How long does it take to recover from a partial finger amputation?

As I have posted in another entry I am scheduled to have both pinkie fingers "shortened" (the doc's words) on July 5th. I had a severe Raynaud's attack that resulted in gangrene on the tips of the fingers. My boss has been great so far but is asking if I know how long before I will be able to return to work after the surgery.

Can anyone share their experience with this and how long the recovery took? I understand that I will be in pain for a while but want to return to work as soon as I can, of course. I work as an executive assistant.

Thanks so much!!

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Everyone is different, but, I had the middle joint on my index finger cut out, & for about 5 days I was glad for pain meds! After that first week, it calmed down enough to where I could function as well as usual (which isn't saying much...). I'm sure they will connect the skin flaps together (overlap?) since one reason we don't heal is shrinkage of the skin pulling wounds apart.

Good luck & I hope this helps a little,
Lenny

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I'm looking at my notes to recall my procedures. My stitches were removed 13 days after surgery, and the final scabs were removed a couple of weeks later. It takes some getting used to the feeling at the ends of a finger. An occupational therapist said to touch something very soft initially, then a less soft surface, and graduate to other surfaces. Still today, I have a funny sensation in the tip of my finger. The nerves are there, but my brain doesn't connect with the location well.

I hope everything goes well for you. Best of luck.

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I have had no experience with this. I just want to say, I am sorry for what you are going through.
Prayers and hugs your way.

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I didn't want to mention the pain, but perhaps it's better to prepare. I had a pain block catheter in my shoulder which kept my whole arm and hand numb for a week after the surgery. After removal of the block I took Advil and had access to stronger pain meds.

My heart goes out to you. I hope you're not in too much pain now and after surgery.

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Also just prayed for you, and will continue.

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First --are you sure that it's gangrene? I had a really bad Raynaud's attack in my middle finger back in 2010. The experience with my doctor and one particular hospital was a nightmare. I thought and they thought that it was gangrene. But when they wanted me to go through a million processes, one imparticular was for them to inject dye in my body, I decided to get another opinion. I drove over 400 miles away to another hospital, where they admitted me because of my high blood pressure. Right away the emergency room doctor told me that he didn't think that my finger had gangrene. I was in the hospital for 11 days because there was a delay with finding an outside doctor to come who knew about scleroderma. Over the 11 days they ran several tests, never injected dye in me. They did a CT scan of my finger. They had to run the CT scan 2 times, because the first time the tech was impatient. His shift was almost up and he wasn't interested in trying to understand that I had no control of the nerves in my hand--my hand kept moving. The second one was perfect. There was different tech, with a lot more patience and knew exactly how to position my hand and wrapped me with lots of blankets so that I wouldn't be cold. Although I wanted them to amputate my finger, they didn't. They said that my finger would self amputate. Huh? I had never heard of that. But they were so right! My fingertip hardened and became a shell. I was terrified!!! In the end when it was ready to come off--there was no blood and the skin underneath was like brand new. I was left with half of a tip--half fingernail. I think the whole healing process once I left the hospital was about 2 weeks.
I used do a lot of typing in my field of work. You may not want to think that your recovery period is going to so easy. I know that it's nice to have understanding bosses--I've had my share of them--but you really have to put yourself first. I used to be a workaholic so I don't say that lightly. Your typing speed is going to be slower because of the shortness of your finger and the nerve endings. Is it cold in the office where you work? That is probably what contributed to the Raynaud's attack. It was hard for me to leave the workplace but I got tired of purple fingers, cold toes and nose. It was easy for people to ask "can't you just use a heater?" Well a heater didn't work for me, when I surrounded by 50 degrees of cold air whenever I left my cubicle.
I will pray that you have a comfortable recovery. God bless you

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Thank you, everyone for your responses and prayers! It is so very appreciated.

LoHo, I have a pre-op appointment today and I am going to ask about the block! Between the emergency sympathectomy and where the gangrene is healing on the ends of my fingers (stopped by the surgery thank goodness) I have been in awful pain the last couple of months and anything to help with that would be a warm blessing! Boshanvia98, unfortunately it is definitely gangrene and I was informed about self-amputation by the hand surgeon, thanks. Since the finger on the right hand is not be as bad as the left I may just be able to wait for that to happen and we are going to discuss that today. :)

I am trying to not feel down about this and I try remind myself that I am not the first person to have this happen to but sometimes it is hard. I'm lucky to have a sweet and wonderful husband that takes care of me. Things could always be worse.

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LennyGski, thanks for posting your experience, too. I am surely going to be grateful for the pain meds!!

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I had a radial and ulnar sympathectomy the last time I had a partial amputation which happened to be 3 years ago today. They make two vertical cuts on your wrist and release a nerve I believe. It did help somewhat.They had to give me additional pain meds diladid, the day after the surgery. The pain will go away in a couple of days. Because my lack of circulation is so bad it took quite awhile for the scab to come off. I kept it wrapped when out so I would bang it against anything. God Bless because I know what you are going through

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We're thinking about you today. Let us know how you're doing and lots of luck.

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Thank you! I will let you know how it goes.

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Hi all. Thank you for your prayers! I made it through OK and am recovering at home. I don't go for the 'unveiling" until next Monday and I am a little nervous about that. My surgeon was going to try to save at least the nail on the right hand but the gangrene damage went right to the bone on both hands. But at least he only had to shorten my pinkies to the first joint (the one closest to where the nail would be) and said he tried to make the length match on both hands. It has definitely been painful but at least I can look forward to healing and getting this past me.

I am a little nervous about how I will feel when I see my fingers for the first time. Because of that I asked my doc for a xanax for that morning which he gave me. My husband is going to be there for my appontment, too, which helps. He has been so wonderful.

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Thanks for writing. I'm happy for you that it's over. Each day should be better. What a fantastic attitude you have. We're cheering for you. Best of luck.

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I am also glad the surgery is over. You sound like a very strong person with a lot of wisdom. Will continue to pray for you as you make this new adjustment in your life.

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I'm glad to hear that you're doing well. God Bless you and your family

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