Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dead Pinky (nonpoker)

So many nonpoker posts these days (or so I feel like). For those looking for strategy content, sorry.

So for a lot of my friends who know me, it's no surprise that I have this really fucked up finger. My pinky (on both hands actually) are pretty deformed... And it's mainly from playing basketball. I don't even remember the first time I dislocated my pinky, only for me to pull it and pop it right back in. It hurts but not like unbelievably so or anything (certainly not like the pain I experienced when I tore my ACL... that was the worst). Well, over the course of the years, I would jam my finger or dislocate it and it would stay swollen but I never learn my lesson. I would go back out there and start playing hoops again with my fucked up finger and all. Well, sometime last year, I jammed my pinky on my left hand side again pretty bad and it remained swollen. Once the swelling went away, it was totally unstable. It would lock up on me sometimes when I'm typing and stuff so it was obvious that there was something wrong. Nonetheless, I did nothing about it... until I finally went to the doctor last week to get it checked out. The reason? I had a hard time bending it now... and by hard time, I mean I couldn't bend it at will without "helping" it. In other words, if I straighten my left pinky, it would stay locked that way until I would bend it with my other hand. I figured, maybe now, I should get it checked out so I went to the doctor who immediately referred me to a "hand specialist" (he just referred me to an orthopaedic).

Yesterday was my appointment and when they took the xray of my left hand, sure enough, the bone from the second joint was completely dislocated from the joint. I couldn't save the xray photo so instead, I decided to take a picture of my left hand and show you what it looks like when I try to straighten all my fingers.

That's what it looks like when I straighten all my fingers. Compare it to yours and you can see how out of whack it is.

So, anyways, the doctor explained to me that I had two choices. I could either have a joint replacement surgery or I could get a bone fusion. After a conversation about how I jammed/dislocated my finger and how I continued to not only do nothing about it but keep playing ball, he explained to me that he would recommend bone fusion.

"You're young and you're active, right?"

"Well, I did just play basketball this morning also with this messed up finger."

"Right, because you're young and you're active. I recommend the bone fusion. If we do the joint replacement, after excessive use, there's a good chance that the ball and socket would wear out and lead to another surgery. Considering how active you are, it's very likely that you will need to have another surgery. With the bone fusion, we will basically get rid of the joint and fuse the bones together at a slight angle so your other two joints on your pinky would work fine but the middle joint will be at a slight bend forever. For athletes, that's what I always recommend."

"Sounds good to me. So how soon can I play ball after this surgery?"

That was literally the conversation that we had. The doctor's words may not be word for word but it's pretty damn close. He told me that I will be out of commission for about a week to 10 days but after that, I can go back to shooting around. For competitive basketball, he recommended that I stay away for about a month. Considering I don't play for an NBA team nor for any league at this point, I figured a month hiatus won't be such a bad thing. I can still lift and run so it might even be a good time for some "offseason workouts."

The surgery is an outpatient surgery and is tentatively scheduled for next Friday but I am debating if I should push it back because of work... and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament at the end of this month... possibly my addiction for basketball is greater than poker... possibly...

Oh, and when he asked me why I didn't come to get it checked out sooner?

"I didn't want to be THAT GUY that goes to the doctor for every little jammed finger or a scratch or some minor aches and pains. I mean I figured it's a jammed pinky, no big deal." (so what if it hadn't healed in years)

"You're just a typical young, active guy."

"If by young, you mean stupid, then yes, I am THAT GUY."


Mookie said...

Your pinky looks pregnant.

Klopzi said...

Great poker player, gross finger.

Good luck with the surgery.

thedream said...

thats a pretty fuckin funny story

Shrike said...

Definitely laugh-out loud funny.

Best of luck with the procedure.

Anonymous said...

good luck with the surgery.

I know eactly what your talking about I jammed my index finger playing Flag Football (full contact) and went and got it checked out 6 weeks later when the swelling didnt go down only to find out it was broken and had a bone tumor.

hope all turns out well.

the Donkey Show.

かず said...


Matt said...

Notes on RecessRampage:

Force him to his left.

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Anonymous said...

Did you ever have the joint fusion procedure. I have a pinkie that looks just like yours (maybe a little worse actually) and it has gotten worse and worse through the years. I too play basketball for recreation so I am concerned about having any type of surgical procedure.