Karen Del Vecchio

Thanks for checking in! I'm also thankful that I went to a hand specialist surgeon. My extensor tendon didn't rupture, but it is likely badly sprained. It's going to be a long recovery, and even more so because of my EDS, but I have a great hand-focused OT/PT and now more than anything I need some patience (which is not my strong suit). I really appreciate your insight!


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