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OT-- Anyone here ever get frostbite on their fingers?

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    OT-- Anyone here ever get frostbite on their fingers?

    On Saturday i was stuck outside of a club for over 30 minutes on a bitter cold night when going to see a band and they wouldn't let anyone in until exactly 7PM. My hands ended up getting ridiculously cold. By the time i got indoors again my hands almost didn't feel like my real hands anymore, but i made sure to let them warm up slowly as i know your are supposed to do to avoid making things worse.

    So after about 20-30 minutes my hands were warm again, but i noticed that six of my fingertips were all still numb to varying degrees. I then just hoped that over the next few hours the numb sensation would start going away.

    Well, here i sit three days later and all six finger tips are still numb on the same levels they were that night. The pointer finger on my left hand is the worst by feeling a mix of numb and a bit painful as i type and it hits the keys. Being a quad, only type with that finger. It's kind of an odd dull type of pain.

    I'm getting a little concerned after i did some reading/research about frostbite. The one good thing is none of my fingers are really dis-colored or blistering, only that pointer finger is a little darker red. I had an important dentist appointment on Monday so getting to the doctor wasn't feasible. I do have an appointment on Thursday though.

    So i was wondering if anyone here has gone through anything similar? If so, any advice and/or details of what happened to the affected areas since?

    Mittens are warmer than gloves, but are annoying for pushing the chair. Next time make a fist inside your gloves to keep your fingers warm. And put your hands in your pockets or sit on them.

    If you weren't wearing gloves, well... that's on you. Even the $1 pairs at Target will provide a lot of protection.

    I live in Minnesota and this has happened to me somewhat often. I'm sure my fingertips aren't as sensitive as they used to be. And I'm okay with that.


      Duder, if you still have discoloration after a week call and see if you can just talk to your GP. You did say mild and only in one finger, right? If you just have numbness and no other problems give it two weeks unless you're worried or the pain sticks around.

      Never going to try to reply using that minature keyboard again!
      Last edited by Sue Pendleton; 7 Feb 2013, 8:17 PM. Reason: Trying to reply by Nook.
      Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

      Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


        I grew up in an area with very cold winter temps (-20F) and there were a quite a few cases every year, mostly ears and toes. It sounds like you were only "nipped" if there is no discoloring or blistering. The nerves in your finger tips have probably been damaged and the odds are against total recovery of sensation. It does happen though. Only time will tell. Peripheral nerve regeneration is a slow process. It would be wise to have a doc check out the reddened finger but there is not anything you can do at this point other than wait it out. If you have problems typing you may have to consider using a typing stick as I do.

        I hope the "fickle finger of fate" delivers the best to you.
        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

        See my personal webpage @


          I have had a similar experience. Several years back in a matter of moments my fingers started to get numb and tingly. I didn't understand what was happening. I thought maybe it was carpal tunnel. It didn't go away so a few weeks later I made an appointment with the doctor and got tested. Nope, not carpal tunnel. Well then my physiatrist ordered x-rays and an MRI to see if there were any changes where I injured my neck. Nope, nothing of significance. Well the numbness went on for several months. I took anti-inflamatories and exercised my hand as if I had carpal tunnel. I honestly believe it was as Sci55 said. The cold weather. It started in the month of February. But as he mentioned its a slow process for the healing. It continued for several months and I finally started to see some improvement. Once in awhile now when it's real cold I start to get some tell tale signs but not as severe as initially.

          It was terrible. I was in tears everyday thinking I had lost function in the only hand that I had some use in. I couldn't feel my fork or even pick up a glass. I'm an incomplete quad with some finger movement in my right hand only. Try taking some Ibprophen if you can and exercise the hand. Hopefully over time it will get better. Mine did, maybe not 100% but definitely 90%. Good luck and hope you feel better.


            Frost bite is just like a burn. 1st degree- redness and numbing, 2nd-blisters, 3rd-blackening and tissue damage. If its first degree it should come back, but will be more susceptible to frost bite in the future. That's all for the average person. You're paralyzed , who the hell knows what kind of goofy things our bodies do.


              It sounds as though you may have a case of mild frostbite. Please call or see your doctor.
              Keeping them moving and warm will help to,prevent further problems, but not necessarily repair the damage done.
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.