Sparda29

En Taro Adun
10+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
9,461
1,456
33
New York, New York
Status (Visible)
  1. Pharmacist
Watched a couple of shows where a surgeon injured their hand or had a serious hand injury and were moaning and groaning about how their career is over. Any truth to this? Let's say you're a surgeon and your dominant hand gets smashed by a sliding door leading to all metacarpals being crushed and severe damage to the medial nerve. Can that seriously end a surgeons career, even if the metacarpals heal with limited function of the medial nerve?
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
Apr 9, 2000
40,028
28,428
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I think you mean the "median nerve".

Speaking from experience with a past history of median nerve entrapment, it can be quite debilitating. Because it is my nature to downplay things (and my fear of a career ending surgical injury), I allowed my problem to progress to the point where the nerve conduction in my non-dom hand was significantly slowed, I had muscle wasting in my hand and constant pain at > 90 degrees unless I was "shaking the thermometer". I had trouble opening scrub brush packets and was impaired in some yoga poses. Almost as importantly, I couldn't open potato chip bags. :p

Fortunately, with surgery I have no residual weakness or sensory deficits and was able to be back in the OR after 10 days (the surgery was absolutely painless; had it not been for the MFN sutures she put in, I honestly felt like I could have operated POD #1).

Hand injuries can be devastating. TV shows tend to overplay many things for dramatics but loss of median nerve function would likely affect the ability to grip a needle driver, forcep or other instruments, tie sutures or cut tissue. Sensory loss is meaningful as well in differentiating tissue planes manually, thickness, etc. So yes, a severe injury encompassing the entire hand could potentially be a career ending injury.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

maxheadroom

Rhinestone Cowboy
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2003
1,317
33
At the bottom of a wishing well . . .
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I think you mean the "median nerve".

Speaking from experience with a past history of median nerve entrapment, it can be quite debilitating. Because it is my nature to downplay things (and my fear of a career ending surgical injury), I allowed my problem to progress to the point where the nerve conduction in my non-dom hand was significantly slowed, I had muscle wasting in my hand and constant pain at > 90 degrees unless I was "shaking the thermometer". I had trouble opening scrub brush packets and was impaired in some yoga poses. Almost as importantly, I couldn't open potato chip bags. :p

Fortunately, with surgery I have no residual weakness or sensory deficits and was able to be back in the OR after 10 days (the surgery was absolutely painless; had it not been for the MFN sutures she put in, I honestly felt like I could have operated POD #1).

Hand injuries can be devastating. TV shows tend to overplay many things for dramatics but loss of median nerve function would likely affect the ability to grip a needle driver, forcep or other instruments, tie sutures or cut tissue. Sensory loss is meaningful as well in differentiating tissue planes manually, thickness, etc. So yes, a severe injury encompassing the entire hand could potentially be a career ending injury.

And that's why I use buried Monocryls for CTRs. Just sayin'.
 

hanky1982

Irish eyes are smiling
10+ Year Member
May 11, 2006
214
16
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
For our endoscopic CTRs, we just use Dermabond. No sutures at all. One of our residents had it done (B/L) and was operating POD#2 with no issues other than occasional pillar pain and pain using the mallet. All of which went away in a few days.
 
Jun 1, 2013
1,719
851
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
yes it can be a career halting, which is a shame, I mean surgical job is expressed through hands, but the most important assets are intellectual ones.
 

Silent Cool

Member
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2005
2,772
656
Status (Visible)
OP: Hands really aren't that important for surgeons. They can use their feet instead:

 

HighPriest

Specialized in diseases of the head holes
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2008
2,369
3,138
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I stopped watching SoA about that time, so I'm not sure how it turned out in the end. But I can say that character is about the least believable TV surgeon I've ever seen.
 
Jun 1, 2013
1,719
851
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am pretty sure I could finish a cholecystectomy single handily , I am not sure how many people would want me to.
 
This thread is more than 6 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads