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#2989392 - 05/13/19 08:44 AM Slight OT: Nerve damage question
zeronyne Offline
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Registered: 05/16/03
Posts: 6773
Loc: Chicago/NW Indiana
So this is tangentially relevant to guitar playing.

I was working with an Xacto knife (which I've done for decades upon decades) and for the first time ever, it slipped. I basically drove it through the side of my fretting index finger and the tip came out through the nail. I'm not squeamish about anything, but this one got to me. Blood everywhere, and it just wouldn't stop. But the most alarming this was it didn't hurt. At all. But I couldn't worry about that at the moment because I was leaving red stains all over the house.

Fast forward 4 weeks to today. There was pain during the healing process as the swelling went down, and it has completely healed over. I can feel a tiny bit of scar tissue, but it's no big deal. What IS a big deal is that I can't feel at the fingertip. It's really numb to surface feel, and when I fret or put any other pressure on it, the feeling is - disconcerting. I think because I'm not getting enough feedback from my nerves, I feel like there is too much pressure on my fingertip and it feels like it could burst like a concorde grape. It's purely an illusion of perception. But it's definitely throwing me off.

Is this something that will heal? I'm assuming not. If not, is this something I will get used to? With the number of guitarists here, I have to assume that some of you have had similar issues with finger damage. It's even worse when I play keyboards, which is my main instrument.
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#2989403 - 05/13/19 10:00 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: zeronyne]
Fred_C Offline
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Loc: PA
Sounds like it's time to contact your physician.
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#2989414 - 05/13/19 11:10 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 12002
Loc: Northern California
+1 Fred, it's a good time to contact the Doc as only you can describe the amount of pain or feelings in your fingers.

@ Zeronyne, wishing you all the best and hoping the feelings subside or the Doc can prescribe something...I have stories I could tell but it's best to seek out a professional. Most of my fingers are still hanging in there. Maybe more barre chords will help! Good luck! thu
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#2989428 - 05/13/19 12:04 PM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: Larryz]
zeronyne Offline
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Registered: 05/16/03
Posts: 6773
Loc: Chicago/NW Indiana
Thanks. I'll be seeing a doc shortly for a physical anyway. I'll bring it up. Was just wondering if others worked around it.

I appreciate the replies.
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#2989467 - 05/13/19 03:53 PM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: zeronyne]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
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Loc: Near Phoenix Az
Yep see the doctor. It might come back however, see what the doctor says.
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#2989500 - 05/13/19 07:50 PM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: desertbluesman]
picker Offline
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Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
Yep see the doctor. It might come back however, see what the doctor says.


What he said. Trauma around nerves, even if they aren't cut, can take a while to return to normal. But yes, go see your doctor!
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#2989519 - 05/14/19 04:28 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: picker]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
An Aunt of mine who owned and operated a Kowalski store( mostly deli counter) sliced the tip of one finger off on one of her slicing machines. (OUCH!)

It was able to be reattached, and did too, take a long time to heal, but she never did regain feeling in that fingertip, but was able to function normally by figuring a way to use "sense-memory" of how it was normally used and didn't allow any apprehensions to cloud her confidence in normal activity.

Within the last 20 years, I've dealt with Venous insufficiency, then a mini stroke and now Lymphedema which left my left foot numb most of the time. But by sheer determination and my Aunt's example, I walk practically normally, the only effect is the dragging of the foot a bit due to the stroke.

In your case, if there's no pain in using the finger when playing, I'd put that disconcerting feeling out of mind( and I DO know that feeling).

As for the advice to "go see your doctor", well, what I've learned from my wife's troubles the last 15 or so years, especially the last two, is that there are considerable limits to what they're able to do that really helps, what they actually know, and they find it extremely difficult to say, "I don't Know". ie: My doctor told me the numbness in my left leg, arm and the left side of my face will dissipate and be completely gone "in time". That was FIVE YEARS ago, and still no change or improvement. mad
Whitefang
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#2989524 - 05/14/19 05:20 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: zeronyne]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Yes, see a Doctor.

This may get better in time- feeling may return, in part or in whole- saying that based on my own experience with minor-ish injuries. But, it'd be much more important and informing to hear what a qualified medical professional has to say on the matter.

I sincerely wish you the very best of luck and health here.
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#2989534 - 05/14/19 06:34 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Danzilla Offline
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Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5585
Loc: Baltimore, MD
See the doctor.

But it wouldn't hurt to start brushing up on playing slide.
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#2989786 - 05/15/19 08:03 PM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: Danzilla]
zeronyne Offline
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Registered: 05/16/03
Posts: 6773
Loc: Chicago/NW Indiana
Well, the good news is that I can barely play guitar to start with, so my status as "guitar holder" has not been threatened.

I sincerely appreciate the replies.
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#2989806 - 05/16/19 04:18 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: zeronyne]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 11659
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Originally Posted By: zeronyne
Well, the good news is that I can barely play guitar to start with, so my status as "guitar holder" has not been threatened.

I sincerely appreciate the replies.


roll boing
I HEAR ya! wink
Whitefang
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#2989811 - 05/16/19 05:02 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: zeronyne]
picker Offline
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Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13632
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Look, even if the doctor can't do anything for you, at least you'll know that, and be able to pursue other directions. More than likely, the doctor WILL tell you he doesn't know if you'll get the feeling back or not. But he may be able to offer advice as to what might help if it is gonna come back, or refer you to a physical therapist or something.
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#2989846 - 05/16/19 09:39 AM Re: Slight OT: Nerve damage question [Re: picker]
jimmac Offline
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Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 318
Loc: Jackson, Michigan
I had surgery January 8 on my leg to remove a bloodclot. The area around the incision just started to get normal feeling last week. Almost normal but still improving. Nerves grow very slow. Jim

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