no. 660 – When Is A Finger Like a Tube of Toothpaste?


When does a squashed finger require stitches?

To keep the fingernail from shooting out like Wolverine’s adamantium claws.

Mr. DD was setting up an expandable ladder at work. He thought he had one pin set while working the other side, but it wasn’t. While he was able to whip his hands out of the way as the weight of one side slammed into the other, the longest digit was millimeters too long. The results? The prior post.

Last night, when I helped him change the dressing, I asked why the stitches since he didn’t technically tear the skin. The ER doc told him he was setting the stitches as if he was grafting the nail bed back into the tissue.

Imagine a tube of toothpaste with the lid on. Now run over the toothpaste with your car. What do you think happens to the paste? It’s going to come out at the point of least resistance.

Well that’s what happened to the fingernail. It was literally squeezed out of his finger. Gross, huh?

He was worried I was going to not being able to handle the dressing change when in fact I found it quite fascinating. Sure it was ugly and all, but to have your fingernail squeezed out? When will I ever get to see that again?!

He’s on some pain meds (which he doesn’t want to take because of course it doesn’t feel too bad – right now but that SOB will be aching by the middle of the day) and antibiotic. He’ll see an orthopod next week to see if the nail can really be saved and then sometime later, the stitches will be removed.

For now, he’s doing OK. Angry with himself for letting it happen as well as a little grumpy because wiping his ass is a tad difficult. I’ll help with the dressing change, but he’s on his own there.