Patient: Hi, 7 weeks ago I broke my right index finger right near the PIP joint. I did not think it was broken at first even though it was incredibly painful and my finger swelled up to almost twice its size. Anyways as time has gone on a sharp pain will still shoot through it if I hit my finger near the joint. I don’t even knock anymore as it can bring shooting pain. The pain is less and less as time goes on, but I have noticed that there is a bump on the right side of the PIP joint making it look slanted when i bend it, rather than a fairly straight across like my right PIP joint. There is a slight tightness felt in the joint when I bend it all the way, but nothing terrible. My question is, do I need to see a doctor to get my finger broken and reset? or is it fine as is? I don’t mind the cosmetic aspect, I just want to make sure it won’t cause any future damage or impediment in my use of the finger if I don’t get it treated. Thanks.
Doctor: It seems it has been some time since your injury and your finger is now on the mend. Unfortunately, without a physical examination or the benefit of x-rays I cannot advise your appropriately as to best course of treatment. However, I would like you to note the following:If the fracture involved the PIP joint then there is a future risk of developing early arthritis in that joint. Arthritis has varying symptoms but usually includes some level of pain, swelling and reduced function of the joint.There is a possiblilty that the cosmetic deformity could worsen as your finger heals.While I doubt you will have any long term consequences, it would be best to get the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon