What Causes Scar Tissue to Form in the Hand?

What Causes Scar Tissue to Form in the Hand?

Posted on 01/20/2022

Scar tissues develop in various parts of the body, including the hand. In the early stages, it may not be painful. The nerves become destroyed together with the healthy tissues. However, the scar tissue grows painful as the nerve endings begin degenerating.


What Is Scar Tissue?


Scar tissue is also known as adhesion or fibrosis. The words may differ, but the concept is similar. Scar tissue is the thick fibrous tissue that replaces the damaged one after an injury. Your healthy tissues may become destroyed after surgery, an injury, or a cut.


What Causes Scar Tissue to Form in the Hand?


Scar tissues form because of the body healing itself from an injury. There are two different ways in which the formation can happen. First, if a tendon, ligament, or muscle becomes crushed or torn, your body forms scar tissue to bind the torn pieces back together. The formation is a necessary and crucial part of the healing process.


Scar tissue can also form because of inadequate oxygen. The condition is technically called hypoxia. Muscle tension reduces blood supply, thus causing hypoxia.


A healthy blood flow is crucial because it carries oxygen. Hypoxic conditions can arise because of poor posture, sustained pressure while sitting, or athletic pursuits that increase your muscle tension. Hypoxia causes the accumulation of free radicals that attract the cells producing scar tissue.


Effects of Scar Tissue 


  • Muscle length reduction - Scar tissue lacks flexibility and elasticity compared to a healthy muscle. Areas with the scar can have a limited range of motion. There can be alterations in the axis of rotation

  • Delay in lengthening speed - A muscle with scar tissue may take time to reach its entire length. As a result, there may be strain and lack of coordination because muscles need to work together

  • Reduced strength - Scar tissue development can bind up muscles. As a result, fewer functional muscles remain, reducing the energy produced

  • Pain - Scar tissue can be painful because it contains nerve endings. You can also experience pain in the tendon attachment involved

  • Nerve entrapment - Scar tissue tends to glue nerves with muscles. Your nerves should slide around and through your muscles. When the nerves become entrapped, there can be tugging and tension on your nerves. You are likely to experience numbness, weakness, burning, aching, and tingling


Symptoms of Scar Tissue in the Hand


Scar tissue can cause significant symptoms. You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, where a narrow passage surrounded by ligaments and bones develops on your palm side. You are likely to have symptoms such as hand weakness, tingling, or numbness.


Scar tissue in your hand can also increase your risk of having De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. This condition is painful and affects the tendons located on the side of your wrist where you have your thumb. You are likely to experience tenderness and pain in your wrist, often below the base of your thumb.


Another symptom associated with scar tissue formation is the formation of trigger points. You will also have degenerative changes develop faster in the surrounding bone. If left untreated, these ailments can linger for many years.




Your body does not have a mechanism that can remove scar tissue fast. However, some treatments and therapies are effective. They can reduce scar tissue and improve its appearance. Your doctor can recommend topical treatments, surgery, radiotherapy, or steroid injections, among many others. Chiropractic adjustment also helps reduce muscle strain.


For more on scar tissues, contact East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity at our office in Oakland, California. You can call 510.904.1100 to book an appointment today.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.