Posted by: DD | May 16, 2008

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.



  1. Cool! I looked forward to changing Joe’s dressings when he had some cysts removed from his back. There were three GIANT holes in him.

    Hope Mr. DD heals well.

  2. I shouldn’t have scrolled down. I’m not normally squeamish, having been an EMT in a former life (a.k.a. college), but that one…wow. Just wow. Poor Mr. DD. I hope he heals quickly.

  3. I am the freakshow that watches Discovery Health regularly. I saw that and was like, “More pictures! MORE!”

  4. UGH…I’m SO not with you on this one. I about tossed my cookies over last night’s pic. I don’t deal well with blood/gore.

  5. FYI, he’s not seeing an orthopod next week, but a general surgeon. Just in case one of you smarty Mcsmartypants realizes that an orthopedic surgeon would not consult on a nail issue.

  6. Reminds me of when I got the camera phone picture of my husband with a nail through his finger.

    “I had a little accident at work…”

  7. I say again. Ouch! And EEWWW!

  8. If I send you my address will you send me the pain pills that your stubborn macho man dude won’t take?

    My own macho man dude won’t take them either, so I take them to drown out his whining about his pain.

  9. Ouch – that sounds like no fun.

  10. Poor Mr. DD.

    When I was a kid, I had an allergic reaction to…something. And all of my fingernails and all of my toenails fell out.

    Hot, right?

  11. I have to say, I am all sqwicked out by the pics and the story. The very thought is making me make cringe. This, from a chick who can watch a complete bypass surgery and go “Oh cool! Guts and organs! Whee!”. I can’t stand anything orthopedic, and ewwww I just can’t go there. Poor Mr. DD! When G had his ear torn off, I was okay. But this is too much! Good luck! Ow!

  12. I just came by to tell you that last line made me laugh.

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