I know this site is about muscle therapy but this is too good not to post. I broke my 4th metacarpal joint in my right hand last weekend! My first broken bone ever in my injury prone existence so far.
How did it happen?
A “friend” came over Friday night at a little pregame gathering at the house and brought a bad attitude. He was apparently trying to get his giggles and bits by provoking me the entire night. At the house and at the bar he kept boasting with extreme confidence that he was going to “rip my ears off” and “beat me silly”. Well he succeeded in provoking me, after all he was challenging my manhood.
I suppose he thought I was an easy target since I am still recouping from my fall off of a cliff a few weeks back and the fact that he outweighs me by 20-25lbs.
It got to the point where he suggested that we leave the group we came with at the bar early, walk back to the house, and commence the beat down. Once again he was talking trash the whole way back to the house, reminding me about the fights he’s been in before at the bar (I had not gotten in a fight since high school many years ago). By this time I was taking him seriously and was prepared for anything.
At the house we went to the back yard where he refused to fight on the grass because he did not want to get taken down and use my Jiu Jitsu and wanted to fight on the driveway and use his fists. I did plan on taking him down but did not plan on hitting him so this took me a bit by surprise and added another layer of caution for me.
By this time everyone else (4 people) had left the bar and were watching us just as we squared off. It ended up being relatively easy to take him down and I’m not sure what happened but I got very enraged that he had been provoking me all night and basically threatening me so I started punching him while I had him pinned up against the house in a half guard.
It was lucky for him that other people were there because I was pulled off and we squared off again, we swung wildly at each other before I took him down again and began to rear naked choke him until my roommate was screaming that he was tapping so I let go reluctantly.
I felt good to have put him in his place without any damage to myself….until I felt a little twinge in my hand.
I knew there was something wrong with my hand but waited till Monday to go to the doctors to get an x-ray. I was hoping for a splint and told to get on my way but I was referred immediately to an orthopedist where I was told I needed surgery since I had an unstable complete fracture of the 4th metacarpal. It’s a fairly common injury to the 4th and 5th metacarpals, usually incurred while punching something, also known as a boxers fracture even though the name is misleading since boxers know how to punch using correct form and therefore do not have this issue.
This just goes to show you…nobody wins in a fight. I might have won the fight that night but I am without a hand for at least 6 weeks which is a general time line for a bone injury to heal.
Anyway back to the discussion of surgery…I expressed my aversion to getting cut open (I am of the opinion that surgeons are too quick to decide surgery is the first and best option). I was told that because the x-rays showed that my 4th metacarpal was completely fractured and unstable, therefore moving around and could either not heal or heal incorrectly they would usually say its an open and shut case of surgery. However the doctor came to consult with me and and found out that I could close my hand into a fist and the finger did not seem to be rotated or scissoring (where the finger would be going towards the thumb underneath the other fingers instead of straight down). In addition I had relatively little pain so I was told that I could wait to see what happened before deciding on surgery.
The Orthopedist gave me a boxers splint and sent me on my way.
I wasn’t happy with the splint however since I could feel the bone moving around quite a bit and I started to get a little nervous that it wouldn’t heal correctly and that I was going to have problems with my hand the rest of my life. It didn’t help that everyone had their two cents to put in saying I should have the surgery.
(EDIT: I am using this brace more than my home-made brace now during my 4th and 5th week, once the bone stabilized more. You can find similar braces here on Amazon)
I did some more research and came up with a home made solution based upon the Galveston brace….
read more about the home made brace and progress of the 4th metacarpal here