Pinky fracture...

Someone's Dad

Senior Member
I'd appreciate some views. My boy (thirteen) has just had an x-ray and he has a fracture on his right pinky finger. It was stepped on in drama class about a week ago - he was playing a corpse... (Possibly an indictment of his acting ability).

Anyway, the hospital has put it in a splint for the next three weeks, but has been really vague on what he can and can't do. He's been practicing drums since the accident and he thinks that he can continue with the splint. He has a school concert next week (rehearsals tonight) and a four-day "School of Rock" event the following week.

Anyone had experience with this kind of injury? My gut tells me that he should take a total break. I'm concerned about the impact of drumming on the healing process. He won't want to miss the concert - but the school has a stand-by drummer. Four days of constant drumming the following week just sounds stupid to me.

I'm not sure that I can trust a thirteen year-old boy to be honest about his level of discomfort or to put his long term goals ahead of the here and now.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
If his finger is securely in a splint, and can't move to further the injury I think he should be fine. Tell him he shouldn't continue if he's feeling any pain, but I've actually injured various fingers before and just not used them for the show that evening and it was fine. Doubt any were fractures, but as long as I kept them off the stick it worked out.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Someones's Dad. Don't let him play or practice till it heels. I know at his age this is a big life event, but in the long run in life, this could hurt him more if he plays. He is not done growing and if it does not set right the doctor will have to re-brake it and reset it. Now he is going to loose even more time. Let him practice writing out songs or work on his foot work there are more ways to stay engaged while on the side lines. Oh, tell him to practice with only using three limbs and change up the the limbs.
 

Someone's Dad

Senior Member
Conflicting opinions! Thanks both. force3005 has echoed my thoughts, but Dr_Watso is a doctor...

The boy went to rehearsal today (I wasn't consulted) and is adamant that he had no problem and no discomfort.

I'm tempted to let him play the concert on Tuesday - he's only playing two pieces; The Chicken and a short solo piece. He won't need to practice much (if at all) now - he knows both really well.

But I think I'll withdraw him from the four days of "rocking out". Or maybe I'll try to switch him to the guitar for the week. He knows enough to get by. They always have a waiting list for drummers, so it will give someone else the opportunity.

Definitely making him take a break from Tae Kwon Do.
 
I have played with my fingers in a splint a couple of times. I had my hand in cast in high school and played gingerly. I shattered my index finger several years ago and had to have pins, so I took some time off during this period. I broke my ring finger last year and put a splint on it for a couple of weeks.
I have had many many basketball injuries as you can tell :)

If the splint is secure I would not be too concerned, depending upon the severity. He would likely feel some discomfort from the pounding and movement though.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Do you not have a doctor to call to be sure.? Call the hospital that put on the splint and ask questions. Better safe than sorry asking this crew of not doctors.
The slint will keep it from bending but not from absorbing shock.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
If it's immobilized and it doesn't hurt him when he plays probably no problem since it's only a fracture of his pinky finger. So I gather it just dangles there when he plays or does he take off the splint?
 

Someone's Dad

Senior Member
If it's immobilized and it doesn't hurt him when he plays probably no problem since it's only a fracture of his pinky finger. So I gather it just dangles there when he plays or does he take off the splint?
It's immobilised and he's not allowed to take off the splint, so he's just keeping it out of the way.

Do you not have a doctor to call to be sure.? Call the hospital that put on the splint and ask questions. Better safe than sorry asking this crew of not doctors.
The slint will keep it from bending but not from absorbing shock.
Unfortunately my wife couldn't get a straight answer; a lengthy conversation with the doctors at the hospital was very non-comittal. The advice was that he'll be ok as long as he doesn't bend the finger or do "anything that causes discomfort". They were confident in advising no contact sports (including his Tae Kwon Do), but wouldn't give an answer on drumming saying it was "down to the patient; just stop if it hurts". It's frustrating, because he's thirteen and we all know that teenagers don't exhibit the best judgement.

Given that he's lived (and drummed) with the injury for a week, and rehearsed for an hour today with the splint, I'll let him play his concert (less than 10 minutes playing time). Frankly, he went a bit "Whiplash" when I aired the idea that he shouldn't... But I'll make him skip practise, cancel his course and take a full break until he goes back to the hospital in three to four weeks.

I'm grateful for all the responses. I appreciate that none of you are medically qualified (I'm starting to wonder whether Dr_Watso is a real doctor...), but real-world experiences are useful.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Teenagers don't exhibit the best judgement and thats where we adults put our foot down. He wants to play and if you ask him if there is any pain, he will probably say no. What he does with that hand now, even though it's a pinky, may affect how he plays later. Do the concert, then rest...... Dr. John.
 

Someone's Dad

Senior Member
Thanks again for all the advice.

My boy has stopped playing since last week, he played his concert tonight and it went pretty well. He's pleased to have been able to perform.

Now he takes a full break until the splint comes off. Not worth the risk of any issues - should only be another two weeks.

I surreptitiously recorded his solo piece on the iPhone voice recorder - not the best quality, but if anyone's interested in hearing a thirteen year-old play a grade five piece...

http://vocaroo.com/i/s16HA5J08qyM
 

Ollie Bonugli

Senior Member
I once played with a fractured pinky - ended up hitting it on a rim really hard and made it a whole lot worse. Taking a break for a bit so it can heal is probably the best idea.
Also I love the recording!
 
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