Nerve Injury

Numbness following a laceration to the hand or arm may develop secondary to an actual cut of a nerve.  Once a nerve is lacerated the elastic properties of the nerve cause the cut ends to separate.  If the cut ends are not repaired scar will form between the lacerated nerve ends  which will prevent nerve healing.


A nerve should be repaired with the aid of a microscope, using sutures thinner than a human hair.  Ideally repair should be performed within 10 days of injury.  Delayed repair may require the use of nerve grafts (nerve segments moved to the injury site to bridge a gap).  After surgery the area of repair is splinted for three weeks, after which genial motion is initiated.  Return of function typically takes several months.