Susan Schmitt was looking forward to a sunlit, invigorating sailboat race with co-workers on Lake Michigan in August 2019. But Mother Nature had other plans: rain, choppy seas, 6-foot waves, 11-knot winds.

The treacherous conditions made the deck slippery, and Susan slid during a tacking maneuver slamming her left hand into the hull.

“I knew I hit it hard,” Susan said. “I had to keep my hand in a fist because I could feel pain shoot through it when I opened it. By the time we docked, my hand was probably twice its normal size.”

After icing it, Susan went to Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Drexel Town Square Health Center in Oak Creek, where she’s a clinical care assistant. A quick X-ray told the story.

“There was a break clear across the bone,” she said.

Her injury was assessed by the plastic and reconstructive surgery team at Drexel Town Square Health Center. Our team of plastic surgeons includes providers who specialize in hand- and nerve-related surgery.

It was determined that Susan had a fracture of the fifth metacarpal, below the pinkie finger. It was an oblique (slanted) fracture, along the length of the bone. This type of fracture is generally extremely unstable and almost always requires surgery to prevent long-term issues.

Susan had her hand surgery performed at Drexel Town Square Health Center Ambulatory Surgery Center.

During the procedure, her surgical team inserted three stainless steel screws to produce a more rigid, strong repair than other approaches.

The incision was closed with plastic surgery finesse: absorbable sutures underneath and skin glue on top to minimize scarring. Following surgery on a Friday, Susan returned to work the next Tuesday wearing a protective brace.

“Four months later, I never even thought I had broken my hand,” she said. “It was the easiest surgery and recovery I’ve had.”

John David

What a fantastic post! I learn a lot of hand treatment information from your article. My bro had suffering this problem, before two months he did hand surgery at tosh hospital Chennai, Now He is absolutely fine.
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