23 June 2008


In the ER, we don't usually get follow-up on out patients unless they happen to come back in, or unless we take the extra effort to find out how things turned out for the admitted patients. Matt had asked how or if they were able to repair the unfortunate hand featured in this previous post. For your education and edification I offer this follow-up image:

I leave it to the good Dr Bates to provide technical details, as is her wont; suffice it to say that extensive soft tissue injuries -- flexor and extensor tendons -- have left this individual with limited prospects for a functional recovery.

Fun fact: in medical school, Dr Shadowfax was terribly torn between careers in Plastic/Hand Surgery vs Emergency Medicine. Given his attention span (very very short), it is probably a good thing that he chose as he did. But he still quite enjoys taking care of complex hand injuries.


  1. Thanks (I think) for the compliment. I've been avoiding flexor/extensor tendons injury/repair as they can be quite complex. I'll try to later this summer.

    The K-wires here are to maintain bone length while the soft tissues heal. Later a bone graft will be done when there is less chance of infection.

  2. Thanks for posting the f/u x-ray! Rare treat indeed.
    Entertaining blog, I'm now hooked.

  3. Well that's service you don't usually get on a blog. Thanks for the follow-up.

  4. Funny coincidence. I was also torn between plastics/reconstructive surgery and emergency medicine, and I also chose the latter.

    My short attention span and love of my life OUTSIDE of the hospital were what tipped the scales for me.

  5. See, nothing you can't fix either with gun tape or lockwire! Ok, seriously, the thought of messing up one of my hands makes me shudder a bit and think twice before doing some things.


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