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Fingertip Injuries Follow-up

  • Author: Glen Vaughn, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
Updated: Sep 23, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

Keep hand elevated.

Check wound 2 days after ED treatment.

Analgesics may be necessary for first few days.

Splint fractures in extension for 2 weeks.


Further Inpatient Care

Keep hand elevated.



Untreated nailbed lacerations may lead to subsequent nail deformities.

When amputation with loss of two thirds of the nail occurs, half of the fingers develop beaking or a curved nail.



Oldest recorded patient to show fingertip regeneration was aged 11 years.


Patient Education

Full growth of nail takes an average of 100 days, but fingertip trauma may delay growth by 20 days.

Average healing time for fingertip amputation is 21-27 days.

Remove sutures after 7-10 days.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Skin Conditions and Beauty Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education articles Finger Injuries, Nail Injuries, Subungual Hematoma (Bleeding Under Nail), and Splinters.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Glen Vaughn, MD Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Defiance Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Eric L Legome, MD Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kings County Hospital Center; Professor Clinical, Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine

Eric L Legome, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH Chief of Emergency Medicine, Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System; Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Jeffrey Glenn Bowman, MD, MS Consulting Staff, Highfield MRI

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Significant nailbed injuries can occur from nail root avulsions.
Removal of the nail plate with iris scissors.
Suturing of a nailbed laceration.
Sutured nailbed injury.
U-stitch method of securing the nail plate.
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