35 answers

Please Help Son Cut off End of Finger.

Hello,
My 10 year old son cut off the end of his finger on his right had down to the first joint. He is very heart broken. He is a sports driven little boy loves to play soccer, baseball, and basketball. I hate to sound like I'm bragging but he is really good at all sports. He was picked for the baseball All Stars team. They traveled alot and won several games this summer. Now he lost part of his finger and they have a game today. He had to turn in his uniform and could not play today as his doctor said no. It is killing him. He has been a part of the All Stars team all summer now he can't. He also had high hope for next year. He has been the pitcher up til this years. This year he was one of the younger boys on the team and his first year at little league. So a last years boy pitched this year. His coach says he will start training him to pitch next year. Now his pitching hand is not normal. So my son is afraid he is not going to be able to pitch or play ball as good as he did. He wanted to play football this year sign ups are going on now. Dr. said no. He has always played soccer since he was 4 years old. Sign ups are going on now. He is really good at it. His Dr. said that if it was his kid he wouldn't let him play until his finger heals, but he would not tell us he couldn't play soccer but there is risks. The dr. said it will take a good three month to heal the skin over. My son lives for sports because he is good and everyone is always telling him how good he is that it makes him feel good. He is ADD and dose not do good in school. So sports gives him something to feel good about himself. When he was telling one of his team mates about his finger he almost cried and he never cries. So my questions are should I get him someone to talk to about it? Has any one had this happen and will it heal up close to normal? Should I let him play soccer?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Dear family~
This must be hard on everyone but I think Beth has the right idea. There has to be time to heal. If he or family remains really depressed and it affects the rest of his life, please tell his M.D. for a possible referral. While healing, try something as the Dr. allows. Swimming?? Art or music?? He will adapt, and he can still do so many things; you'll just have to discover and keep a positive attitude for him. Don't let him quite trying after the healing is done... and you can promise him that now.
Good luck.

Three years ago my friend was driving home with his son when they were in a car accident and the truck rolled causing his son's right arm to be severed above the elbow and doing sever damage to his head and face. He was active in Boy Scouts and an avid sports player. Recovery was a long road back for him, but today not only does he play on an All Star travel soccer team but he also refs for the younger kids.

I would have to balance the risks vs his desire to play soccer this season. Please let him know either way that he will be able to play next year.

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Personally, if it was my son I would hold off on playing contact sports. That said, if he has a relationship with the players/team ask him if he wants to go to the games or even watch the practices. Ask the coach if he can sit with the team. Professional athletes get injured and have to take time off to heal and they are there cheering on their team/friends. Injuries is just a part of sports and being there for his team helps him still keep the relationships he has formed. Remind him it will not be long before he can play again. If you are looking an activity, can he jog to keep in shape with the doctors approval? While it may seem boring, it could make him better at the sport of his choice in the long run.

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Hi, B..

My husband's younger brother lost his whole finger (on his right hand) when he was in middle school/junior high. His family made one crucial mistake. They felt sorry him and cut him a lot of slack in areas they shouldn't... as a result, he is much LESS disciplined and proactive as a person.

I am so sorry that your son lost his finger... but it sounds like it will heal? If that is correct, people probably won't even notice it and I can see him still hsving strong performance in sports (even as a picther). I am not an expert in baseball, but it seems like body mechanics, arm and hand technique are just as... if not more important. Soccer definitely seems good for his injury, but wait until the doctor says it is ok to play.

I think there is fine line between sympathy/helping his process this... and victimization. You would be doing a huge disservice to your son by making this much larger than it is. As part of helping him process this, I would definitely help him understand the time of the healing process and help him place this in the context of time overall. He is not a small child anymore and this is great opportunity for him to see how you, your husband respond to adversity... be positive and don't baby him. Maybe teach him about athletes who had to overcome some type of physical illness or disability and still kicked butt. This experience can make him stronger and more confident.

Definitely seek help from a professional to guide you... always good to seek a professional opinion.

Best of luck to you.

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I am sure he will still be able to play sports well when his finger has healed but I would make him wait for the finger to heal. He is young and missing a season of a sport will not damage his ability. I'm sure that he could practice some of his own or with friends at some Dr. approved level. He seems to get most of his self worth from sports. This may be a good time for him to realize that he has intrinsic value not for what he does but for who he is. I think it would be good for him to talk to someone about the feelings he has. If you go to church I would ask your pastor or priest for recommendations for a counselor. If not then I would ask your doctor. I have not had something like this happen in my family but did have a friend of a friend that lost the tips of 4 fingers one hand. He was a gifted guitar player and only 20yr. It healed well but he taught himself to play guitar with the other hand so he could continue to play.

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B., I would follow the doctor's advice. If the doctor is indicating that letting your son play sports right now could even possibly lead to permanent damage, infections etc., you have to consider his lifelong use of that hand, not the short-term issue of whether he plays sports right now, this summer. He will be upset this summer and of course that upsets you, but you have to be the parent and take the harder course sometimes in the interest of the rest of his life.

Is your son's baseball coach an understanding person or a tough guy? I ask because if he's the former, you could get him involved to talk with your son about how there are LOTS of injuries in sports and people often can play later, but involving the coach would be good only if the coach backs YOU and the doctor up 100 percent and does not make your son (1) feel even more left out or (2) promise your son unrealistic things that may never happen, like "You'll be a star pitcher even with that fingertip gone, kid!"

I think some long-term perspective would help you help your son. He's only 10. Yes, sports is his life right now, but other injuries could happen; as he matures, he may be less of a star at sports; other kids will come along who are better than he is at sports; he may lose interest in sports only to find his family defines him as "our sports star" so much that he feels he'll disappoint all of you if he mentions another non-sports interest. If he's always being told what a star he is, he feels he has to live up to that and it can be a lot of pressure. This may be a time to reassess whether he wants to try something different for a while. I'm not being anti-sports here; I'm just saying that very, very few kids really do go on to the high school team, the college team, the scholarship, the big leagues.

I wish he knew my best friend's son. He's 13 and a great sportsman, especially in baseball, though he also plays soccer and basketball at times. Last summer he had a problem that involved his growth plates and had to miss the last half of his All-Star team's season. Like your son, he was very, very disappointed. But he fully realized that if he played anyway (not that his mom would have let him!), he likely would have damaged himself permanently. And this summer, though he was very much eligible and coaches asked him to be on the All-Star team, he actually chose of his own free will to take the summer off. He does not love baseball one bit less; he just knows when he needs "down time" and a break even from his favorite sport. (He's so mature he actually says he would like to work in baseball and of course wants to play, but would be happy to be a team manager, so he works hard on his math!)

By the way, this young man does do a lot of tae kwon do in a good academy, and your son might consider taking some sample classes to see if he wants to drop one of his team sports for an individual pursuit like tae kwon do, which has given my friend's son a LOT of personal discipline and taught him to be very respectful toward all adults because his tae kwon do master expects respect. Just a thought for a pursuit that isn't tied to team sports but is still very athletic. In tae kwon do, you're competing against yourself to do better and achieve more, rather than trying to "win" against others. Good luck with your son's recovery.

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Please please explain to your son that it will heal and he will be able to do anything he puts his mind to. A very good friend of mine lost his 4 fingers and was left with just a thumb. He was a star pitcher for the baseball team. He had to learn to adjust to not having the fingers but he did. He is mourning a loss right now...but encourage him to get out there again as soon as the doctor says he can. Is there anyway that he could help with a group of younger kids teaching them how to play this season until the finger heals? Hope this helps.

W.

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dear B., first of all, I can hear the heartbreak you are experiencing watching your son go through this... as a loving parent, it is difficult to watch a child in physical or emotional pain. First, I would take some private time for yourself to come to peace with this situation. Many times parents feel responsible in some way, no matter that they had nothing to do with it. If you are saying to yourself, "if only I had..." I hope you can find the love and support to heal that.

If you are feeling bad, guilty, sorry, it goes right to your son, and he will continue to feel sad, guilty, sorry and significantly delay his own healing, physically and emotionally. So first, take the time for yourself, to cry, be angry, release in a safe way.

I feel your son would benefit by having some big cries himself. How many times have I heard parents admonishing a child not to cry? Crying can be a very useful outlet, and goodness knows, your son has every right to cry. So as his loving mother, speak to him, encourage him, to cry, it will help him release emotions, instead of them being bottled up and later surfacing as anger or some illness like cancer.
Once he has expressed his emotions, you can show him all the amazing people, with disabilities who have overcome society's so-called norms, and gone on to play sports, be top of their class, be successful in whatever their field of interest. There are so many examples of people who have been injured and overcome it, to go on and play and be even better than before. One example that comes to mind is a young girl in Hawaii, I believe, who, while surfing, lost her arm to a shark. She still surfs, competitively, with one arm. You can easily search online for sports figures who have had injuries and gone on, after healing, to play better than ever.

Now, as to whether your son "should" play any sport now like soccer, contemplate this deeply. It is an opportunity for a good life lesson here for your son. Yes, Life holds situations where something unexpected may happen and how one reacts to it, and adapts to it, is what is important. Teach your son that Life can throw curve balls. Let him know that months of healing time without sports, is better than a lifetime with pain, with further complications, and possibly taking longer to heal, if not causing an infection that could require amputation of the remainder of his finger. And who wants to go through more pain after what he just went through? The suggestion a responder made of wearing a metal splint over the finger will not do. In soccer, there is physical contact with one's opponents, people run into each other all the time (jammed finger sounds incredibly painful to me on a raw non-healed wound) and soccer players do use their hands to play. In the heat of the moment, he will not be thinking about his finger and could reinjure it. Have you ever experienced, personally or someone you know, fracturing an ankle or arm and it is in a sling or cast and everybody and everything is bumping into it? Really think deeply about short term vs long term gains and plain common sense.

You can see this temporary sitting out on sports to develop and focus on another area that your son could have missed by being so singularly focused on sports. What if it turns out, he has another latent gift, painting, art, photography, creative writing, that he would never have uncovered if he only immersed himself in sports. This is teaching him he has many aspects. If you listen to anyone in sports, it is a sort term career, and the wise ones develop and prepare themselves in other ways so they don't fall apart (financially and emotionally) when their career ends.

I will hold you and your son and any other family members in my prayers, that you each heal from this, and receive the Peace, the deeper healing, the opportunities, gifts being offered. Blessings to you all...

Hi B.,
I know this response is a little late. I hope I am not duplicating any of the other advice that you have received. I am sorry to hear about your son's finger. I know this is difficult for him because he is so active in sports. I would not allow him to play in any sports just yet until he has healed completeley. My daughter had foot surgery on July 7th. So far she has been healing wonderfully. She had to sit out during some activities as well. She thought her foot was healed enough to wear a regular sneaker the other day. However, after being on the foot half of the day, her foot was swollen and she was not able to wear the sneaker. She had to put on her doctor required shoe. I know this is not the same but the best thing to do is allow your son to heal. Ask the coaches if he can attend practices to give the other kids advice and and help out, without any physical contact.That way he can still remain a part of the team without feeling left out of the entire season. Be blessed!!

Hi,

I have young children but I think that the same rules apply for all ages. I think first and foremost talk to your son, help him let all of his feelings, of frustration, anger an sadness out of his system. And then secondly, redirect him. Find something else that maybe you could do together or something else that he may be good at. Im sure that your son not only enjoys sports because he is good, but also because he gets praise and positive feedback but from you, his coaches and peers, probably something lacking in other areas(school) because of his ADD. Mostly I think you need to talk to him and really listen, because Im sure as an adult you know that summer will be over so quickly and here again, but to him its the end of the world. Think of something adventurous and completely different to do. Praise him more than ever for other aspects of hisself, his manners, his compassion etc. Mostly all you can do is love him, which Im sure you do more than anything already by the sound of your plea. Good luck to your family, hope this helps. Also, would soccer really hurt his finger so much? They say, when you lose one sense, your other ones become stronger than ever!

Hello B. T,

In my opinion, you should let your son know that this accident doesn't mean he can't play or won't be as good as he was before. In fact because of it he may be better just because he has to try that much more. Show him other athletes with one arm or no legs etc. show him that even though this was unfortunate it won't stop him, it'll just make him more unique. THE MAIN THING HERE IS ENCOURAGEMENT!!! LOVE AND TONS OF SUPPORT! I hope this helps.

B., I think that listening to the advice of the doctor is the prudent path to choose here. I can understand that your son relies on sports for his need for success, and how important that is to a child with challenges in school, but I think that with support from his parents he can come through this. Help him find information about Wilma Rudolph who became an Olympic medalist after having polio as a child, or Bo Jackson who continued to play major league baseball after a hip replacement, or Jim Abbott was a major league pitcher who was born with only one hand. Maybe making a scrapbook of these success stories of people who overcame their challenges will inspire him to overcome his ADD. Bo Jackson was my son's hero as he struggled with his severe learning disabilities when he was a child, and Bo is still one of his heroes when he is an adult.

Waiting until the finger is totally healed before playing ports will shorten the recovery time in the long run.

No personal advice, but I think I'd talk to the doctor about what the concerns about soccer are -- is it that he could fall on the hand? Can he run, swim, lift weights? If so, I think I'd emphasize to your son that it's worth giving up one season to make sure he has the best use of his hand for the rest of his life. Would the coach be willing to have him as an "assistant coach" so he can be part of the team still?

I am so sorry for you and your son. It must be devastating. All hope is not lost for sports. Maybe you could talk to him about Jim Abbott. He was a New York Yankee and pitched with only one hand-- pretty amazing. If he's a natural athlete like you say, he might be able to compensate and still play normally.
I wouldn't let him play soccer just in case, but make it clear to him he can play next year.
:)

I hope all goes well. Good luck.

Hi B.!

I know it must be awfully hard right now. I have a 10-year-old son who loves sports. He broke his finger before and hurt his elbow once, and we had to slow him down until they got better.

I think it is more important to follow the doctor's directions and make sure the finger heals correctly than anything else. If it heals correctly, everything will be better later than if it doesn't.

Also, you might want to see if you can help your son find something else that he is good at (cartooning? acting? singing?) because it is always nice not to have all your eggs in one basket.

Best of luck!

I had a friend in high school who lost his pointer finger on his left hand (he was left handed). He was on the swim team and the baseball team. He still very successfully played both sports though would get picked on b/c of the "abnormality." He was nicknamed "stubby" and would get told (if he lost a swim meet by a second or two) that it was b/c of his finger. But he did extremely well. His finger was lost all the way down to the base of the hand. I do not remember how long it took to heal, but he would say that he still "felt like it was there." I am sure it will be an adjustment, but things will be fine, he should be able to play sports no problem ultimately, as to when, I think that is up to you, him and his doctor.

Good luck!!!

Follow the doctor's advice, but I would consider getting a second opinion. You might also call the school counselor (someone should be there even in the summer) and ask for some advice for helping him cope. Imagine how it would feel as an adult to have this happen, I would have trouble coping too. I am sure he will be fine, but it sounds like he is wrapped up in his worth as a physical person, and you may want to spend soem time reinforcing tha the is smart and kind, too, etc.

I am not sure about other sports, but I know there have been many baseball players with disabilities, some far more severe than missing a fingertip. Jim Abbott comes to mind. Here is info I found online.

http://www.motivational-keynote-speakers.com/jimabbott.html

http://articles.latimes.com/2004/apr/28/sports/sp-hsbrady28

Personally, I met a sprinter when I was in high school who was a para-olympian missing a leg, but held a world record in some race (among general "full-bodied" atheletes)

Let your son do some research on sports and overcoming physical challenges.

I'm sure he will be fine, but it will be an adjustment, and you just want to give him some positive activities to get him throught the next couple of months.

B.:

I'm sorry to hear about your son's finger.

To answer your questions.

1. I do believe it's traumatic enough to warrant a visit with a pyschologist to let him talk about his issue.

2. Let him know there are MANY professional sports players that have lost tips and portions of their fingers and still play.

3. I would follow the Dr's advice and let the finger heal prior to letting him play ANY sport - if he falls and reopens the wound, it could cause even more damage. If someone slams in to him, it could damage the open wound or even break the finger - which could result in more problems. Your son is 10 years old - even with ADD - he should understand the possible issues or problems that could result with him playing soccer.

Reassure your son that he WILL pitch, throw, catch, all of it again - he may end up being BETTER because of it - he may learn to use BOTH hands and have more control over pitches with the lack of a digit there.

Let the wound heal. He will play again. Have him talk with a professional so he can work through his feelings. Encourage him to let his wound heal - he WILL be fine, he WILL play again (and he just might be better!) but he needs to listen to the Dr and let the wound heal.

Take care!

God Bless!

C.

If he truly loves sports and wants to continute playing I would talk to the dr. and find out if there are options that would allow him to continue healing while still being active. Also, be perfectly clear as to what the consequences might be if he continues. If there are risks of worse damage being done, which there probably are, I think it would be best to wait. It's better to lose 3 months of playing than for the injury to get worse and him not be able to play at all when he gets older. My son broke his elbow 2 1/2 weeks into basketball last year and he wanted to continue playing but we said no and even though he was upset he is able to play this and other sports this year because he gave his elbow a chance to heal. If you attend church have him talk to a minister just so that he can get his frustrations out if not find a counselor or anyone he feels comfortable talking to even a friend. Maybe try searching the internet for information about the athletes mentioned before who played despite their disabilities. Also, try doing a Google search on injured athletes as they have some good articles about professional athletes and how they felt when they had to sit out due to injuries. Good luck with it. It is so hard to see your babies sad. I hope he heals quickly.

Your son may heal faster than 3 months. Your doctor is being cautious and probably knows how active boys can be. Is there any way he can do sports with a protected hand? Can he wear special glove or bandage or brace? Or can your son do a sport that doesn't need hands like running or tap dancing? Perhaps this is a time to learn patience. I will pray for speedy healing. AF

Hi B., I would not be so worried, it is a tragedy of course, but with diligence, I am sure that he will be back in there playing next season. One of my nephews cut off his big toe about that age and the doctors said that he would have to learn how to walk again! That was such a lie!! He walked right away and did all the smae things that the other kids were doing. You keep your calm and tell him not to worry. Kids adapt to things very easy!!
I would still take him to his teams games and keep him involved with it. I don't see why he could not play soccer, after some healing of course. His body will heal right up and you will be surprised how well he adapts!!! Please don't let him see you worried, that will make such a huge difference!! You have got to believe that he will play baseball again, no doubts!! I will keep you and your family in my prayers!!!

Follow your doctor's advice. Sitting out for a little while won't be bad for him. If he takes the time to heal correctly now he'll be in better shape to play later. Also, you said he is ADD and he doesn't do well in school. Please don't use this as an excuse..I have a neice and nephew who are both ADD and both recently graduated from high school on honor roll and received full scholarships to college. It took alot of work and dedication from their parents but it was well worth it. My nephew also played basketball, soccer & football. Maybe now would be a good time to work on the skills he needs for school. Good luck.

Unless the doctor says otherwise and allow the doctor to explain why, then let him play but make sure to protect that finger area so it won't get damaged. Someone told me never to take away a child's incentive to do something because you can take away their spirit. As long as he understands the consequences, go for it. Besides soccer is a foot sport not hand sport. Besides your son sounds like he's a tough kid so make it work for him.

I also cut my finger when I was about his age and I too was really into sports... my mom always let me know how special I was and how it didnt matter if I was a lil different. It really helped too, and some therapy excersises too, just remember this isnt like he wont be able to play again... I did and tell him anything and everything is possible when you want something with your whole heart. Soccer was my best sport, I dint really change although like your son i too had to take some time off... but my mom would take me to game(professional and to watch my friends play). Im really sorry about it hope some of this helps =)...

I agree that you should wait for the finger to heal. however, maybe you could get him up to the school to do some running (w/an ipod or walkman) just to keep him in shape. A similar thing happened to my younger brother, but he broke his leg and was out for a year. He couldn't run, and really lost his speed. He never did get back in the game like he was before. i think if your son is able to stay in shape and doesn't just lay around, he'll be able to jump back in next season! Your son/family will be in my prayers!

How about one of those metal finger splints that you can pick up at the drugstore? That would keep the tender finger tip covered. And the whole point of soccer is not to use the hands, right?
I understand your doctor's concern but also feel for your son. Maybe the coaches would be willing to let him be on the team this year even if he can't do much. He would still be a part of the team and be ready to step right back in as soon as his finger did heal.
Good luck. Hope you can figure out a way to keep him on the team.

I would make sure that the finger healed but I would get a second opinion. There may be a chance that he could have a prostesis put in its place. I am a little surprised that it could not be reattached. There are plenty of athletes that have overcome obstacles and have excelled in sports. I would not allow anyone to tell him he can't do anything. He can do ANYTHING he puts his mind to. I would try to make sure that he not feel bad about it either. He has a few obstacles to get through at his young age but he can do it as long as he is being encouraged to do so. Try to be encouraging all the time so that he will start believing it and trying really hard at school and at sports. You are blessed that you have the opportunity to make your son an overcomer! Try not to feel sorry for him and you stay encouraged. He is looking to you for strength.

Dear family~
This must be hard on everyone but I think Beth has the right idea. There has to be time to heal. If he or family remains really depressed and it affects the rest of his life, please tell his M.D. for a possible referral. While healing, try something as the Dr. allows. Swimming?? Art or music?? He will adapt, and he can still do so many things; you'll just have to discover and keep a positive attitude for him. Don't let him quite trying after the healing is done... and you can promise him that now.
Good luck.

Three years ago my friend was driving home with his son when they were in a car accident and the truck rolled causing his son's right arm to be severed above the elbow and doing sever damage to his head and face. He was active in Boy Scouts and an avid sports player. Recovery was a long road back for him, but today not only does he play on an All Star travel soccer team but he also refs for the younger kids.

I would have to balance the risks vs his desire to play soccer this season. Please let him know either way that he will be able to play next year.

Ask your doctor if your son can wear a protective cast for soccer practice.

This is a painful injury, but not the end of sports.

He may not be a pitcher, but he can still play if he really wants to.

I have a friend whosw son was born with a left arm and hand that are not what they should be. His hand and arm are smaller and permanently curled inward. he is in middle school now, and plays travel (competitive) aseball and basketball. He also plays the drums1

B.- I don't have time to read all the responses, so if I duplicate advice I am sorry. First I am sorry for your son's loss. I am sure he is grieving the loss of his finger and the possible impact on sports. He might find it helpful to have someone to talk to about this especially if this was a traumatic injury, which I am guessing it was. My brother lost his arms at 11 and was also VERY athletic and musical. My mom & my brother both grieved this loss for not only the limbs, but for the child they expected/hoped for. Your son will bounce back, especially if he is ADD (as my brother was also ADHD). He will have the burning desire to keep active. There are many athletes out there with disabilities (one pitcher that has one arm). They are amazing to watch play. My brother ended up being an amazing soccer player despite his loss. The choice to allow him to play soccer now is a VERY difficult one!! Only you can truly make that choice. Your son would have to know the risks and choose to do it anyway. If it were my child I would possibly allow him to do it, but have him do light workouts and no games the first month or so. Then feel out from there if he is safe to play in games. This is a tough one! If you ever need anyone to vent to about all this feel free to contact me. He sounds like a strong kid that will bounce back once he can play sports again. He will probably not only be as good as he was before the injury, but possibly better because the drive he feels to over come it! I will pray for you and your family.

Hi B.,

You and your son should read this page together. This might offer up a little more encouragement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordecai_Brown

(If you can't see the link, type in Mordecai Brown into your search engine. He was a major league pitcher. And he only had three fingers. I hope that helps!)

After the finger heals over, your son will overcome this event and shine even more than before. Good luck and God bless!

E. D.

I know how important sports are to kids, especially boys. My 17 year old has played baseball for years. The dr. is right, he should lay off sports for the time being, especially baseball and football, where your hands are used a lot. What about soccer, later this fall? You can't use your hands much, if at all in soccer.. Could you sign up, and explain to the coach what the situation is, and wait and see how he is later ? A good friends son nearly detached a finger on his right hand. sliding into home plate several years ago. He was out for one season, but after rehab and therapy, he was fine, back in the game. Once the wound has healed, could he swim? I know the summer is almost over, but there may be a indoor pool near you. Hang in there, kids are amazing quick to recover from injuries. K..

how did he cut off his finger?

i would let him play soccer if he could brace it somehow. put his cant in a fist and wrap it good. but yeay he can play everything else next season. as soon as the skin heals work with him ALOT to relearn how to hit throw and catch with his new finger size. he has his whole life ahead to play one season wont be that important at age 10 although im sure he feels it is.

Hi B.,

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your son's finger and it does probably seem like the end of the world right now, but trust me, it isn't. Kids go through injuries all the time. We have dealt with injuries that keep kids from their sports for 4 to 6 months and amazingly enough, they can still play once their injury has healed. Once his finger is healed, then he can start learning to pitch etc. with his hand. I would encourage him to attend the all star game, even though he isn't able to play. It will help to instill good sportsmanship. I would also explain to the coach all that is happening and assure him that once the hand is healed, your son will be working hard to play baseball again. The coach should be supportive. Lastly, I would listen to the doctor about letting the hand heal. Your son is only 10 years old. He has at least 70 more years to live and his disappointment is not a reason to allow him to play sports until his hand has fully healed, in my opinion, even soccer. Soccer, while you don't use your hands, can be very competitive, as I am sure that you already know and he could take a serious fall and further injure his hand, making the recovery time even longer. If I were his soccer coach, I would not let him play until the doctor gives him the go ahead. I am the mother of three, with two talented athletes who compete at high levels and I have learned that there is always next season or next year for things and they survive. In the meantime, go to the All Star game and cheer on the team!! The team will appreciate the support and it will set a great example for others.

Hi B.,

I'm so sorry that happened to your son. How traumatic for him, & for you. I am an occupational therapist & have worked with many patients with hand injuries/amputations. Humans are very adaptable, especially children, & we learn to do things differently to accommodate for injuries. As a good example, a leading hand surgeon at a hospital where I used to work cut off 4 of his fingers very close to the hand with an electric saw. They said that he was the only surgeon in town who had the expertise to do that complicated of a surgery so needless to say they couldn't get reattached. Obviously as a surgeon, this made operating difficult so he had to stop for awhile, but he was so determined that he learned how to operate & tie knots in a different way so that he could go back to doing surgeries. He now goes all over teaching his new way of knot-tying! If he could do that much fine-motor work, I'm sure your son can get back to playing baseball again. Also, this same surgeon has since had finger-lengthening surgeries, which is something that may be a possibility for your son years down the line (it's hard to tell not knowing more about your son's condition).

It is important to take it easy now so that his finger has plenty of time to heal but eventually, he should be able to do pretty much everything, including baseball, even if it's not the "normal" way that pitchers throw balls. If there is anything that your son is having difficulty with, especially if he's right-handed which I assume he is, then please ask for a referral to an occupational therapist. OTs specialize in helping patients regain independence in daily activities & he sounds like an ideal patient.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck to your son. He's lucky to have such a great mom as you for trying to do the best for him! :-)

--J.C.

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