I think I hit a nerve...
October 8, 2013 1:45 PM Subscribe
The other night, I think I suffered a Halloween-decorating injury. I was using an unfriendly pair of scissors to cut out silhouettes of bats to stick on my front door; my grip on the scissors hurt, but my room mate (whom I regard as wholly responsible for this) wanted TONS of bats, so I pushed on. Later that night, I realized my index finger was kind of numb along the outside, below the first joint - right where the grip of the scissors pressed against my first knuckle. I decided to go with the "wait and see" cure, only waiting and seeing didn't cure it. It's now been almost 48 hours with no change. What next?
posted by kythuen to health & fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ok, I know I won't die, and YANMD, but I'd like to know what to expect without going to see my doctor. I see way too much of him as it is. Dr. Google is weirdly silent on the matter - probably because a numb finger is not a symptom of cancer.
The numb area is only on the outside of my forefinger, about the size of a paperclip. There's a weirdly sensitive and very slightly swollen spot just above (toward the nail) the second knuckle, which is where most of my bat-related pain was night before last. The numbness extends down my finger toward the tip from that point.
It doesn't hurt exactly, but when I touch that spot or put pressure on it, I can feel it all the way down through the numb spot and to the tip of my finger. The numb spot, by the way, isn't completely dead. The surface of the skin has a very tiny bit of sensation, but I can't really feel pressure in that spot. There's been very little change since I noticed any of this - maybe the numbness receded a TINY bit back from the nail bed, but that's it.
Extra info, possibly helpful: I didn't cut myself or break the skin in any way - it was just the grip of the scissors, where you put your fingers through, that caused pain. I don't have arthritis, and I don't think I have carpal tunnel. This little numb spot is my sole symptom. I did have neck surgery for a herniated disk about 6 years ago, and at first I thought this might be related to that - but given the sudden onset immediately after painful scissor-wielding, I think it's more likely I just injured my finger.
My amateur diagnosis is that I did something to bruise a nerve, or to create swelling that is somehow impinging on a nerve. This doesn't seem immediately life-threatening, but it does feel completely bizarre, and I don't like it.
Can you actually bruise a nerve by holding a pair of scissors wrong/for too long? If so, what do you do about it? Is rest/ice a decent idea, or might it be more of a heating pad issue? And if I did bruise a nerve, how long can I expect it to take to heal?