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Doctor Chip
Doctor Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 22249
Experience:  20 yrs practice, surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine, pain
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I cut the space between my right thumb and pointer finger 3

Resolved Question:

I cut the space between my right thumb and pointer finger 3 months ago. I had 8 stitches at the Urgent Care center. The wound has healed but I have numbness in the inner part of my thumb to about the middle of the thumbtip. Plus, there is an sensation like electricity racing up my thumb from the location of the cut when I grip certain things tightly.

Are there exercises or massage I can do to help restore the proper sensation? Or, should I not use the thumb until the nerve heals, if it does?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 5 years ago.
How deep was the cut? Were any tendons cut or exposed?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The cut was perhaps 3/8" deep or more. It was about 2" long, in that saddle between my thumb and forefinger. I also had a sliver of glass that penetrated directly into the part of my thumb behind the thumb nail. It had 2 stitches. No tendons were exposed or damaged. I have full movement of the thumb, just sensitivity where the cut occurred (the feeling as if electricity is zipping around my thumb's base) and well less than full sensation along the side of the thumb adjacent to my forefinger.
Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 5 years ago.
OK. Obviously, there's a nerve problem here. One important question: can you remember if the numbness was there from the moment you cut your thumb, or did it start, say, a few days later?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes. There was not much sensation immediately after the stitches as the Doc had used Lidocaine as he cleaned the cut. I did notice that the numbness was minimal or zero thereafter, then after a week or more like two weeks it began to be more noticeable -- as the laceration healed. The sensitivity of the whole saddle between thumb and finger has diminished significantly during the 3 months. It was painful at first. If and when I have some sudden pressure on the saddle (say, in suddenly using the the brake on a bicycle), it can cause more apparent numbness in the thumb side and tip. However, the numbness in the thumb has become more pronounced. It reached further, perhaps 3/4 of my thumb tip, a month or so ago. It is now down to less than half of the thumb tip and down to the base of the thumb. The surface is number from the joint to the tip, and has some of that surface electricity business on the skin surface from the joint to the base of the thumb. I've never had numbness in the forefinger.
Expert:  Doctor Chip replied 5 years ago.
What's going on is the nerves to your thumb and index finger are getting entrapped by the scar tissue that formed as you laceration healed. The feeling may or may not fully come back. You should get a consultation with a hand surgeon, but I can't guarantee you that surgery will solve the problem.
Doctor Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 22249
Experience: 20 yrs practice, surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine, pain
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