Fingertip injuries can be varied and include the following injury patterns:
- Low energy crush injuries causing nail bed injury
- High energy crush injury
- Sharp lacerations
- Partial fingertip amputation
- Total fingertip amputation
Nail bed injuries if left untreated can lead to nail deformity. Accurate surgical reconstruction of the torn nailbed that support the nail can improve the chance of supporting normal nail growth.
High energy crush injuries can cause injury to the skin, nail, bone and nerves. Often associated with industrial machinery, wounds can also be contaminated and increase the risk of infection. Early cleaning of the wound, antibiotics and an up to date tetanus status can decrease the risk of infection. Surgical reconstruction or repair of total or partial amputations can be successful in retaining finger length, a cosmetically acceptable outcome and function of the digit. Complications after high energy crush injury include hypersensitivity of the fingertip due to nerve injury. Rehabilitation with a hand therapist is a critical component of achieving the best outcome from this injury.
Sharp lacerations causing partial or total fingertip amputations can often be repaired, reconstructed or terminalised with a good outcome.