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Wrist Fracture Surgery Risks -- Nerve Damage

Clip Number: 22 of 33
Presentation: Distal Radius Fracture Surgery
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Nerves from the spinal cord and brain are relatively small in size as the nerves branch off from the main stem, they become smaller in size and their function more specialized. Nerves located under the skin that provide for feeling are quite small. Because of their size and location, these nerves are often cut during surgery. In fact, it is impossible not to cut any skin nerves during surgery. However, this usually does not result in a noticeable difference. And if it does, the abnormal skin feeling caused by this is usually in a very small area.
Rarely, damage can occur to larger nerves in the wrist, making a longer period of recovery necessary. Permanent nerve damage can also occur, from the injury or during the surgery, which results in a loss of feeling or weakness of the thumb or fingers. Surgery, which can be attempted to repair the nerve damage, may have limited success.
Sometimes nerve damage can result in a burning or itching sensation that produces a lot of discomfort. In addition, your skin may become extremely sensitive to the touch. It is not clear why this occurs, but the condition can be treated with therapy and oral medication. If this fails, sometimes injections in the area of the nerves can help.
If any nerve injuries do occur, you will need to discuss treatment options on an individual basis with your doctor.

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