As our Houston Astros celebrate their first ever World Series win, the town is celebrating. The baseball fields are filled with excited and newly inspired baseball players of all ages. As they swell with pride for their home town, they are playing this amazing sport. They are practicing batting, sprints, sliding into bases. Sports certainly have an incredible effect on the person’s mood, cardiovascular health and muscular strength. Despite overwhelmingly good effects, playing sports can also cause injuries.
One such patient was sliding into the base to score a homerun. As he slid down the home stretch, his hand got caught under his body. He heard a loud pop at the same time as the crowd cheered for his homerun. As soon as he got up he felt dizzy with pain in his hand. As he looked at the hand he noticed that one of his fingers was pointing sideways. He knew something was wrong immediately. He thought that his finger was dislocated and tried to put it back in place by pulling on it. Then he felt a deep crunch and the finger would just spring back to its original sideways position.
The next day the patient presented to the Reconstructive Orthopedic Center. As he sat down to tell his story, the diagnosis was clear. He had sustained a fracture of a bone. The X-rays unfortunately confirmed a broken metacarpal bone with multiple pieces, no longer connected together. The patient’s broken bone was in such a configuration that Dr. Yevgeny Shuhatovich suggested that surgery would be the best option. The patient was also concerned that his finger was pointing sideways and asked if this was permanent. Dr. Yevgeny reassured the patient that the direction of the finger would be 100% normal after the surgery.
The patient understood, however he revealed his greatest fear – general anesthesia. He was asking if there was any other way to just “numb up the hand” without “putting the breathing tube down”. Dr. Yevgeny reassured the patient that he did not need to go to sleep at all. A Bier block can be performed on a patient’s hand where local anesthetic is given into the arm only, while the patient is awake and does not feel anything during surgery.
The patient was relieved and the surgery was scheduled for later that day. The patient’s surgery went great. A plate and 8 screws were required to hold all the pieces in the correct position. The rotation of the finger was corrected and restored back to normal. The finger was no longer pointing sideways.
In the images below you can see the surgical photos and X-rays. The last image shows the patient’s motion and wound healed at 5 weeks from surgery.