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Dr. Rachel Discusses Fingertip Injury Treatment at Workers’ Compensation Conference

Dr. Nick Rachel was a featured presenter at the Alabama Self-Insurers Association Conference in Destin, Florida on the topic of fingertip injury treatment and recovery.

Dr. Rachel’s discussion focused on the details involved in workers’ compensation crush injuries, and getting the patient to maximum medical improvement. The most common crush injury is to the fingertip, a very sensitive area composed of several nerves. Prompt treatment is vital to preserve function to the injured worker.

When evaluating the injury, things to consider include the patient’s age, occupation, and needs, as well as the type of injury. Whether the fingertip is crushed, sharp, and whether bone and/or soft tissue have been involved in the injury.

The goals of treatment typically include restoration of the anatomy, which would include the pad of the fingertip, the nail, and the ability to receive sensation. Problems to avoid include split nail or hook nail, which can be caused by the lack of bony support beneath the nail bed or the tight closure of a fingertip amputation. Cosmesis, or the cosmetic appearance of the fingertip, is also taken into consideration in the treatment plan.

The optimal treatment occurs within six hours of the injury taking place. If this isn’t possible, the interim treatment plan would be minimal debridement and limited closure, with definitive care taking place within 24-28 hours.

The outcomes following a crush injury are dependent on the injury and treatment. Typically there is a total recovery time of two to four months, dependent upon the severity and type of injury.

Dr. Rachel is a board certified pediatric and adult hand and upper extremity surgeon. He has completed advanced fellowship training in hand and upper extremity surgery. Dr. Rachel’s practice focuses on the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of hand, wrist, and elbow injuries and conditions. 

For more than 40 years, patients throughout the Gulf Coast have chosen our orthopaedic doctors at The Orthopaedic Group, P.C., for specialized care in the spine, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, hip, and knee, and foot and ankle.

Our fellowship-trained doctors have extensive education and experience in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating all orthopaedic injuries and conditions.

Experienced, Expert care for over 40 years.

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