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  1. #1
    Jim Caudill is offline Stainless
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    About a week ago I had occassion to allow my left forefinger (pointer for you with kids) become trapped between a brake caliper and wheel while checking for a bad wheel bearing. It was sort of like sticking your finger in a Kurt vise and closing it up til the jaws were about 1/4" apart. Naturally, there was some tearing and flesh removal along the side of the nail. A week later and the wound itself is healing OK, with no evidence of infection. However, today I noticed the very back of the nail is loose and it appears as though there remains about 1/2 of the nail that is still vital and attached. The vital 1/2 would appear to run diagonally from the lower "right rear" to the "left front".

    Do I keep a band-aid over the entire nail, trying to keep it from becoming a free-floating appendage waiting to catch on something; or do I see about having it removed by an MD?

  2. #2
    dbc58's Avatar
    dbc58 is offline Cast Iron
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    If in doubt see a doctor. I would just keep it taped until it comes off on its own. You don't want to tear it off.

  3. #3
    Mike72's Avatar
    Mike72 is offline Hot Rolled
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    Keep it protected from tearing and let it grow out, trimming when necessary. If the nail bed is not damaged it will heal itself. But see a doctor to address your concerns.

  4. #4
    Racer Al's Avatar
    Racer Al is offline Stainless
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    Something tells me that since the bad guys in the movies tear the fingernails off of the good guys, you probably don't want to do that. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Having smashed my finger a couple times, I will reassure you that it will take care of itself in time.

    Regarding a bandaid, it depends on how severely you've damaged it -- in some cases, it will take only days for the nail to fall off, but other will take weeks.

    You don't mention this, but sometimes, if you get a buildup of blood on the back of the nail, it can "pressurize", causing discomfort. It's quite a relief to use the tip of an X-acto blade to "drill" a small hole to relieve said pressure.

  5. #5
    Mike W is offline Stainless
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    I had a crack sideways about 1/4" from the end of my thumbnail. I used epoxy to cover the area with some overlap on the good part of the nail. It will last 3 or 4 weeks before the epoxy may start to pop loose.
    It turned out pretty good except for the slight yellow tint that epoxy has.

  6. #6
    Ox's Avatar
    Ox
    Ox is offline Diamond
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    Just trim as needed.

    Just went through this myself for the first time since .... ???? Boy - it's been a long time since I did that! Last time I damaged one bad enough to lose the nail - it took 2/3 of the finger with it. Doc sewed'r back up tho. Kant hardly even tell to this day. I have to really stop to think which one it is even.

    The recent one wasn't nearly that bad and I had to trim it from the back forwards as it grew out so that it didn't catch anything too bad.

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

  7. #7
    David Utidjian's Avatar
    David Utidjian is offline Titanium
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    My father showed me a trick many years ago. When you mash a finger or toe nail and it turns black (and hurts like hell!) it is because of the blood buildup under the nail.

    His method was to hold a straightened paperclip in a pair of pliers on the stove until it was red hot. Then immediately poke it into the geometric center of the black area. A whiff of smoke and some dark goo (blood) comes out. But oh what a relief from the pain!!! It only takes a very light and shallow poke. You will not even feel it.

    Wrap a bandaid over and and get back to work.

    My father is an MD.

    -DU-

  8. #8
    rke[pler's Avatar
    rke[pler is offline Diamond
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    His method was to hold a straightened paperclip in a pair of pliers on the stove until it was red hot.
    I did that once after I caught my index finger in a progressive reloading press. It ratchets in the closing cycle and clicked with my finger pretty well stuck and me out of reach of anything to disassemble it, so I clenched my teeth and hit the handle with my free hand to finish the cycle. Mashed my finger some and I had to use the trick above to relieve the pressure. Worked pretty good, but the smell... reminded me of the morgue.

  9. #9
    2Slow's Avatar
    2Slow is offline Hot Rolled
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    If I get a blood blister under the nail (turns redish purple) I push a pin or sewing needle under the nail until the trapped blood squirts out. As long as you make sure to push the pin towards the underside of the nail as you push it in, not towards the fleshy part of the finger, it does not hurt at all. Once the blood squirts out the pain is gone and the nail stays attached. (Very similar to what DU advised, just coming at it from a different axis so that there is no hole int he center of your nail. The sooner you do this, the better the results.

    -Joe

  10. #10
    HWooldridge is offline Hot Rolled
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    I smashed the two middle fingers on my right hand about 5 months ago and left everything alone to heal naturally. My "ring" finger was broken but I didn't get a splint so it's a little crooked. The nails came off on their own and with no pain about two months after the accident. The new ones are now about 3/4 of the way out to the end of my finger. I was always told to leave the old ones in place so the new could form underneath.

  11. #11
    gbent's Avatar
    gbent is offline Diamond
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    I use superglue on smashed fingernails to keep the loose part from tearing off. It is clear so it doesn't show. It will also keep the opening from filling with grease.

  12. #12
    Gary E is offline Diamond
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    Buy one of those expensive Ceegars that come in an aluminum tube... use it to protect the finger..

  13. #13
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    i've lost many finger and toe nails (all but three were due to frostbite and rockclimbing) two where due to 'someone' (no one confessed) to kicking a foot pedal when i was running an iron worker and my hand got pinched between the work. and #3 was when one of the two previously mentioned nails grew back, my shop steward was throwing a peice of dudage to me while i was ontop of a trailer loading it VIA overhead bridge cranes (lets just say it was a combination of a bad throw and a bad catch) i shielded my face to block his bad throw and i took it directly on the poor nail (and i was wearing mechanics gloves under my welding gloves at the time)

    unless theres a risk of infection, doctors won't remove it

    (i'm a lvl3 first aidy up here, highest ticket for industrial)

    from my experience, if theres sub fungal hematoma covering % or more, you'll lost the nail for sure

    and when its loose, you can let it fall off on its own, or rip it off yourself....either way does the trick, ripping it off doesn't really effect how the nail regrows or anything....but, if you like, keep a band-aid over it so it doesn't snag on anything

    when it doubt, see a doctor eh?

  14. #14
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    oh by the way....someone mentioned using a knife to drill a hole


    first of all, if you are doing this to someone else (don't do it to yourseld) wear a faceshield, glasses wont do as blood will spray out afew feet a hit the ceiling, don't want that in your eyes...second, use a paper clip....heat it up with a lighter (or a torch if you want) till its red hot...its hot enough to melt through your nail....don't worry, it won;'t hurt (unless you go too far.)..remember just a touch with the paper clip is all it takes

  15. #15
    FranH is offline Hot Rolled
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    Give the finger a few hours of fresh air daily (keep out moisture...sweating, water etc.), keep the bandaid as protection from catching the nail, trim as it grows out.....be sure to use the forefinger from your other hand when you do the other other side of the car.

  16. #16
    crossthread's Avatar
    crossthread is offline Stainless
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    When you are drilling a hole in your fingernail to let the blood out, don't forget to center punch it first.

  17. #17
    Jim Caudill is offline Stainless
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    Well, there was bleeding under the nail, but it had no trouble escaping thru the side, where a chunk of tissue was removed. There never was any pressure build up, but I have melted a hole in the past (many years ago) to relieve the throbbing. Right now the issue is that the entire rear of the nail is loose, but most of the front is still attached. I soak the finger several times a day in Epsom salts and warm water. I usually allow it to "breathe" at night and keep it covered when I'm active. In some respects, I think it would be best to just have the whole nail off, and in other ways it seems like any protection of the finger tip is better than nothing.

  18. #18
    N2IXK's Avatar
    N2IXK is offline Stainless
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    When you are drilling a hole in your fingernail to let the blood out, don't forget to center punch it first.
    But first you need to paint it with dykem and lay out the location with a height gage...

  19. #19
    Joe D Grinder is offline Titanium
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    there is always the cider treatment! ...Joe

  20. #20
    D.spencer's Avatar
    D.spencer is offline Hot Rolled
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    Ouch- that hurts. BT,DT many times myself. I have used a small number drill bit to drill a hole thru the fingernail to relieve the pressure( after sterilizing of course) but dang, it seems like I have been doing it the wrong way- I never center punched or used layout fluid> I will try to remember that for next time :rolleyes:

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