Fingertip Injury - Will the Tip of the Finger Grow Back?

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Fingertip Injury - Day of Injury

Photo © David Nelson, M.D.

This picture shows a young woman who cut off the tip of her finger with a pair of scissors. She sees her physician, Dr. David Nelson, a hand surgeon in the San Francisco area. She is obviously concerned for the long-term appearance of her finger.

The human body has an amazing capacity for healing. Fingers are especially noteworthy as they have an excellent blood supply and the ability to heal major wounds. In fact, some fingertip injuries can seemingly grow back.

For specifics on how this injury was treated, please visit Dr. Nelson's web site. Of note, no surgical procedures or special equipment was required to achieve this result. All of these images are of the same patient.

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Fingertip Injury - 10 Days After Injury

Photo © David Nelson, M.D.

10 days after the injury, early signs of healing are taking place. The bandage was changed at this time. The body is undergoing a healing process that some may consider the fingertip regrowing.

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Fingertip Injury - One Month After Injury

Photo © David Nelson, M.D.

About one month after the injury, the wound is now dry. More soft tissue is now covering the tip of the finger, and a more normal appearance is taking shape.

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Fingertip Injury - 7 Weeks After Injury

Photo © David Nelson, M.D.

The final image, only 7 weeks after the injury occurred, shows a finger that almost looks normal. Most people would not notice the evidence of the previous injury, and even the nail has resumed a more normal appearance.

In general, for a fingertip injury to grow back, the injury must occur beyond where the nail starts, and some deformity of the tip of the finger will generally persist. But hand surgeons have long known that a cut-off fingertip can regain much of the normal feel, shape, and appearance. In fact, no expensive products are required, and with clean amputations of the tip of the digit, usually no surgery is required.

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