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What NOT To Do with a PIP Fracture?

pip fracture

If you have suffered from a PIP fracture means you fractured. Here are some things not to do, I’m sharing what not to do because I’ve seen people do it and I wanna make sure that you’re not gonna make your hand injury worse by doing these things. So, I worked with someone, she actually came in, she fractured her hand and she tried to relocate it by herself. And that means she was like, “Oh, let me just put it back into place.” Because, I guess, her finger was looking at a place. Well, by trying to put herself back into place, she actually fractured her finger worse, like it was a small fracture, and it was a little dislocated. And she was like, “Let me pop that sucker back in.” Boom. And then she ended up fracturing even further. And when you look at it straight, it doesn’t look like anything.

But when she went to make a fist, her finger was, like, crisscrossed all the way to the side of hand, which then means, like, she had more of a displaced fracture. It means, like, the whole thing just broke. So, if you think that you have a fracture, not sure if you have a fracture, it’s really important to get to the right medical person, a hand surgeon, and go to an urgent center. Don’t try to put it back into place, by yourself because you can cause yourself more injury. Now, once you have a fracture and you, like, you know, figured out it’s stable, maybe you need to have surgery. As a certified hand therapist, my name is Hoang, by the way. My name is Hoang Tran. I’m an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist. Once your fracture is stable, then I can share with you what not to do when it comes to the rehab, the therapy of your fracture.

What You Should Not Do If You Have a PIP Fracture?

One of the things about fractures of these PIP knuckles is they’re very stubborn. They get really stiff, So, one of the most important things about these not-to-dos, is to not immobilize it for long. It does not need to be immobilized, essentially, between, like, no more than two weeks, For the most part. Now, if it’s really unstable, you should have consulted a doctor and they would’ve stabilized it. Once they stabilize it, you’re, actually, allowed to start moving right away. If you fractured it and it’s a small fracture and you didn’t need surgery, you usually didn’t mobilize it for about two weeks, and then they allow you to start moving. And there’s specific ways to move so that you don’t disrupt the healing parts of the fracture. But you don’t want to immobilize your fingers, you don’t wanna immobilize all of your fingers, all of your wrists, especially, if there were no injuries to them.

So, I see that all the time, and I know it might sound so simple if you’re like, “Of course, I knew that.” I will tell you that when it happens to you, a lot of times people are scared, they’re unsure about what to do, and so they stop moving altogether. And then you develop such severe stiffness that then the therapy process and everything like that takes so much longer. So, do not immobilize it longer than you’re supposed to. And the best way to find out how long to immobilize it is to, actually, talk to your occupational therapist or certified hand therapist, okay? It just depends on the severity of your injury, the nature of your injury, and how long it’s been. The second thing you don’t wanna do is just pump your hand like this all the time. So, when people get really stiff, this is what I notice in every single patient.

Here are other things you should NOT do:

Avoid Forceful Bending or Straightening: Trying to forcefully bend or straighten the finger can worsen the injury and disrupt the healing process.

Don’t Ignore Splinting or Immobilization Advice: If a healthcare provider has recommended splinting or immobilization, it’s essential to follow these instructions. Removing or adjusting the splint without medical guidance can delay healing.

Avoid Heavy Lifting or Stressful Activities: Engaging in activities that put stress on the injured finger can increase pain and swelling, and may cause additional damage.

Don’t Skip Follow-Up Appointments: Regular check-ups are necessary to monitor the healing process. Skipping these can lead to complications or inadequate healing.

Don’t Neglect Rehabilitation Exercises: If physical therapy or specific exercises are prescribed, it’s important to do them as instructed. Avoiding them can lead to stiffness and reduced functionality.

Avoid Self-Medication or Overuse of Painkillers: Taking medication not prescribed by a healthcare provider can have adverse effects. Overusing painkillers can mask pain that might indicate a problem with healing.

So, if you have more questions like this or what to do with your PIP fractures, I have other videos on my channel, you can like and subscribe and I’ll be sharing more of those over time.

But if you need immediate help, which is what I recommend, look for a certified hand therapist in your area to help you figure out what to do next and get really technical so you can get results fast. If you’re in the Miami area, I’m gonna include my link below so you can figure out, you know, if we’re a good fit to work together. You can like and subscribe if these videos help you below

CLICK HERE! to learn more about PIP Rehab

About Hoang Tran – an expert in physical & occupational therapy  

Hoang Tran is a Miami certified hand therapist , the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and the author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!). 

The aim of her occupational therapy practice is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care. 

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