Numbness or tingling after a fishhook injury

Numbness is the inability to feel anything when your skin is touched. It may feel as though the part you touch does not belong to you. Tingling (paresthesia) is a pins-and-needles sensation, like when your foot "falls asleep."

It is normal to have brief and temporary changes in feeling after an injury or when swelling is present. Although a fishhook injury can damage nerves, most fishhook injuries are near the surface of the skin and are not likely to cause nerve damage. A deep fishhook injury is more likely to cause nerve damage. But nerves in the hand are very close to the skin's surface and can be damaged by what appears to be a superficial injury.

Swelling from a fishhook injury can put pressure on nerves. If swelling is causing symptoms, the symptoms generally will go away as the swelling decreases.

Numbness and tingling are more serious when:

  • There is a complete loss of feeling in the injured area.
  • You have symptoms of impaired blood flow, such as pale, white, blue, or cold skin, which may be a sign of blood vessel damage.
  • Numbness or tingling doesn't go away.

Last Updated: July 1, 2009

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