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Cut Hand Nerve

Cut Hand Nerve: Dallas Plastic and Hand Surgeons Offer Emergent Treatment of Cut Nerves in the Hand, Finger or Forearm

Dallas Plastic and Hand Surgeon Dr. David and Solomon Azouz review Cut Hand Nerve:
symptoms, surgical, non-surgical treatment, cost, insurance, and recovery.

Can a deep cut on the finger, hand, or forearm cause nerve damage?

Cut hand nerve due to a deep cut to the finger or hand, crush, or pulling injury can and often does cause damage to the nerves.  The palm side of the hand, finger, and forearm are generally where the larger, more important nerves travel.  Cuts on the palm side of the hand or fingers are usually considered more serious.  The nerves and arteries of the hand tend to run together.  This means that if the nerve is cut then the artery is also likely to be cut.  In general, all cuts on the hand should be seen by a hand surgeon like Dr. Azouz. 

How do patients usually cut their hand or finger nerves?

Patients often cut their hand or finger nerves when they are working with sharp objects, including saws, knives, and blades.  Patients can also cut their nerves when they are at work using commercial machinery, which can cut or crush their nerves in the fingers or hand.

When would you need to see a hand surgeon for a cut hand or finger nerve?

A cut nerve in the finger or hand will need a microsurgical repair performed by a hand surgeon.  Hand Surgeon Dr. Azouz uses the operating room microscope or high-powered loupes to repair cut nerves.

What are the benefits of having a cut finger nerve or cut hand nerve repaired?

Repairing a cut nerve in the finger or hand will help to restore feeling to the finger and/or hand.  If a cut nerve is not repaired then the finger or hand can remain permanently numb, have abnormal sensation (dysesthesia), or can form a nerve tumor known as a glioma and/or neuroma.

What type of Anesthesia is used for a cut hand or finger nerve?  Are you put to sleep for a cut nerve repair?

The anesthesia that Dr. Azouz, usually used to repair nerves of the hands and fingers, is a combination of axillary block, local anesthetic, and sedative medication.  Sedation medications allow the patient to be asleep but easily rousable.  Sedation does not involve a ventilator that breaths for the patient and thus avoids the need for intubation (placement of a breathing tube).  

What are the symptoms of a cut hand or finger nerve?


Electric shock sensations

Severe pain

Pulsatile bleeding: is a symptom of a cut nerve because the nerves run so close to the arteries.


How is a nerve repaired in the hand or finger?

Nerve repair in the hand or fingers requires specialized surgery knowns as microsurgery.  This means a hand surgeon like Dr. Azouz will use either the operating room microscope or specialized glasses known as loupes to see the very small nerves in the hand or fingers.  Nerves are then repaired with small sutures.

Can a nerve be repaired at the same time as other injuries?

Yes, nerves are generally repaired at the same time as hand fractures, cut tendons, skin cuts, or cut arteries.  Dr. Azouz is often able to repair cuts of the face, facial fractures, body cuts, cut eyelids, and nasal bone fractures at the same time as repairs of tendons to the hand or fingers.  

Possible Risks

  • Neuroma formation
  • Nerve regeneration pain
  • Residual Numbness
  • Vascular injuries

Dr. Azouz Minimizes Risk By:

  • Direct nerve visualization often using the operating room microscope
  • Meticulous sterile technique
  • Use of specialized medications
  • Use of nerve wraps or conduits when needed

What is the recovery after a nerve is cut in the hand or finger?

The nerve grows at a very slow rate to repair itself.  This means the regaining of sensation can often take many months after a nerve repair.  Usually, the hand will be splinted after a nerve repair to prevent repair disruption. 

Healing after cut hand nerve repair surgery

During the healing process after surgery, Dr. Azouz may need to prescribe medications or therapy as the nerve recovers. The nerve will regenerate at the rate of 1mm per day in most patients. Smokers generally take longer to heal, and Dr. Azouz recommends quitting smoking to help in nerve regeneration.


Nerve Repair Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a cut finger or hand nerve repair?

The cost of hand or finger nerve repair depends on the severity of the injury, the number, type and location of the damaged nerves. During your consultation Dr. Azouz will determine the severity of your injury and the cost. If the patient’s injury happens at work, Dr. Azouz coordinates with a multitude of workers’ compensation carriers.  In general most worker’s compensation insurance carriers will cover the cost of surgery if deemed medically necessary and compensable with an at work injury.

What are the results of repairing a cut nerve in the hand or finger?

Repairing nerves within the hand or finger allows for better sensation, improved hand function and at times preservation of the hand and/or fingers.   A repaired hand or finger nerve also prevents the formation of potentially painful nerve tumors known as neuromas and gliomas. Recover after nerve repair can take a long time. With the nerve regenerating at about 1mm per day complete recovery may take up to a year or longer.  Dr. Azouz may refer you to a hand therapist who can help you maximize your recovery. Hand therapists are usually physical or occupational therapists who are very helpful in performing and instructing a patient on the performance of hand exercises, scar massage and splinting.

When is a nerve graft or conduit used?

Some nerve injuries may require a Dr. Azouz to use a bridging material to reconnect a gap caused by nerve injury. Dr. Azouz will likely recommend one of two options as bridging material for nerve repair: allograft nerves or a conduit. An allograft nerve is used for larger injuries, and a conduit can be used for smaller injuries.

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