Effect of Setting of Initial Surgical Drainage on Outcome of Finger Infections


This study sought to determine the optimal treatment setting (emergency department vs. operating room) for the initial incision and drainage of acute suppurative finger infections. A search of hospital medical records over a 5-year period identified 152 cases. In 108 cases (71%), a single drainage successfully resolved infection; 44 cases (29%) required multiple drainage procedures. Treatment setting did not decrease the risk for multiple procedures. Seventy-six cases (57%) of community-acquired methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) were identified. Bivariate analysis identified CA-MRSA infection as a significant, independent risk factor for multiple procedures. Obtaining initial cultures correlated with a decreased need for multiple procedures. In conclusion, initial surgical drainage in the emergency department is a safe alternative to the operating room. However, patients with CAMRSA infection have an increased risk for persistent infection requiring multiple procedures. Prompt organism identification and appropriate antibiotics following surgical drainage remain most crucial for the successful treatment of finger infections. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 24(1):36–41, 2015) Key words: debridement, finger infection, incision and drainage, MRSA

SKU: JSOA-2015-24-1-S7 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Wayne A. Chen, MD; Johannes F. Plate, MD; and Zhongyu Li, MD, PhD