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Old 10-01-12, 04:04 PM   #1
Metaluna
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Riding with stitches

I cut my finger with a kitchen knife about a week ago, and as a result I have 4 stitches in my left middle finger. It was a clean cut, right through the ball of the finger, and at this writing is healing nicely (knock on wood). I have an opportunity to do a longish road ride (3-4 hrs) tomorrow, but I'm concerned about disturbing the stitches.

If the stitches were in a place that undergoes a lot of flex and stress, such as anywhere on the legs or abdomen, I wouldn't even be thinking about this, but assuming I keep the injury site well wrapped and don't use that finger too much for shifting, etc., does anyone think it will be a problem? On the day of the ride, it will be just under 7 days since the injury. I'm due to have the stitches out on the 10th day, just for reference.
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Old 10-01-12, 04:23 PM   #2
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Not a problem. Keep it clean and dry and you should be fine.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:30 PM   #3
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I would think you'll be fine as long as you keep one of those cotton finger "cots" on - will keep things clearn and keep the stitches (which are no doubt very small) from rubbing against anything.
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Old 10-01-12, 06:42 PM   #4
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In this case, a cot (latex sheath) would actually be contraindicated .
Cots are meant to try to keep an area dry, whilst in a wet environment.
However, if your hands are sweating, a cot would keep that area moist.
(Think about wearing a latex glove for 4 hours.)
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Old 10-01-12, 09:26 PM   #5
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Just keep it dry. I cut my hand doing some lumber yard work a number of years ago, and went right back to work with stitches. I was mindful of contact points to avoid tearing, but otherwise a gauze wrap to provide protection and ventilation was all I needed.
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Old 10-01-12, 09:32 PM   #6
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Had 12 stitches on the inside ball of my ankle 4 weeks ago and rode the day after. My dr is a biker and said no problem. Told me to ride without a bandage and to clean it after I was done. Stitches came out 10 days later and now it's just a scar.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:12 PM   #7
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If it's cool enough out, consider full finger riding gloves for some extra protection, but it should be fine as long as you are a little cautious.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:22 PM   #8
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Yep, that's exactly what I did (full finger gloves). I have a fairly light pair, and the temps were around 70ish, so it wasn't too bad. I just put a band-aid over the stitches and then covered that with the gloves.

The ride went pretty well. Braking was tricky because, from the hoods, I couldn't really get a good grip on the left (front) brake lever without pressing down directly on the stitches. So I had to anticipate stops and then switch my left hand to the drops. From there it was easier to wrap my fingers around the lever in a sort of trigger grip without pressing directly on the tip where the stitches are.

Afterwards, everything looked pretty good. The area looked maybe just a bit puffy, like the stitches were sunk into the skin a bit. I'm not sure if this was due to sweating inside the gloves, or just normal tissue swelling from physical exertion (kind of like how some people's feet swell after a while and they have to loosen their shoes), but it went away quickly.
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