Summary: Your hand is one of those areas you definitely want to take care of. Yet, when, all too commonly, we cut ourselves cooking dinner, we tend to minimize the effect this might have on our tendons and ligaments. So when you get cut, even if it seems minimal, you can save yourself an extra surgery by having a doctor check for additional damage.
The Curse of Chopping Onions
It starts out simple enough. You’re chopping some onions—and maybe you’re eyes are starting to tear up because, you know, onions. Or maybe the dog barks, or the kids start yelling. Either way, your hand slips, and your very sharp knife slices through your finger. There’s lots of blood (none of it got on the onion, thankfully, so dinner’s still on), but you can’t see bone, so you stick a band aid on and wait for the pain to go away.
All Too Common
This kind of thing happens often, in kitchens all over the world. And it seems common sense, especially if the bleeding stops readily, that a trip to the hospital—or the doctor, for that matter—is perhaps too cautious. But that’s not necessarily the case, in large part due to the unique physiology of the hand.
The hand is built up of bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and so on. What makes your hand different from other places of your anatomy is how close those elements are to the outer surface. This means that when you get cut by your kitchen knife, you may also be doing damage to the ligaments or tendons below the skin.
You May Not Notice at First
What makes this particularly dangerous is that many people don’t notice at first. They wait for their finger to heal, then go back to their daily—often rigorous—activity, and it’s only during this more rigorous activity that a marginally damaged ligament or tendon can snap, break, or otherwise cause more serious harm. Suddenly your range of motion will be limited—and, often, quite painful. This can also cause scar tissue to form, which can inhibit motion and would necessitate a second surgery.
See a Hand Surgeon
The best way to avoid this is to see a surgeon for possible repair work. The Houston hand surgery experts at Clear Lake Hand Center specialize in this type of procedure, and it never hurts to go see a hand expert—they’ll be able to minimize scarring and maximize the results in what is a fairly specialized part of the anatomy.
Ultimately, just because your hand feels okay right away doesn’t mean that there isn’t some underlying damage. It never hurts to see a doctor, just to make sure everything checks out. So if your hand is in need of some medical attention, big or small, schedule an appointment with a hand surgeon today.