- The return of sensation is not instantaneous. It is not like reconnecting two electrical wires. A new nerve has to re-grow across the site of repair and along the repaired nerve. This can take many months. It is unusual for the sensation to the finger or thumb pulp that is supplied by the nerve to return to 100% normal. Often there is still some numbness.
- Your wound may not heal properly; you may need regular dressings until it does so.
- If the wound becomes infected you may require a course of antibiotics.
- At first your scar may be tender or painful.
- You may develop very tender nodule beneath the skin (neuroma).
- There may be a change in sensation on the side of the finger or thumb where the nerve was repaired.
- When it is cold the hand may feel uncomfortable, discoloured or stiff.
- Stiff finger joints.
- Bending (Contracture) of the finger towards the palm.
- Very rarely there is an alteration in the way your hand sweats, this may cause swelling and discomfort.
You should be aware that after the operation, until the nerve has begun to re-grow, the side of the finger or thumb, which the nerve supplied, would be completely numb. This area will therefore be more prone to injury such as burning, extreme cold etc, because you will not be able to feel pain. You should therefore protect this area from injury until the sensation has begun to return.
For most patients this operation does not involve these complications and they are pleased with the results of surgery. This sheet is not a complete list of all the possible complications, but it is provided to act as an additional source of information, following your discussion about the operation.
If you require any further information or advice please contact:
Sister or Nurse in Charge Plastic Surgery Out Patient Department, RVI
Telephone: (0191) 282 4228 (direct line) Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, or
Sister or Nurse in Charge Ward 47, RVI
Telephone: (0191) 282 5647 (direct line) anytime