When a high-pressure injection device – such as a grease or paint gun – is discharged into the person operating it, they are said to have sustained a high-pressure injury. Like all injuries to the hand or fingers, cases of high-pressure hand injury can be extremely serious, and should undergo medical examination as soon as possible.
In this article, Macomb County Hand Surgery’s Dr. Uzma Rehman discusses some of the most important things to know about high-pressure hand injury.
Location of High-Pressure Hand Injury
Since high-pressure injection devices are usually operated with the user’s dominant hand, most cases of high-pressure hand injury impact the non-dominant hand – with the index finger usually bearing the brunt of the damage. In about two thirds of all cases, this is the patient’s left hand.
At Macomb County Hand Surgery, most of our high-pressure hand injury patients sustained their damage from trying to wipe something off of the device’s nozzle. High-pressure hand injury also frequently results from the operator’s misguided effort to stabilize the gun with their free hand while testing or operating it with the other.
In order to inject highly viscous substances like grease, a high lever of pressure is required. This means that high-pressure hand injury caused by such substances usually result in deeper wounds than those caused by paints or solvents.
Treatment of High-Pressure Hand Injury
At Macomb County Hand Surgery, many of our high-pressure hand injury patients claim to have at first observed their injury to be minor or insignificant. Nonetheless, all cases of high-pressure hand injury should be treated as a surgical emergency, and should be compressed and thoroughly cleaned immediately. This helps to preserve the function of the hand, prevent infection, and avoid amputation later on.
Even a high-pressure hand injury in the form of a small puncture wound can result in future disability if left untreated. And depending on a range of variables – such as the pressure of the injection, the toxicity of the chemical injected, as well as the quantity and temperature of the chemical – a high pressure hand injury can result in a number of long term clinical effects.
Amputation and High-Pressure Hand Injury
Because many patients ignore a High-Pressure Hand Injury until it is too late. All told, close to 48% of all high-pressure hand injury patients require amputation. High-Pressure hand injury caused by grease – the material most commonly injected by high-pressure devices – have the lowest rate of amputation; about 25%. Those caused by paint solvents, on the other hand, are observed to be the most harmful, with 60-80% of all cases requiring amputation.
High-Pressure Hand Injury Doctor – Macomb County
If you suffered a high-pressure hand injury it is extremely important to have your hand examined and treated by a board certified hand surgeon like Dr. Rehman as soon as possible. She will rapidly put in place a treatment plan to not only relieve symptoms, but to decompress the tissue, and thoroughly clean the toxic, injected material from the fingers and hand.
Rapid intervention is required to preserve the function of the hand, prevent infection, and avoid complications and/or amputation. Do not delay. Macomb County hand surgeon Dr. Rehman today.
Macomb County High-Pressure Hand Injury Doctor: 248.335.2638