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Old 09-06-2017, 12:05 PM
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Default Nerve damage in hand

So, last week I stabbed myself in the arm. No, it was not a suicide attempt.

My pocket knife slipped and punctured the inside of my left wrist about two inches above the hand. I feared the worst for the first few seconds. It bled but not nearly as much as I expected. The wound was about 1/4" long, so I'm guessing the puncture only went in about 1/4" as well.

The bleeding stopped soon, and that was the part I was worried about because I know a puncture can hit a deeper vessel and be a big deal. I put anti-bacterial on it that night and called it good.

Well a few days ago I noticed a tingling in my hand at certain angles. That's when I knew it hit a nerve or something. Monday, I had numbness and more frequent tingling, along with pain at the puncture site and in my hand during certain movements. Tuesday morning, yesterday, my doctor saw me immediately. But she's just a primary internal medicine physician. The hand specialist can't see me until this upcoming Monday.

So there we are. Any thoughts, concerns, questions? They didn't say anything, but I'm guessing I should consider myself on light duty, and not do things that cause the tingling. Hell, I probably shouldn't be typing.

I'm right-handed, at least.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:20 PM
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I have no experience with such an injury nor with the numbness effect but I bet someone hanging around here probably has.
Since it didn't begin right away then maybe it's being caused by some internal swelling and will fade away as you heal.
That's just wishful thinking & hoping for the best.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:45 PM
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Expect you are right about the nerve thing. Had a nerve hit with a needle 10 years ago. Had tingling and numbness that lasted two years. No aftereffects now.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:53 PM
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Nerves are tougher than you think. The outer sheath is rubbery and often they will move aside rather than get cut or punctured.

However, they bruise easily and numbness, tingling etc is pretty normal when you annoy them. Unless badly damaged that all settles down in time.

I put an axe into the back of my hand once. Off to the after hours to get stitches. Bleeding had stopped when the Doc saw it.
As she was sewing it back up she said if you are going to do this you picked the right spot. Got one thing right I spose.

She told me it would be tingly/numb for a few weeks and then be normal. That nerve must have been right there but only got shoved around. The numb patch lasted for months but it did go away. Same happened with a variety of injuries involving nerves.....all came good in the end.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:58 PM
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I would think you are ok also. I think if you did any damage to the nerve you would have felt some real pain right away.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:21 PM
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As long as you did not fill it with grease, you're ok
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:34 AM
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About 8 months ago I know someone that was fighting with a piece of plastic and lost.
The plastic sliced through his hand and cut a nerve or two.
one or two fingers as he described it went dead, they did work they just were not his any more.
about a week or two later they operated and did their best to sew the nerve back up.
That returned about 70% of the feeling.
said nerves grow about 1mm a month ( I don't know what that means)
and it is 50/50 if his fingers return to normal within a year or two.

Being you did not lose feeling I'm guessing it will get better but likely in a few months.
Or should we ask how much numbness

Then you have that carpal tunnel thing in your wrist and that will do a number on your hand and fingers if your wrist swells up.

A side note.
Being that a puncture is the worst and traps bacteria.
I remember a boss at work poked him self with some thing and he was standing there trying to get it to bleed as much as he could.
mentioned the idea is to make the blood flush out the bacteria and anything bad.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:30 AM
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I burnt the ulna nerve in my right arm, in the boiler inicident in 1981, where I burnt 83% of my body, it is never going to revive itself. I've has 11 operations on that arm, culminating in an ulna nerve transposition, its relieved the day to day pain, but I have severe nerve damage to my right arm from the elbow down, I've have to work around pain and grip issues, everyday.

In 1988, I fell 12 feet and shattered the left elbow, crushing the ulna nerve in the process. I had a an operation to remove the bone chips and because of the of the amount of damage, they did an ulna nerve transposition. It's took about 2 years, but I got back to about 90-95% of the feeling and grip back, to the point, now it's really a non-issue.

The specialist, that performed both the ulna nerve transpositions, said he performs about 2 of that specific operations a month, in the northeast part of the US. As far as he knows, no other patient, has it done on both elbows. The operation at the time, was rare enough, that he had 3 other doctors, watch the procedure and actually filmed it, for teaching purposes. The type of operation, the burns and related scaring issues, was not a common situation or combination, I have a copy of the operation on VHS tape, I started to watch it once, but at the first incision, I lost all desire to finish the tape.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWIZ View Post
...Being that a puncture is the worst and traps bacteria. I remember a boss at work poked him self with some thing and he was standing there trying to get it to bleed as much as he could. mentioned the idea is to make the blood flush out the bacteria and anything bad.
I had that very thought at the time, and even sucked on it.

I don't think it's gotten any worse the past two days, but the slight numbness and surrounding pain is still there. I don't think I'll be wasting the doc's time when he can finally see me on Monday.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:05 PM
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I got an infected dog bite a couple years ago. Spent the weekend in and out of the after hours clinic getting mega doses of antibiotics pumped in to catch up with it.

It reminded me of a book I have......fella got bitten by a sled dog. The dogs owners flushed it out with a large syringe full of saline. They put the end of the syringe into the wound and forced the saline in with as much pressure as possible. Those deep wound ( and most others ) bacteria hate salt.

It won't be comfortable but it beats the alternative and is what I will do next time for deep punctures.
For gaping ' that should get stitches but I dont want to wait all day at the hospital' cuts..........the day after when the bleeding has stopped I start soaks in warm heavily salted water and a new dressing. Heals them up twice as fast.
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