Could I Have Injured Nerves in my Hand?

We're happy to share insights from our doctors.

Nerve injuries in the hand are serious. If left untreated, they can severely affect the mobility, strength and feeling in your hand. Nerves transmit the electrical signals to enable hand movement, and they are an important component in a person’s sense of touch.

The human hand has three nerves: median, ulnar and radial. The hand also very sensitive touch receptors – an astonishing 17,000 – and free nerve endings in the palm. These receptors receive information from the environment, such as sensations of pressure, movement and vibration. The nerves in the hand can be damaged due to trauma, including lacerations, crushing, over extension or twisting injuries. They can also be damaged by inflammation and some chronic conditions.

Symptoms of Nerve Injury in the Hand

Nerves carry both sensory and motor signals to and from the brain. Some common symptoms of nerve damage include the following:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • The inability to move your fingers or part of your hand
  • Hand weakness or weakened grip
  • Pain or a burning feeling in your hand of fingers

If any of these symptoms are present, a visit with a hand specialist is recommended.

Diagnosing Nerve Injury in the Hand

A hand specialist will do a physical exam of the hand, including observation of mobility, weakness or pain. The doctor may also conduct tests, such as x-ray, CT (computerized tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound, or EMG (Electromyography).

Treating Nerve Injury in the Hand

Treatments for nerve damage in the hand can range from splitting, therapy and rest, to surgery, depending on the type and extent of damage. A pressure or stretching injury, for example, may resolve on its own with proper supportive care, like splinting and therapy, to keep the joints flexible while the nerve injury heals. Nerves that have been completely severed, however, may require surgery to reconnect the broken nerve fibers.

If you suspect you may have an injury to the nerves in your hand, give us a call. The Midwest Hand Surgery team is a premier hand specialist that helps people with hand injuries get back to what they love. Request an appointment by clicking here.

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