My first bone head move - router table accident

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On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 18:08:25 -0800, Larry Jaques
How do you _know_ it's only a flesh cut?
You've stuck a marginally upholstered important finger bone too close to a whirling bone-chewing cutter. The likelihood of bone damage is high and the consequences of a finger injury are serious for future loss of dexterity. Now I'm not a radiographer and I've no idea if an X-ray would even tell you much more (maybe a local and simply poking at it closely is more informative) but this seems like the sort of thing that would get upgraded to a hospital visit.
Last time I went to hospital I'd only bruised my foot - but until we'd got an X-ray, it was entirely possible I had broken something (steel plate bounced off my toecap and hit the arch). Everyone was relieved that the "cheap" X-ray was adequate treatment for it and I could head home there and then without costing any more money.
Maybe it's because of the UK's excellent NHS and their cost structure. "Visiting" A&E doesn't carry a flat fee cost, it just costs what you actually use. A cheap visit in time saves money overall compared to even a small fraction that turn serious later on.
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On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 10:57:31 +0000, Andy Dingley

Most Doctors could make an educated guess as to if the bone was damaged or not, The X-ray in most cases are taken to protect the doctor in a lawsuit.
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On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 10:57:31 +0000, with neither quill nor qualm, Andy

Um, common sense? Logical inspection of the wound? I guess that's hard for some people. We're all built differently. If I truly needed to, I'd do my own stitches with a needle and thread. I slit the last digit of my thumb in half once (dicing meat for Mom, nice freshly sharpened by me knife) cleaned it out, put some Bacitracin on it, and a good fabric bandaid over it. Two weeks later it was mostly healed. A doctor probably would have put 20 stitches in it but I can no longer tell which thumb it was by looking. <shrug> No, I'm no macho fool, either. It didn't hurt much (that day) with a clean cut halfway through the nail and all. I laughed when I did it, showed Mom, and she almost fainted. (Yes, this was after I quit drinking, too. ;) Touching that thumb for the next weeks was NOT fun but I survived without a doctor. The human body is an amazingly self-repairing tool. (see sig)

If you can see/feel bone during the cleanout, yeah, probably. An x-ray would show missing pieces of bone or shattered bones, but not pick up much in the way of missing flesh. If your finger still works, you haven't severed a tendon. Why worry?
Otherwise, it seems an unnecessary expense and hassle. Missing pieces aren't repairable and cuts/breaks in the bone HURT LIKE HELL. You'll know when it's really time for a hospital or ER visit. 90% of things aren't.

ER work for that over hear would be in excess of $1,000. A doctor's visit with x-ray might be $90-100. In your case, yes, it sounds like a doctor's office or hospital visit was in order.
I bruised my foot once after slipping off a thong. (No, the type of shoe, not the bathing suit. That would have been a tongue bruise.) I couldn't walk the next day (that was my hint to get to the doctor) so had it x-rayed. It showed a possible crack in the last metatarsal. DAMN those bone pains hurt! A prescription for staying off it as much as possible and an order of Naprosyn (NSAID for bone pain) worked. I could walk on it the next day but was careful for a few weeks.

Perhaps it's quicker, cheaper, and MUCH less hassle over on that side of the pond. It's hellatiosly costly and tiresome here, especially for the uninsured.
-- The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. --Voltaire (1694-1778) -- www.diversify.com - Medicine-free Website Development
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wrote:

how would one get a sewing machine through a finger? :)
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On Fri, 2 Dec 2005 12:52:27 -0700, "Charles Spitzer"
Pointy end first of course!
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Lord - that sounds very familiar. Your pic looks very much like my finger did after a bone-head move I made with a table saw a few years ago. I was cutting off trim pieces with the miter gage, turned the machine off and walked away with a hand full of pieces. I looked over my shoulder and realized I left one piece on the saw. Absent mindedly I didn't realize the blade had not spun down and it got the pointer on my right hand. Knocked a chunk out similar to yours. Expensive and painful safety reminder.
BTW - . Mine did get to the bone - barely nicked the end. They gave me a round of pretty strong antibiotics. Apparently bone infection is pretty serious stuff.
RonB
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Yep, ever since I sliced my thumb sharpening that drawknife, my wife put 911 on the speed dialer. It's now #38. Tom
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On 1 Dec 2005 19:26:37 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "tom"

You need your wife to dial 911 for an ambulance to take you to the hospital for a thumb wound?!? <thud>
Why didn't she drive you to your doctor?
Damnfool 'murricans. I swear...
-- The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. --Voltaire (1694-1778) -- www.diversify.com - Medicine-free Website Development
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