Digital nerve injuries: Epidemiology, results, costs, and impact on daily life.

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Abstract

Epidemiology, results of treatment, impact on activity of daily living (ADL), and costs for treatment of digital nerve injuries have not been considered consistently. Case notes of patients of 0-99 years of age living in Malmö municipality, Sweden, who presented with a digital nerve injury and were referred to the Department of Hand Surgery in 1995-2005 were analysed retrospectively. The incidence was 6.2/100 000 inhabitants and year. Most commonly men (75%; median age 29 years) were injured. Isolated nerve injuries and concomitant tendon injuries were equally common. The direct costs (hospital stay, operation, outpatient visits, visits to a nurse and/or a hand therapist) for a concomitant tendon injury was almost double compared with an isolated digital nerve injury (6136 EUR [range, 744-29 689 EUR] vs 2653 EUR [range, 468-6949 EUR]). More than 50% of the patients who worked were injured at work and 79% lost time from work (median 59 days [range 3-337]). Permanent nerve dysfunction for the individual patient with ADL problems and subjective complaints of fumbleness, cold sensitivity, and pain occur in the patients despite surgery. It is concluded that digital nerve injuries, often considered as a minor injury and that affect young people at productive age, cause costs, and disability. Focus should be directed against prevention of the injury and to improve nerve regeneration from different aspects.

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  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
JournalJournal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Volume46
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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