Should I cut open my index finger?

A couple weeks ago I was replacing a faucet at work. When I was loosening the retaining nuts, I received a sliver of some crap in my index finger. I normally take slivers out as soon as I get them, but I couldn’t see this one under my skin. So, I left it.

Now, 2 weeks later, the tip of my finger where I got the sliver is now slightly puffed and tender… its also a little warmer than the rest of me.

Should I do a little bit of self-exploritory surgery to try to dig the sliver out? I am not keen on going to a hospital/doctor for it as I am sure they have better things to do than get a “sliver” out of a 29 year old mans finger.

I suggest going to a doctor, the last thing you want is gangreen.

If you were working on a Morgul-Faucet, the sliver could be burrowing its way to your heart :eek: You’d best get it taken care of.

Go to the doctor, that’s what they’re there for. You’ll need antibiotics if it gets infected. Also, when was the last time you had a tetanous (sp?) shot?

I’d carve it out and splash the wound with alcohol (the disinfecting kind, rummy!). If it didn’t show improvement in a couple days then I’d go to the doc.

This is of course simply what I would do, not necessarily what should be done.

I’d do what Revtim would do, FWIW.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing Revtim.

I’m not too concerned about it getting infected and/or Tetanus. I would think that if it was to infect me, it had 2 weeks to do it already and I’m fine.

My guess is my body is just trying to reject it. I think I’ll give it a little helping hand in the name of a disinfected exacto knife and tweezers.

Nothing beats a little bit of home surgery. :wink:

IT’S ALREADY infected, for god’s sake!!! If you had tried your little “self-surgery” immediately, and slathered it with antibiotic ointment, maybe it would be OK. Now that’s it’s buried and has infected the entire tip of your finger, you need an injection, some pills, and a skilled hand with a scalpel.

Moderators, please be aware that I deleted some very insulting prose from this post, and I deserve praise for my restraint…

It is possible its infected, but I doubt it. I’ve had several infections before from cuts, splinters etc. They were all extremely tender to the touch and happened with a day or two of the incident.

This is two weeks after the fact, and not even really “painful”. Just feel like a bit of pressure underneath my skin, kind of like how a pimple can get.

Yeah, give yourself a big pat on the back. You’re a super fella. :rolleyes:

Called a nurse (our city has a ph# to call for medical problems so you don’t have to go to the hospital for emergency help/advice for non-life threating problems like this). Gave her the lowdown.

She recomended to soak my finger in saltwater, it will help draw out the sliver. If its not out by Friday to go see my Dr and get him to remove it.

She is not overly concerned. I’ll follow her advice.

I had a friend who had the same thing happen to him and he died a horrible death. It happened like a week before he went on a skiing vacation in Switzerland. While skiing, due to the slight pain in his finger he lost his grip on the stick and as a result slipped off an Alp and died a horrible death.

The moral of the story is that as long as you are not planning on going skiing in Switzerland in the next couple of weeks you are probably safe.

Remember: God heals and the doctor sends the bill.

Well, notwithstanding the fact that you should always go to a doctor (Pediatrician’s son speaking …), your finger is probably infected (hence the inflammation). Doesn’t mean, even if the doctor saw you now, that you’d get a shot and a full course of antibiotics, etc., though–after all, even a pimple is an infection of a sort.

The moral of the story: do the self-surgery immediately next time, then you won’t have to open yourself up to this sort of public scrutiny. Oh–and don’t pick your nose.

>> and don’t pick your nose.

Whose nose is he supposed to pick then?

It’s probably not an infection. You aren’t going to get gangrene, and I wouldn’t go to the doctor unless it gets worse.

You body is just trying to get the foreign body out. My mom would tell you to “let it fester”. I would not take any antibiotics unless there is a very reason.

Personally, I do the self-surgery, but than again, I’m a Microbiologist, and nothing bothers us.

If it’s close to the surface open it up with a safety pin and some rubbing alcohol and dig it out. Dig, dig, dig.

If it’s deeper see a doctor.

Keep this in mind in case you ever need an MRI. Either get it now or remember it’s there if you’re ever scheduled for one.

Heh. Gotcha.

But can I still pick my nose with my other hand?

My pappy was a good old-fashioned family practice man, he taught me self surgery quite nicely. Some times slivers need a helping hand. Metal slivers tend to be rejected slower than wood, and can be alot more painfull. Just make sure when you are working with the X-acto that you don’t accidently push it in before you have a chance to work with the tweezers.

And don’t bite your nails.


It may take a while, but the sliver should eventually work itself out of your finger. I’ve had “foreign objects” lurking in my epidermis that took forever to remove (one was a tiny piece of glass the size of a grain of sand…hurt like hell every so often), and I’m not dead yet.

We 'Mercans are over-antibioticked, anyway.

The question of infection aside, the sooner you get something like this out, the less pain there will be, the easier it will be, and the less likely it is lo leave a scar. Of course, you can also improve all three of these factors, at any stage, by getting a doctor to do it for you. At the very least, call up the doctor and ask how long this would take and how much it would cost. It might or might not be worthwhile for you.