dislocated/fractured finger paddling


Dislocated finger Sunday, found out yesterday after xrays that it is broken.

Going to a specialist tomorrow to make sure it is set correctly and find out what type of fracture it is.

Anything specific in regards to paddling in terms of recovery I should ask him about?

Anybody else go through something similar?


Physical Therapy when healed
Get set up to get PT when it’s healed. I have a partially frozen joint following dislocation. It was very bad before PT. Does not really affect paddling, but playing stringed instruments is not helpful.

Dislocated a finger on the Ocoee River in Tennessee. Didn’t actually happen paddling but when I slipped off a wet rock and fell on my butt scrambling around looking for a lost paddle after the river was “turned off”.

Couldn’t be reduced in the ER at Cleveland TN, so I had to go back to Indiana with a dislocated finger. I must admit it hasn’t been quite the same since. Hasn’t affected paddling that much, but it is a good excuse not to take up the piano.

As was said, go by your doctor’s advice and focus on regaining as much range of motion in the 6 to 8 weeks after s/he gives you the go ahead. What you have after that is probably what you will get for the rest of your life.

reply to injured finger
i injured a finger pretty badly. this site helped:


check out the “patient education” section

Which finger? Hurt my ring finger in the surf and it hurt for almost a year afterward, but paddling wasn’t bad.

fracted index just before a 150mi.
paddle that I was to help guide , none of the doc’s I spoke with paddled or camped LNT, so it was largely up to me. After 2 wks. w/a split on , encouraged to use it so it would not freeze . No PT( I need some dude to tell me how to wrap my finger around a pencil , squeeze a squishy ball?), healed nicely , just a lil bent than the rest , so my carear as a hand model was shot ,HA . Once I started paddling my concern to protect it pretty much evaporated .

good luck , was my impression to use it as quickly as possible .


Why worry ?
It is afterall ONLY a finger. Grow up already.

and update…
Thanks for the feedback folks. Three weeks in splint, no major joint damage, but a nice fracture of the middle finger.

sounds like a guy who has never
broken a finger.

Where do you think all of that sensation at your fingertips comes from? Do you think it all stops when you break it?

We have more nerve endings toward the distal ends of our limbs (farthest away from the body) which is why breaking a finger can be more painful than breaking an arm. (I said “can be”, not “always is”.)

I fractured a finger a few years back. I’ve felt some pain in my years but that was among the worst. It hurt like %$#&*@$.

It was immobilized and gradually healed. I didn’t do PT but it is fine now, except for the joint being a little bigger than the others. Paddling doesn’t bother me at all.

Take care and I hope it heals quickly.

be sure to ask if you’ll be able to
play the clarinet if it heals. When he says yes, say “Gee, that’s great because I could never play it before.”

Actually, OTs are often the rehab
specialists for finger and thumb injuries. But a few PTs specialize too. One must establish that the therapist is a specialist in treating finger and hand injuries. Just any OT or PT will not do.

Or, there’s chiropractors. Nothing like spinal adjustment for your finger.

no problem…
I cut off the middle finger on my right hand with a skill saw some years back. I was wearing a pair of gym shorts and t-shirt with no pockets, so I held the severed finger between my teeth and drove 10 miles to the hospital. I got a few odd looks from other drivers along the way but an orthopedic surgeon was there and re-attached it using micro surgery. He secured it with 3 metal pins and a splint. My habit is to drive with my right hand gripping the top of the steering wheel, so for a while I was continuously flipping everyone else the bird which was fairly normal but still disconcerting. Long story short I have a stiff middle finger on my shaft hand and have paddled successfully for many years with it. I even won several FS canoe comps and became an instructor.