Nerve Injuries Finger

Nerve Injuries Finger
March 20, 2017

Nerves are thin fibres that carry sensation and messages from and to the brain from all parts of the body. They are more or less like telephone wires and an injury or damage in the nerves not only harms the sensation of the injured area but also affects the functional movements. Talking about nerves in the fingers let us be clear that there are two dorsal and two volar nerves that run along the ends of the fingers and govern their movement and sensations. Any crush or blow, pressure or stretching may cause a mild or severe tear in those nerves and cause a condition that is clinically referred to as nerve injuries finger”, explains Dr. Gupta calmly.

The patient should consult our medical team >>click here for appointment

There are basically three types of injury to the nerves that can hamper its smooth functioning. The nerve may sustain a minor bruise or cut and stop working for some time but recover as the nerve fibres are intact, the nerve fibres may get damaged with the outer layer remaining intact or lastly where both the outer layer and inner fibre are divided and torn from each other. When such damage incurred affects the fingers to thin at the pulps, become weak and numb or even lose all sensations, the damage to the patient may be permanent unless the potential harm is determined by an efficient hand surgeon. When I went for my fellowship to Germany I was intrigued by the finesse that is required for handling the nerve injuries that are incurred very closely to the bony structures in the fingers. And now even after 25 years of experience, I still take extreme care and perform nerve repairs with deftness”, Dr. Gupta’s passion for his work is visible in his demeanor as he shares his thoughts on the nerve injuries.

The patient should consult our medical team >>click here for appointment

We do not recommend resuming activities very early after the nerve surgery because as explained nerves are fragile and they may fail to heal adequately which would create unnecessary complications for the patients. So I would just say that if you feel any numbness or pain in your fingers with other signs that seem abnormal to you, seek medical attention, have your injury diagnosed and then trust your surgeon on your treatment technique. Do not be careless with any nerve injury in the finger as you might permanently lose sensations in them”, effectively winds up Dr. Vikas about nerve injuries in the fingers and their potential lifetime effects.

FAQ – Nerve Injuries Finger

There are four nerves that are responsible for supplying sensations to the fingers i.e. Digital and volar nerves. They both run in sets of two along each side of the fingers. When damage to these nerves causes numbness, pain and difficulty in the mobility function it is referred to as ‘nerve injury finger’. The nerves are fragile and injuries to them may result in loss of feeling in the area that has been injured.
Nerves injuries in the finger digits may be caused by:
  • A direct blow or a severe/mild cut
  • Jamming, twisting or stretching
  • Bites or burns
  • Sports activities
The various symptoms that mark the presence of nerve injuries in fingers are prevalent depending on the nerve injured and the mechanism of injury. They are more or less same except their location of prevalent persistence. Symptoms of nerve injuries finger are:
  • Intense pain
  • Numbness or loss of sensation
  • Weakness or loss of muscle power
  • Swelling
  • Deformity
  • Thinning of the pulps of the fingers
  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the fingers
The surgeon conducts certain physical tests to ascertain strength and sensation of the fingers and then runs certain imaging tests such as x-ray to evaluate the depth of the internal damage.
Treatment technique is enacted upon after an intrinsic evaluation of the severity of the injury. A partial cut or tear in the nerve is taken up by splinting and therapy and the nerve is allowed to self heal as they have a spontaneous tendency to grow back healthily. If the injury to the nerve is severe then the hand surgeon may take up any of the techniques which may be nerve release method, nerve transposition method or nerve transfer method either arthroscopically or by a lengthy process, depending on its gravity.
There are many complications which may occur after a successful surgical repair and cause problems for the patient. One of the most common complications that may occur is permanent loss of partial functional movements of the fingers when the nerves are severely injured. Stiffness and an underlying pain may be persistent even after surgery and on being tapped the nerve in the finger may seem unpleasantly responsive.
Nerves heal very slowly and they grow back almost 1mm per day thus the recovery process is gradual. Each patient has different recovery outcomes depending on the severity and mechanism of injury. In cases where injuries are mild, patients recover completely except for some persistent stiffness and underlined pain that increases in cold weather whereas patients with extreme injuries never completely recover their mobility function and also face problems related to stiffness, numbness and pain, more so in cold weather. But it should be well comprehended that outcome of any injury is best only up to 3 to 4 years after the repair.
Patients are not allowed to return even to light work until the removal of the splint. The patients are advised to follow a diligent rehabilitation program to regain some movement in the fingers after the repair to work towards gradual healing. Though mild activities are permissible after 6 weeks for patients with very light injuries, it is only after many months that heavy work activities are allowed to be resumed completely. Activities that put undue pressure on the fingers such as gripping, twisting or tightening an object should be avoided for at least 3 months or so
Posted in Condition & Treatments by admin