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Functional outcome of high-pressure injection injuries of the hand.

BACKGROUND: High-pressure injection (HPI) injury of the hand is a serious injury that can be potentially devastating. There have been a number of publications on the results of its treatment, but we are not aware of a report on the functional outcome of these hands.

METHODS: We assessed the functional outcome of 15 patients with HPI injuries. All patients were treated operatively, with a mean delay of 11.7 hours. The patients were examined by a doctor and an occupational therapist using a work simulator.

RESULTS: Our study revealed a significant reduction of static and dynamic muscle testing parameters compared with the uninjured hand. Six patients lost a digit and four patients had to change their occupation after the injury.

CONCLUSION: Deterioration of hand function is a predictable outcome of HPI injury. This information should be shared with the patient at the outset so as to avoid subsequent disappointment.

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