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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Aug;62(8):e270-3. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.12.022. Epub 2008 Feb 29.

Sting-ray injuries to the hand: case report, literature review and a suggested algorithm for management.

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The Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, Morriston Hospital, Swansea SA6 6NL, UK.


Sting-ray injuries have recently had high profile media coverage following a rare fatality. However, minor injuries to the hands and feet are common. We present a case of a sting-ray injury to the hand. This was washed out under local anaesthetic at the local emergency department and was a delayed presentation to a specialist hand surgeon, 1 month post injury with severe pain. Ultrasound scan showed synovitis of the palm, confirmed at synovectomy the following day, along with frankly necrotic lumbrical muscles. Histology showed extensive low grade chronic inflammation. At 1 month follow up the patient was pain free and making good progress with a full and functional range of movement. We review the available literature and discuss the circumstances and pathophysiology of the sting-ray sting, the most appropriate first aid management, need for prompt surgical exploration and wound debridement and the possible complications. We would also like to suggest an algorithm for the management of sting-ray injuries to the hand.

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