Subcutaneous emphysema of the upper extremity following penetrating blackthorn injury to the wrist.
AffiliationDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. email@example.com
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CitationSubcutaneous emphysema of the upper extremity following penetrating blackthorn injury to the wrist. 2009, 62 (2):e29-32 J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg
JournalJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS
AbstractSUMMARY: Noninfective subcutaneous emphysema of the upper extremity, albeit rare, has to be borne in mind when treating patients with subcutaneous emphysema. The misdiagnosis of this condition as its serious infective counterpart often leads to unnecessary aggressive treatment. Noninfective subcutaneous emphysema often accompanies a patient who has no systemic symptoms of illness. Unfortunately, the distinction is not always easy especially when history of injury suggests involvement of an infective or reactive element. Penetrating blackthorn injury is common, especially in rural communities, and often occurs from farming or gardening activities. Blackthorn penetration can cause numerous tissue reactions once embedded under the skin and they are often contaminated with soil. Here we present, for the first time, a case where penetrating blackthorn injury to the wrist resulted in noninfective subcutaneous emphysema involving the whole upper limb and neck, and its subsequent management.
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