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Log Splitter Injury

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-15          155308


Hi Guys,

I was splitting wood over the weekend and I had a log that did not have a smooth cut on one end. It had a kerf that was just big enough for my thumb to slide under it as I was steadying the log for splitting. Well I pulled the lever and the hammer came down and compressed that kerf, crushing my thumb with 32 tons of force.

Got me just missing the knuckle, broke the bone from the knuckle to the tip. Partially amputated the end of finger at a spot halfway between the fingernail and the knuckle. It was just dangling there.

This happened so fast, I have split many cords of wood, and it just takes one slip to have severe ramifications.

This is one painful injury, be careful out there!

Dennis





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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2008-07-15          155309


Sorry to hear of your accident and injury. Were they able to reattach it or was the bone to fractured?

Bad things happen so fast!

Look at the positive side, you didn't lose an entire finger, hand or arm!!!!

Hope the healing process is quick. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-07-15          155310


Man I am sorry! Made my teeth hurt to read this. Dennis, was it your hand you write with? Hope not. I hope you do have a good recovery.

This past Saturday I was cutting trees off of piles of dirt left from digging a pond and in my mind was the broken leg from a tree that lodged posted here(Sorry I am not 100% sure who now). I had I think three trees that lodged and as I worked on each one his story kept me alert. kt ....

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Log Splitter Injury

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-15          155311


Yes I am all sewn up!

Well the finger nail popped completely off from the crushing, but has been sewn back in place as a placeholder to protect the nail bed and hopefully the nail will regrow. But that is going to take a long long time.

The wire (looks more like a small diameter stainless steel drill) was drilled through the bone fragment and the wire is still sticking out the end of my finger but twisted so that it won't poke anyone :)

If all goes well I will be dressing this wound for about 4 weeks.

I almost never take pain killers, but this is the exception, after all the anesthetics wore off, which took well over 14 hours, this really hurts. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-07-15          155312


OUCH!!!

As Kenneth said, it made me hurt just thinking about it!!!

I've done plenty of stupid things over the years, so I know all about that dull throbbing you must be dealing with.

At least I'm not the only one who types with just 3 fingers now. LOL

Hope everything goes well with the recovery Dennis, maybe the company will give you a couple of months off to rehabilitate..... ;)

Best of luck. ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2008-07-15          155313


DennisCTB,

I chopped off the fingertip of the left index finger about 15 years ago. I dropped a dental x-ray arm and tried to catch it. The x-ray arm landed on the edge of a counter-top, and the tip of my finger popped off and flew 12 feet across the room.

I picked up my fingertip, wrapped it in a paper towel, and then put it in my shirt pocket. About two hours later, when I was finished with the dismantling job, I showed up at the office and told my boss what happened. They took me to the doctor, and he reattached it.

Two weeks later, while loading tents for the Army, I took my glove off and discovered that my fingertip was still in the glove. So much for that.

The nail eventually grew back, but that danged finger hurt for about 10 years afterward.

Sorry to hear about the accident. Though painful, it won't slow you down much. Those things that don't kill you, only make you tougher. hehehe.

Joel ....

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-07-15          155314


Youch! Sorry to hear about your injury, Dennis. Glad it wasn't worse than it was. It shows that even those who are aware of safety can become tired and less aware and is always a good reminder for those who still have all our digits :) ....

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Log Splitter Injury

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-07-15          155317


Geeeee Whizzzzzz Dennis! Glad to hear it not worse. Hope it heals as well as my leg is. I could feel your pain. Been there. I am just weaning off pain killers. I'm still non weight bearing. I touch or twist just so and can bring tears to eyes. WHAT EVER YOU DO BE CAREFUL ABOUT BUMPING IT!

Good luck with the recovery. Be glad not any worse.

Harvey ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-15          155322


Harvey, mine is nothing compared to what happened to you. I was definitely glad that it had not been a quarter inch more than the 3/4 inch that it was, so that the knuckle was not demolished!

I was asked often if I was wearing a glove, as if that was a help. At least the glove gave the crushing some limits ?

The pix is my thumb with the wire drilled into the bone :)

Dennis ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-07-16          155323


Sorry to hear of your injury Dennis. I just today visited a friend who is laid up with a broken ankle from falling off of or over something at his his sawmill. I'm still on a walker from a broken pelvis 18 months ago. Mine turned out to be more complicated than just a broken pelvis, but things have improved a lot lately thanks to the folks at the Mayo Clinic. I guess we all take our turn, mine could have been prevented by just being more carfull too, BUT. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-07-16          155331


Harvey, I sorry I could not remember who had the broken leg while cutting trees. You telling your experience sure helped me keep my mind on what was going on. None who share their slip knows how many they help prevent. Thank each of you that does. kt ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-23          155566


Thanks for all of your well wishes!

So far other than the continual throbing pain, I am doing pretty good. I was able to wash it for the first time yesterday and redress it. I had hoped that the pain would start to go down after I was able to clean it and put some peroxide on it, but that is not the case.

Might get some of the stiches out Friday, but the rod in my finger stays in and I guess all the stiches that are holding my faux finger nail in place as well. So the thumb will continue to look like thumbelina for some weeks to come.

Dennis

....

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2008-07-23          155570


Glad to hear that you're doing ok!

It is going to take a long time for it to heal. Allot stuff got smashed and the pain is it rebelling against you. As the nerve endings heal and regrow there will be pain and discomfort. In the weeks to come it will ease, but it will be numb at times and sensitive to cold for a year or two.

I have had experience with that kinda stuff from practice. Don't get hooked on pain killers! When resting or sleeping you will find that it throbs less in certain positions like laying your hand across your chest above your heart. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-23          155571


Quote:
Originally Posted by yooperpete | view 155570
Don't get hooked on pain killers!When resting or sleeping you will find that it throbs less in certain positions like laying your hand across your chest above your heart.


I stopped taking the percocet last Thursday evening. I made it through to Saturday night, but the pain was so great that I took one percocet so that I could sleep. I had mastered sleeping with my hand in an up position, but no position was working for hours. Since then I have been doing the one percocet at bed time so that I can get a good nights rest.

Other than that I am not taking anything else, and I hope to stop that asap.

Dennis ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-07-23          155581


Dennis, try experimenting with some different over-the-counter pain killers instead of the heavy duty stuff.

A good friend of mine hurt his hand quite badly a few years back and was very concerned about the drugs too. In a true case of 'Murphy's Law' he also threw his back out just shortly afterwards.

That was when he discovered that Robaxacet (sp. ?) killed the pain in his hand more than it did in his back!!!

I've used it for several chronic injuries that flare up every now and then with much success.

I've also heard a few Advil will do wonders.

Best of luck. ....

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Log Splitter Injury

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-07-23          155582


Dennis, I use to be in same office building to a dentist and he would tell his patients to alternate Advil and Tylenol on two hour cycles and very seldom ever gave them a prescription. The two work differently. Trying to be very clear on this you take two each on four hour cycles but say Advil at 8 and then at 10 the Tylenol. that way you keep a full level of pain killer working. Don't know that is good for your liver for a long time. Understand both can eat holes in it. kt ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-07-23          155583


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 155581
I've also heard a few Advil will do wonders.Best of luck.


My surgeon said to try Advil, I have Motrin home, both Advil and Motrin have 200mg of ibuprofen, so are they the same or is Advil different in some way? ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-07-23          155585


Dennis, I'm sure both Advil and Motrin are nearly the same, my point was just that you should try something other than just acetaminophen.

Ibuprofen is a drug that is one of a group that are known as NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

In other words they both help kill the pain and reduce the inflammation and so reduce the pain it may also be causing.

Just be aware that a NSAID can be tough on your stomach, try to have it with food if possible, or even a glass of milk.

Best of luck. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-07-23          155588


Dennis I was on Perocet taking 2 every 4 hours, for about 4-5 weeks, I was down to 1 every 6 hours. Asked dr for something less. She gave me Vikidin. I started 1 at every 4 hours. Could have had 2 every 4. I wean off asap. I could go 2, 3, 4 days with out one then bump or strain something restretching muscle and tendions and have to have 1 to sleep. Not taking any at all at moment. Haven't for 4-5 days. I work leg as hard as I dare Threapist not to happy about it but is very pleased with progress. Still non weight bearing but I do use it in house and can feel twinge here and there. Still have 50-60 tabs of vikidin dont take asprin tyeldol or anything But do know how important sleep is so do what I need to for quality sleep. I'll never finish that prescription. ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2008-07-23          155591


So sorry to hear about it! My buddys 4 year old done the same thing while one of his clients (bear hunter) was helping him split wood.
Painful! I bet!! Here is my .02 on pain reduction. I also have 2 disks L3-4 L4-5 and S1 that have been wrong for almost 20 yrs. I just recently can add C7 as the pain travels down my middle finder now (fron the lattest problem. SO, for 20+ years I have had to deal with work (which I never miss) and pain reduction. You all know I am a tool and die maker so pain mads need to be non threatening (me be able to function) Here is my latest routine. 1 Ultracet at 4am one at noon and after work I take one also. Since Ultracet is next to no help whatso ever I am also now taking an anti inflamatory Skelaxin (only one I have ever found to not meke me sleepy) 3 times a day. This combo seems to work decent. I have two problems, one is addiction runs high (off the charts) in my family so I will not take anything too addictive or stronger than what I said. The other is from ADVIL, for that reason stated above, I used to consume advil at the rate of 1000mg 4 times a day. This WILL reduce if not eliminate just about all your pains. As stated before though the side effects are stomach issues. I had no issues for over 15 years. Can not say that now, reflux and stomach probs so I had to get off it.
My suggestion, stay away from pain meds (except fopr sleeping) and load up on advil for the next few days!
Good luck and so sorry for your mishap ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-08-24          156261


Go the pin pulled last Monday, don't have to tape up unless working with my hands on some project.

Still hurts though but much better, got a tiny piece of nail growing back, thankfully! ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2008-08-24          156264


Good to hear you doing well. It is a great feeling to be able to start using injured parts.

I'm only suppose to have 50% weight on leg but have been pushing that. Usually end back up on crutches with all weight off for a couple of days.

Unhook loader bucket and hook mower up. Used leg pretty hard a few places this am. Mow for 4 hours so in chair with leg up this afternoon. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2008-08-24          156266


Harvey,

Hope you continue to improve rapidly. Healing is a slow process but it is a miracle to watch, but much better in retrospect :)

Dennis ....

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Log Splitter Injury

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2008-08-26          156332


Wow! I just saw this. Real sorry to hear about your injury Dennis. Also glad to hear the Doc was able to fix it and you are on the mend. You and Harvey both take care. At our age, you don't heal like ya used to. ....

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greentooler
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2 Nova Scotia Canada
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2015-05-17          192786


Hello, thought to mention after reading about the injury that now there is a patented solution for all log splitters to be WEDGE LESS . Some day my engineered solution sill be on all log splitters. ....

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Log Splitter Injury

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2015-05-17          192787


Quote:
Originally Posted by greentooler | view 192786
Hello, thought to mention after reading about the injury that now there is a patented solution for all log splitters to be WEDGE LESS . Some day my engineered solution sill be on all log splitters.


Do not know about your invention, but do not see how it would have prevented the injury.

The three problems for me were:

1) running splitter in vertical mode requires steadying the log during compression.

2) Cutting log with sloppy additional saw cuts that my thumb slipped into

3) Operator error , me too much rush...

I split wood only once a couple months after the injury. None since.

I stopped burning wood in a wood stove after my neighbors house burnt to the ground last year and I have seen several houses that have had wood stove chimney fires and significant damage as a result.

So I have a large collection of rotting split and un split log rolls.

....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2015-05-17          192788


The other thing is that to make running a wood stove at all doable it is common to load the stove to the brim before going to bed, and then run it at a lower temperature to try to be able to restart in the morning with some leftover coals.

From a safety perspective this is the worst possible thing to do, as it builds up creosote. During that last load of the night the fire is really roaring embers spark as the new wood is stoked, what if you miss a stray ember and go to bed. What if you have a chimney fire or a down draft while you are asleep. So running the stove the way it should be run means starting the fire from scratch every day which in my view is too much work, so no stove for me.

....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2015-05-18          192801


Dennis I will not argue with you last post but use wood stove for several years as did my father in law and his father. I helped to some degree with the wood for all three in the cutting and splitting it and also servicing the chimney.
First we all had masonry chimney and one story house so one story chimney. I bought wire brush that fit and run it through the chimney at most once per year and maybe every other year being more correct.
We each used a different brand of fireplace insert and we none had issue with fire and we each used the insert as our only source of heat once we lite it. Now our wood burning season is not that long from at most early October to middle March. We also ONLY used hardwood and most of the time it was a year old cut, so dry.
We could close our units drafts fully and still have good roaring coal bed with morning. Now we cut to length to get full wood box when we loaded. We also would do a heavy roaring fire from time to time to help prevent buildup. For me it was normally when I got home of the day to get temp up for baths and such and for the night to have house warn when children were running around.

I would think the metal chimney and the higher it is all leads to more issues as more cool air hits the chimney and the longer fire season and based upon watching the shows out of Alaska they burn every greens which is what they have but here are major no no.

All this from a person who's parents lost a house before he was born due to chimney fire. I suspect there was a defect in the chimney for they saw the fire between the ceiling and the roof first. This would have been late 1940's. It really busted them for they had three small children and lost all they owned. It took years to recover and we heated with wood all those years. Hey, we have lots of woods. Not much oil or gas here.

I very much understand the fear of chimney fires. kt ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2015-05-18          192802


On a side note, was talking with a power equipment dealer who was a large wood burning stove dealer. We see very little used here now due to EPA rules on stoves. Said very hard to meet those requirements. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2644 NorthWest NJ
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2015-05-20          192810


Hi KT,

Thanks for the reply. I have a exterior wall masonry fireplace that is very tall and is not accessible from the the top. Have a stainless steel liner and a Jotul cast iron stove. The house is on a hill and gets blasted by high winds from the North in the winter making for downdraft issues mostly to start but rarely so severe to cause concern otherwise. I have a commercial chimney pole system and brush that I used before the heating season.

My first season with this stove I had a chimney fire that ran its course with no damage. But it is like watching a jet engine go out of control,the stainless has a very high heat tolerance, but who knows how long it can sustain it or desire to test it out.

Cutting,collecting and burning wood has long been a fascination for me. I was the kid who begged his grandfather when on vacation at the Jersey shore at a rental bungalow that happened to have a masonry fireplace; please please Papa can we have a fire? What a loving man he was to set a blazing wood fire for me with 95 degrees and no AC. He loved his grandsons, the boys...

We have been burning some of my wood supply in outdoor campfires but it will take 50 years to burn all of it that way. May have to see if anyone bites on Craigs list :-)
....

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