Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Finger Nail Bed Injuries

I was supplied these photos by someone who found my blog and then corresponded with me regarding their injury. He had injured his fingers in a motorcycle accident six weeks previous to our “meeting.” He understood that I could not be his treating physician and keep his questions respectful of that. I am grateful to him for the use of his photos as they show how healing occurs.


This photo to the right is the one taken at 6 weeks post injury. Note the split of the nail growing back. There does not appear to be any connection centrally between the two nails growing back. If you look back to the photo of the 1st day, (and I know it is difficult to see due to the size) there is a deeper injury in the central area. It would have been to his benefit to have had this central area sutured at the time of the injury.

At this point in time, he has two choices:

1. Allow the finger to completely heal and see if his and my prediction of split nail is a permanent condition.

2. Seek out a hand surgeon to excise the central scar and do a primary repair of the nail bed. This would mean removal of the nail(s) that has grown back so the repair could be done properly. The timing of this repair is not crucial. It can be done either now or at a later date.

Related Posts:

Fingertip Injuries/Amputations (August 16, 2007)

Late Reconstruction of the Nail Bed (February 11, 2008)

Soft-Tissue Injuries of the Fingertip (October 29, 2008)

2 comments:

Ross said...

I have suffered a couple of injuries to nail beds in my life. One strategy I have found helpful is to go to a manicure shop and have a fake nail glued on top of the affected finger nail as the weakened spot grows out. IMHO this has served me well by protecting the tender nail bed from the activities of daily living and provided me with a useful appendage. I think that it has also helped keep the nail from splitting as it grows out.

I think last time it happened I was spending about $5 ever two weeks to get it done. It was a bit unnerving to have the nice lady attack my nail with a Dremel tool and sand it down.

ER's Mom said...

Interesting. My 5 year old son had a fracture of his distal phalanx of right middle finger, lost that nail and the adjacent nail back in July. (thank god he's a lefty!)

Just now starting to grow back. I look at it every now and then fascinated by the regeneration, but that's just me.