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Introduction to Hand Injuries

Complex wounds of the hand may sometimes involve severe contamination. There are numerous different causes of severe hand injuries.

Bite Injuries

Bite injuries may include human bite injuries, animal bite injuries, insect bites and snake bites. The human bite injury needs to be treated with intravenous antibiotics and aggressive debridement. Animal bite injury usually comes from a cat or a dog. They usually involve fractures and crushed soft tissue. Cat bites can sometimes be very dangerous because certain vital parts can be penetrated by the cat’s sharp, pointed teeth. Insect bites can be associated with numerous different medical conditions and complications and sometimes the only solution is a surgery, but only after the inflammatory condition subsides.

Snake bites can cause soft tissue necrosis, Volkmann’s contracture, coagulopathy, loss of sensibility, and stiffness. Most cases of upper extremity injuries require a surgical intervention.

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns usually occur in the industrial areas and in most cases a person experiences an acid burn. The condition may be undetected at first. Hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid burns need to be treated with calcium gluconate as soon as possible. Phosphorus burns are usually associated with military service and they can cause serious medical conditions. They need to be treated with copper sulfate as soon as possible.

Injection Injuries

Injection injuries are among the uncommon types of injuries but they still may occur. These injuries involve accidental exposure to high pressure injectors of sand, paint or other fluids. The treatment consists of radical debridement and surgical intervention.

Other Injuries

Among the most common hand injuries are the traumatic amputations of the fingers. Neuroma is present in almost all cases. All patients who experience this type of amputation also suffer from dysesthesia. The condition is usually accompanied by stiffness, tenderness, swelling and cold intolerance or sensitivity. Fingertip injuries, tender scars and nail deformities are also among some of the injuries that are very difficult to treat. Foreign bodies can also be lodged beneath the skin surface and cause a lot of trouble.

The foreign object needs to be incised because they may cause severe inflammatory conditions. Some other common hand injuries include thermal burn injuries which are usually accompanied by the stiffness. Frostbites need to be warmed gradually as soon as possible because if not treated on time they may require amputation. Other hand injuries that may cause further medical complications are electrical injuries.

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