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University Orthopaedics, Hand

and Reconstructive Microsurgery Cluster

Hand Infections






Infections of the Hand

Being the most exposed part of the body, hand infection is extremely common. It is most commonly caused by bacteria. Other organisms are rare. Hand Surgery, Wrist Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Microsurgery



This is an infection around the nail fold. People involved include housewives, restaurant kitchen helpers cleaning workers, drink sellers, nail biters and post manicure treated individuals. Early stages can be treated by appropriate antibiotics, more complex or severe cases may require surgery

A felon is a subcutaneous abscess of the distal pulp of the fingertip. This is usually cause by trauma as a portal of entry. Open drainage is necessary and probed to ensure all involved septa spaces are exposed.
Infective tenosynovitis

Infection of the tendon sheath is the most important of all hand infections. It may lead to deeper infections affecting bone joint and eventually blood. Treatment of tenosynovitis involves surgery and intravenous antibiotics. Hospitalization is usually unavoidable.
Septic arthritis and osteomyelitis

Infections of the bone and joints of the hand are commonly the result of direct penetrating injuries and spread from adjacent infections. Treatment involves surgery and the adminstration of antibiotics for 4-6 weeks.


Secondary Infections from bites

The bitten hand is a common clinical problem. The nail biters self inflict and introduce infection while others are traumatically introduced through deliberate bites or through a fist in contact with the teeth. Treatment involves surgery and intravenous antibiotics.. Dog and cat bites account for 90% of animal bite infections, However the incidence of rabies is rare because of urban vaccination programs for domestic animals.