I think my fingertip is gone for good. (slightly TMI)

I don’t think I can get more mundane and pointless than this but here it goes.

Two weeks ago, I hurt my finger at work. I was trying to cut a pleated shade for a customer and the headrail got stuck on the track of the cutter. This is a very common problem. But this time, no amount of banging or pulling would make it come off.

Finally, after many minutes of tugging, the damn thing jerked off the track, with my right middle fingertip in the way. The edge of the track sliced through the left portion of my fingertip, right below the nail. It also sliced through the nail, about 1/4 of the way up and 3/4 of the way across.

I went to the hospital for a tetanus shot as it had been over 10 years since my last one. The doctor told me that I would lose the lower portion of my finger nail. I’ve lost that entire nail before so the prospect didn’t exactly bother me. However, he said my finger tip should heal fine, although I would have a scar. He said that stitches in that particular spot would be very painful and difficult. I don’t mind scars so I didn’t push the subject.

However, despite two weeks of taking very good care of it, the flap of skin hardened and remained a flap. It has made no effort to reattach to the rest of my finger. The space where the flap was seems to be healing over pretty well but there is now a pretty sizeable dent in my fingertip.

I finally decided to remove the flap and the dangling nail. Since the only pain I feel now comes from the movement of the two flaps, it seemed like a good idea at the time. However, I didn’t realize the extent of the dent until the dead skin and nail were gone. I also didn’t realize how sensitive the new skin is. When I touch the dent, I get a very unpleasant - kinda squiky feeling. I don’t regret cutting it off as I knew it would never reattach. But still, I think I prefered the mild pain to this icky feeling.

I don’t think the new skin will ever fill the gap left by the sliced flap. This particular fingertip was already slightly odd looking from the last time I injured it (16 years ago). The nail has never grown back quite right and the skin had a slightly puckered look. But now, there’s a dent too. Since my nail doesn’t grow correctly, it will never grow long enough to cover the dent.

I am now, officially, maimed.

Your nose-picking days are over now mate.


Many commiserations on your pain and suffering all the same.

I had a similar injury two Sundays ago. I was trying to close a door on an unfamiliar car in the dark. When it finally latched, my right ring finger tip was shut in the door. I reflexively pulled away and tore about 3/4 inch of it off.

I went to the ER, where they sewed it back on. Now, it’s black and hard. The surgeon says it will heal under the “biologic dressing.” He told me to snip off any bits that stick out, and soon the black will be gone, with new flesh grown underneath.
I’m thrilled…

I “blew out” my the tip of my right pinky finger a year and a half ago by catching the finger between a very very heavy object and a sawhorse. As the heavy object slid off the saw horse, the effect was like the clapper at the start of a movie scene except my finger sandwiched between them when they hit.

You know how the skin of a grape will split when it gets crushed? Well, I learned that your skin will split when you get your finger caught between a very heavy object and a sawhorse. It took 9 sutures to pull the thing back together. After about a week, the skin all around the suture dried out and died, then slowly started to sluff off. I helped it along a little bit. I, too, found the new skin and exposed nerves to be really sensitive and painful to the point of squikiness.

It took about a year for the nerves to sort themselves out, though I’ve lost a fair amount of feeling in the figer tip. Now other than a misshapen little finger and a funky scar, it’s much more usable and doesn’t hardly ever feel squiky.

Be gentle with it and give it time. It’ll probably always be ugly, but it shouldn’t always feel as painful as it does now.

I think you should go to a plastic/hand surgeon ASAP. There are things they may be able to do now to give a more normal look to the finger, that they can’t do later once it’s healed in the maimed state.

My friend’s father discovered that the same phenomenon occurs when getting your finger stuck in a mangle. The penalty for his youthful impetuosity was to be called ‘bumfinger’ by many for the rest of his life. It really did look like a little bum at the end.

Americans, substitute ‘butt’ for ‘bum’ to translate from real english to the pretend variety.

Although I have to say - it’s called a MANGLE! Who the hell is dumb to put their finger into something called that? It’s a good thing he never encountered a machine called a Mutilator or a Maimer - he’d probably have wanted to try them out too.

I cut off part of my finger in a meat slicer when I was in high school. It felt and looked weird for a few years, but is completely normal now.

So chin up - in about 20 years your finger should be fine :slight_smile:

Oh, I’m not that concerned about it. It’s not going to hamper my lifestye any - since I don’t pick my nose with my middle finger anyway (it doesn’t fit very well and the nail doesn’t grow long enough for a satisfying mining session). Actually, I feel pretty lucky. Exacty 1 week after my injury, another finger injury happened at the store. Someone got his finger caught in the vent of a stove and the description I got was that the skin came off like a glove :eek: .

I just wish it would hurry up and heal. I havedowngraded to bandaids when I’m at work and they’re annoying. I also wish the squicky feeling would go away.

As for the maiming, it can be a conversation piece - like my tattoos.

I closed a pocket knife on my finger in '89 and cut it through the nail to the bone. It took 10 stitches (that almost all went through the nail) to hold my fingertip back on. I kept a plastic fingertip cover on it for quite a while 'cause every time I touched anything it hurt like a sumbitch. It still hurts if I hit it or it gets cold, which it does about 5 times faster than any of my other fingers. It doesn’t have much feeling so it likes to get burned and abraided, too. And the fingernail grows all weird and feel tight if I let it grow very long. In the interest of full disclosure, that fingertip was subjected to another cut to the bone from the underside 5 or so years earlier, so compound damage may have occured. Either way…it still bothers me.

It was not uncomon for people to get there hands into the mangler on the old electric tub washers. I saw it happen to more than one person as a kid. They normaly popped open when to much resistance happened leaving the person with a extremely painfull hand or arm. Sometimes a news article would have something about a woman having her arm detached while doing laundry.

As I said, I’m seeing a hand specialist. He had the same sort of accident as a youth. I couldn’t pick out the finger.
He said finger tips are almost impossible to repair, they just have to heal. Occasionally, the piece can re-attach, but it’s just luck.

I’ve done a few things that have resulted in that squicky feeling but never to that degree. I’m sending quick-healing thoughts to both **congodwarf **and picunurse.