A finger injury might not seem like a big deal. Some injuries, like tendon injuries in the finger can have long-term consequences if not treated appropriately. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer the question about timing of a jersey finger tendon repair.

Danny asks:
Dumb question – I suffered a jersey finger injury. I know some doctor will tell me they can fix it, but at this time, I can wait longer, correct? Currently I have no insurance.

Jersey finger injuries are actually relatively common finger injuries in sports. An athlete who plays football can injure one of the flexor tendons in the finger when he grabs an opponent’s jersey to tackle him. The opponent tries to get away. The sudden force traumatically opens the athlete’s hand and pulls the flexor tendon off of the bone. He then cannot flex (bend) the tip of the finger.

An athlete who suffers this injury needs surgery to reattach the tendon to bone. It must be repaired in the first 7-10 days after injury because the tendon retracts down the finger. If not pulled back in place quickly and reattached, the tendon scars down and cannot be pulled back into place.

A jersey finger can occur trying to tackle a football player.

Surgery to treat those injuries once they have become chronic, long-standing injuries often involves much more complicated surgeries and occasionally two surgeries.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: Mallet Finger
Ask Dr. Geier: Timing of meniscus repair surgery

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