Fingertip crush injuries are common hand injuries in children and often are evaluated initially in an emergency department. Nail bed injuries can be classified into subungual hematomas, simple or stellate lacerations, crush injuries, and avulsions. Emergency department physicians with good knowledge of fingertip anatomy can appropriately manage these injuries so as to prevent long-term fingertip deformities and functional deficits. The management of simple nail bed lacerations and subungual hematomas has remained somewhat controversial with much debate surrounding the necessity of removing the nail plate for repair of a nail bed laceration versus trephination alone of a large subungual hematoma. This article will discuss the management and evaluation of simple nail bed injuries by emergency department physicians to prevent chronic nail and fingertip deformities.
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