Australian Rugby Player Amputates Middle Finger So He Can Play in Season Opener

Australian Rugby Player Amputates Middle Finger So He Can Play in Season Opener

A rugby player in Australia has decided he’d rather live the rest of his life with nine-and-a-half fingers than miss the start of this season. 

Angus Crichton, a 21-year-old player for for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League, has been plagued by an injury to his left middle finger for his entire career. He already had six surgeries on the finger and a seventh would have sidelined him for the beginning of the 2018 season. Instead, Crichton told doctors just to lop off the top half of the finger, his manager confirmed to Fox Sports Australia

Crichton would have been out at least three months if he had yet another surgery on the finger, but the Rabbitohs open the season in early March. Plus, the repeated surgeries aren’t fixing the problem—they just fuse the finger back together until the next time he breaks it. By having the top half of the finger amputated, Crichton ensures he won’t need to go under the knife again. 

The original injury was a ruptured tendon and doctors eventually had no choice but to fuse the middle knuckle together. That not only hindered the mobility in Crichton’s hand on the pitch, his inability to fold his middle finger led to awkward scenarios in his personal life. 

“One time, a while back, I accidentally cut someone off while I was driving and I put my hand up to wave at them to say sorry,” Crichton wrote in an essay for Players’ Voice. “The guy followed me all the way into a dead-end street. We each got out of our cars and he asked me if I’d stuck my finger up at him. I explained to him that I’d had it fused and it stuck out naturally. He understood after that.”



Garland, Dan. “Australian Rugby Player Amputates Middle Finger So He Can Play in Season Opener.” – Extra Mustard, Sports Illustrated. Dec. 20, 2017.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Dr. Neil Jones Visits San Francisco

I had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Neil Jones, who is a University Professor at the University of California Los Angeles and Past President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.


It’s been a year since the COVID-19 epidemic first hit us here in the United States, and of course around the entire world. We mourn the catastrophic loss of life and reflect on how much our future will be changed… at least for a while, and maybe longer!