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Topic - Wielding an axe with a pinkie injury....

peebles boy - on 23 Nov 2013
After a few exploratory days out, it seems my winter plans could suffer this year due to injury....

4 months ago I injured my pinkie, backwards hyper-extension of the knuckle joint. Over biking in France for the summer, things were getting a lot better due to the pretty intense use it was getting - strength and movement were both coming back from all the down-hilling, was doing a fair bit of climbing too. It was still really sensitive though, the slightest knock in injury direction made for sweary words....
Unfortunately, about 2 months ago I did exactly the same thing to it again (LOTS of sweary words and shocked looking old woman walking past). This time, there seems less pain associated with it in general, but it's weak as hell and won't make a good grip/fist shape. Last few days out have shown this is a problem!! (Try wielding your axe gripping only with your "first" three fingers and you'll see how much you actually rely on your pinky finger to achieve a good swing on it).
Also, the number of times I've bashed it off rock/snow/ice etc when out is putting it under more stress.

What can I do? Doc says it's likely soft tissue injury that will take a while to heal and has prescribed Ibuprofen Gel for when it's playing up. I'm going to put some racket tape round the bottom of axe to improve grip ability (thinking a fatter shaft will enable a better ability to grip if I can't get my finger to curl round the axe as normally would) but is there anything to do about protecting it? Some kind of ice axe gauntlet cover for your hand? Closest thing I have found so far would be retro fitting Grivel "The Horn" to one of my old Stubai Hornet axes, but even this is only a limited coverage of the area.
Also thinking some kind of plastic/metal disc attached to the bottom of the axe grip would give all round base of hand assistance, as the ability to pull on the axe is quite limited too at the moment - the pressure is transferred straight to the damaged area when pulling on a normal leashless based grip rest.

Any thoughts from folks who've been in a similar position/similar injury or have seen/used any kind of manufactured or home-bodged hand protectors? Any useful healing advice appreciated too, currently using it as much as I can with additional flexing and manipulation, as well as "squash ball therapy". Which is not going well, need a softer squash ball I think!!

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