The 'Free Fallin'' singer-songwriter smashed his left hand through a wall in frustration during a recording session in the mid-1980s, shattering his fingers.
The 61-year-old frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers believes that the return of the pain is a consequence of old age.
"I didn't notice it for the longest time, but in the last year it's started to hurt," he told Q magazine.
"I guess that's just down to getting old," the American star added.
Despite having metal pins inserted into his hand by doctors, the multi-talented musician managed to salvage his rock career.
Watch Tom Petty's video for 'Free Fallin'' below: