High-pressure injection injuries of the fingers: Long-term follow-up in patients after extensive debridement.
High-pressure injection injuries to the fingers resulting from the introduction of a foreign substance, such as oil or paint, through a minor puncture wound are rare but can have serious clinical consequences. The objective of this article was to examine the long-term outcomes after surgical debridement of these injuries. We present a retrospective case series of 8 adults who had a high-pressure injection injury to their hand and underwent surgical debridement in our facility. Data were extracted from our outpatient registry. Assessment included a full physical examination, grip strength, range of motion, two-point discrimination and Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) questionnaire. We followed 8 male patients for an average of 12.7 years. Their average age was 37 at time of injury and all had injured their right dominant hand. Seventy-five percent of the injuries were to the index finger. Seven out of the 8 patients returned to their pre-injury occupation, 4 out of 8 patients had reduced range of motion of the affected digit. Injury sequelae adversely affected activities of daily living (ADL) with an average QuickDASH score of 26. Grip strength in the injured hand was reduced by an average of 35% in 6 out of 8 patients compared with the uninjured hand. Sensation was also reduced in the affected digit in 7 out of 8 patients. All patients suffered from some level of neuropathic pain and/or cold intolerance. High pressure injection injury to the fingers is a serious event found amongst industrial laborers. In most patients, this injury will lead to long-term disability along with a negative impact on ADL. However, most patients eventually return to their pre-injury occupation. Extensive, single or repeat debridement of high-pressure injection injuries remains a valid treatment option with good long-term results.
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