ZocdocAnswersCartilage damage? Could surgery fix it?

Question

Cartilage damage? Could surgery fix it?

A while back I dislocated the proximal phalange on my pinky finger and completly broke the intermediate phanlange on the same finger. It was reset unproffesionally, but when I went to get and x-ray the doctor said that everything was lined up. I never went to my final check-up but the finger has been causing me discomfort and though there is no MAJOR deformity except maybe the enlargement of the proximal interphalangeal joint. The problems I am having include a "popping" and disjointed movement coming from the first joint(The place is it was dislocated) when I flex this finger it does so in a robotic manner and feels as if it is relocating, I am a musician and this can cause some pain from time to time. Also if I close this finger in a fist it "naturally" places its self under/over my ring finger. When I extend my fingers it never extends all the way and I can no longer adduct it when it is extened.Could it even be fixed now?

Answer

There are several different possibilities here, but the fact that you have a "popping" sensation and a "robotic" or "disjointed" sensation when moving the finger suggest to me that the most likely cause of your symptoms is some dysfunction in the tendon. As you know, the tendons connect the muscles in the forearm to the bones in the hand and fingers, and they are responsible for applying the pressure to the finger bones that causes the fingers to move. The "robotic" motion suggests to me that there is some scarring or other damage on the tendon that is cause it to "catch" and move unevenly. Your symptoms could also be caused by other problems, however, include pieces of bone that are improperly healed or dislocated still. It is not possible to say whether or not this can easily be fixed at this stage without getting more information. What I would suggest is that you make an appointment with an orthopedic hand doctor. They are the ones who are skilled in dealing with these kins of injuries. They can perform an examination, and they will probably also want some additional radiology tests, such as x-rays. Based on what they discover, they can tell you if and how to fix this problem.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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