The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-27-2012, 07:59 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 15,531
Minor nerve damage - anything to be done?

I am NOT asking for medical advice - etc. No one posting in this thread is my doctor, etc. I am looking for similar experiences...

So - minor nerve damage - is there anything to be done? I was lifting a bunch of plastic grocery bags (yes, I have reusable bags; these were for the spillover groceries). A heavy bag or two slipped down my finger and it hurt - kinda like when you carry too many bags and it feels like you are cutting off your circulation.

I now have a little bit of numbness at the tip of that finger - and it has been a few days. No other issues - never swelled, no discoloration - nothing. No real reduction in function - I can do everything I need, even play guitar. Just a bit of numbness remains on one side of the tip.

Have you experienced this? I guess I am assuming that I bruised a nerve and it just needs time to recover.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:37 AM
nofloyd nofloyd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Why yes! I did the same thing, not by a slipped bag, but carrying too heavy bags for too long up against a single joint without switching hands/fingers. The plastic handles had turned into a garrote.

When the finger tip was still completely numb after a couple weeks I went to my doctor, who was a little put out I didn't come in sooner. He felt I compressed/damaged/severed a nerve and that it may .... or may not .... repair itself. Not clear what he could have done if I came in straight away. He said nerve regrowth is slow.

So I waited, and waited. Maybe four months later, I started getting feeling back, and I did completely recover.

So those plastic bags can really do damage beyond temporary finger reddening. I take a lot more care how I carry them now.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:38 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 15,531
Thank you for that anecdote and yes, that is what it feels like have experienced, both in terms of the nerve issue and what a doctor would say...frustrating, but as you say, nerve damage can take time to heal...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-27-2012, 04:02 PM
phouka phouka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
I cut off the very tip of my finger putting a bedframe together, and after it healed, I found that past the scar, I had no feeling.

Until about six years later, when all of a sudden the feeling reappeared.

So, yes, nerves can regenerate, but they do take a looooooong ass time.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-27-2012, 04:25 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,814
Quote:
Originally Posted by phouka View Post
I cut off the very tip of my finger putting a bedframe together, and after it healed, I found that past the scar, I had no feeling.

Until about six years later, when all of a sudden the feeling reappeared.

So, yes, nerves can regenerate, but they do take a looooooong ass time.
Or never - I had a similar injury to the tip of a finger 30+ years ago. Had to get stitches to get the skin flap held in place. It's still numb.

My son sustained some nerve damage from a broken arm (nasty-looking displaced fracture of his upper arm) at age 4 - couldn't make a pincer motion to touch thumb and forefinger tips together. The orthopedist noted that, and said that such injuries often recover with time. Fortunately in my son's case, this did happen within the year.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:49 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 7,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by nofloyd View Post
Why yes! I did the same thing, not by a slipped bag, but carrying too heavy bags for too long up against a single joint without switching hands/fingers. The plastic handles had turned into a garrote.
I always worry about the same, when flossing my teeth.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-27-2012, 09:57 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
I had a student bite me hard on the lowest knuckle of my thumb (where it joins the hand). It was intensely painful (yes, moreso than a regular human bite). My whole thumb tingled frequently in the months that followed, but it eventually completely healed.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:20 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
I've done something like that with the bags. Some numbness for several days. I think there was internal swelling that had to go down before the feeling returned. I remember first getting some that pins and needles things before the feeling came back, as if my finger had been asleep the whole time.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:34 PM
ClaytonThroop ClaytonThroop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
I had a similar experience after a 16 mile hike in poorly suited footwear. My big toe was numb for probably a couple months. It gradually returned to normal.

Last edited by ClaytonThroop; 08-27-2012 at 10:34 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-28-2012, 03:46 PM
control-z control-z is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
A hand massage is a good thing to try, and even if it doesn't work hand massages are GREAT.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-15-2012, 02:45 PM
akeimi akeimi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
After some dental surgery, I had no sensation in the very tip of my tongue for a few days. No taste, no awareness of temperature. On maybe the 4th day I could feel a *little*, by the 7th I was as good as new.

My husband has a similar anecdote to one above (couldn't feel big toe) - except in my husband's case, he somehow didn't notice that he'd bought shoes in the wrong size. Then he put the same pair of shoes on every day until he couldn't feel a toe. It must have scared him, because that is the only time he's seen a doctor as an adult. (If I sound patronizing, it's only because I'm insanely jealous that he could get away with wearing one pair of shoes for everything and with everything.) Same outcome as above as well - ~3 months later, everything was normal again.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.