ZocdocAnswersCan you permanently damage a nerve by smashing it against something really hard?

Question

Can you permanently damage a nerve by smashing it against something really hard?

I was picking up a chair from the bottom of the seat area & a screw stuck in my finger! I snatched my hand away & hit it really hard on the chair. Now the feeling is not the same & its been swollen for three weeks.

Answer

I would recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue, if you have not done so already. They will be able to evaluate the injury and help you figure out if anything serious is going on that needs treatment. The fact that the finger is quite swollen suggests to me that, when you hit the finger, you either suffered a broken bone or had a serious sprain. Both of these injuries will lead to persistent swelling of the finger, and it can take quite a long time, even weeks to months, for this swelling to go away completely. Also, when you have an injury like this, it is possible to damage the small nerves in the finger, which can lead to numbness, tingling, or other strange sensations. Alternatively, the persistent swelling of the finger alone can cause an uncomfortable sensation. Your primary care doctor will be able to examine the finger for any evidence of a fracture, or damage to the nerve or blood suppy to the finger. The may with to get an x-ray of your hand to take a closer look at potential bony injuries. The will be able to make recommendations about pain control, splinting, and physical therapy to help you recover more quickly.

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