Can you ride with a broken finger? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2011, 7:28 pm Thread Starter
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Can you ride with a broken finger?

Due to some freak wind-related accident in NorCal - and not motorcycle related at all - I managed to break a ring finger and the thing is in some big splint to immobilize it. Bone doc said, "No motorcycle riding for 3 months as that will aggravate the break and you will be back to square one, and maybe a longer healing bone graft if you do something that 'stupid.' " I got that, "You ride motorcycles, therefore you are 'stoopid' " look from him too. I felt like saying, "I doubt if any of the 30 something old women in your waiting room broke their bones by riding motorcycles," but I bit my tongue.

Are they kidding me? Clutch hand is a bit screwed up now and won't fit into an XXXL glove at all - and I've tried. Now 3 months of no riding now that the weather is fine! Vibration aggravates it like mowing the silly yard. Arrrgh!

Simple question: "How long until...?"

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2011, 9:15 pm
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Wow, that blows man! I guess I see a "little" of what saw bones is telling you, but 3 months! That's probably too much? I'd lay off the lawnmower a little while and see how everything heals for a couple or three weeks. Got a wife or kids, neighbor's kids that can push that thing for ya? Seriously, use ice or whatever and get the swelling down ASAP. I broke a toe while splitting firewood with an 8 lb sledgehammer...yes, it was as bad as you can visualize! Followed the doctor's orders for 2 weeks and was good as new in about 4. She wasn't too happy when she found out I didn't follow her rehab schedule, but she got over it soon enough LOL.

I've only been back on my 85 K100 about 3 weeks and I couldn't imagine going through that now. I'd play by his rules 100% for a couple of weeks and see how it goes...don't push too hard, though. Best of luck to you!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 6:28 am
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What a lousy situtation. I believe I would have challenged this authority figure: What is the issue with riding? If the problem is vibration, then he should have told you no lawn mowing, etc. If the problem is trying to use the finger (squeezing the muscle against the splint), then he should have told you no car driving, etc.

Too bad it wasn't the other hand. The throttle is easy to twist with the index finger and you don't need the front brake. Heck, those front brakes are dangerous.

When in doubt, apply more throttle.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 12:55 pm
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Its the clutch hand so if you can squeeze the clutch in/out then I would think you could ride, you can move that hand off the bars once out of traffic and on the highway and it won't get any vibration. I would still wait a few weeks until I could put the clutch in with no pain and smoothly release it but I would ride.

For what its worth, I broke my wrist in a bike wreck and was never told stop riding.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 4:27 pm
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There may be something to what he says. I broke my heel, nearly clean off about 20 years ago. Since I was a train switchman then, running, jumping on-off moving cars, and hopping off ladders was my daily job. I stayed off 102 days. The last 50 days I rode 9,000 miles.I have had trouble with that foot since, especially when it's cold and damp.
I kinda figured the vibration would stimulate blood and calsium and heal faster, but, I was wrong.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 1:59 pm
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Get a second opinion (professional, not the internet ), especially if you can find a hand specialist that rides.

I had a broken ankle in 2009 from a motorcycle get-off, and got straight-out lies from the medical staff.

Besides, it only takes 6 weeks for bones to heal, right? Why 3 months?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 3:24 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Razel
Get a second opinion (professional, not the internet ), especially if you can find a hand specialist that rides.

I had a broken ankle in 2009 from a motorcycle get-off, and got straight-out lies from the medical staff.

Besides, it only takes 6 weeks for bones to heal, right? Why 3 months?
I'm hoping for 6 weeks as well by my own thinking. His 3 months seems a bit of a conservative stretch ... I hope. I have this other narrower splint that I can move into once the swelling goes down a bit and it "might" fit into a larger glove. This big splint won't fit into anything.

This is what I gathered from the hand specialist/orthopedic surgeon (who my regular doc referred me to after the x-ray and I got an immediate call-back on to go see the bone doc STAT (whatever the hell STAT means? In"sta(n)t" maybe?). The bone snapped cleanly from the larger knuckle joint at the last little bone on the finger. That's the part that puts pulling pressure on the clutch lever so it's susceptible to snapping again should I venture back to the clutch lever or get bad vibes off it (ergo, his "No motorcycle" comment.). Worse part is a subsequent "bone graft" to mend the finger bone together sounds worse: i.e. they evidently take bone from your hip and sort of built up a layer of finger bone to speed the healing, but it costs $35,000 too and a longer layout. Don't know if I want that in addition to waiting this one out for 3 months. "Any bend at the tip and it's back to square one for you" - or so they said. Wrist or arm I may have gotten away with. The bone setting tech (who seemed to know as much or more than the doc) seemed adamant about not bending the finger at the last joint for a month as well. Without the splint, it points to various directions depending on the swelling and tendons. Vibrations near it don't seem to agree with me at all now, nor does blunt force to the end which really smarts. Supposed to eat pink salmon and turmeric (??) for some bone healing and anti-inflammation properties too.

Really is a stupid break as I've busted other stuff before, just not some damn fingertip bone. All I can say is be careful when you grab a car door in a bad windstorm as your finger tip may decide to stay with the door handle's pocket once the door whips open and you go to grab it.

Wish I could find my MIA springy grip strength builder and had used it more in the past now too. Some people, and I know several H-D owners who complain about their clutch lever pull, mention their bike's "clutch pull hurts their hands" may benefit from one of those grip strength builders - in more ways than one.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2011, 7:19 pm
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It sounds like it could be a mess to fix if you aggravate it. I'd just play ball for a few weeks and see how things progress. You could be back to riding in 8-10 weeks. The worst case would be having a get off because your clutch action is screwed up. Then you're out for much longer and your bike is damaged.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 7:35 am
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I say do whatever you want. After all, what's the friggin doctor know? If it doesn't heal right then you can have it amputated. Amputations are cheap. You ever hear of a guy who couldn't ride because he didn't have a ring finger? I thought not. Tell that hand doctor where to stuff it. It's easier to get medical advice here on the internet.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2011, 11:47 am
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Big bummer.....don't know what I'd do with my left hand in that situation, but many years ago I rode quite a while with a broken right wrist. I had some little stick-up levers installed with hose clamps on the brake and throttle. Also had to cut up the jacket and gloves so they'd fit over the cast.

Was funny signing a ticket with that cast on, the cop never said anything either, and he sure did not like us much that one, Officer Pemberton..... Aaah! them pre-BMW days...

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