Hand amputations: epidemiology, management and resurfacing options for soft tissue coverage.

Journal of wound care

PubMedID: 26488736

Khurram MF, Masoodi Z, Yaseen M, Bariar LM, Haq A. Hand amputations: epidemiology, management and resurfacing options for soft tissue coverage. J Wound Care. 2015;24(10):452-8.
Agricultural hand injuries occur mainly among young adults, many affecting the dominant hand, thereby impeding patients' ability to work or cope with social obligations. This study was carried out with the aim of collecting data on the epidemiology and management of agricultural hand injuries in Indian subjects.

The study was conducted in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, JN Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, India, from October 2009 to December 2013. Patients with agricultural hand injuries were included. Data collected included socio-demographic details, mode and type of injury, type of reconstruction, complications, length of hospital stay and assessment of post-reconstruction status. These data were tabulated and analysed.

The typical patient was young (mean 33.2 years), of lower socio-economic status and with a total disregard for safety regulations. There is clustering of cases during the wheat harvest season (April-June). Wheat thresher injuries were the most common cause of partial hand amputation (51%), especially during this season. This was followed by fodder cutting (kutti/chara) machine injury, especially in females and children (36%). A simple classification for these injuries has been described and Grade II injury was the commonest. Reverse radial forearm flap was the most suitable regional flap for coverage, whereas thoraco-umbilical flap was the most commonly used distant flap. Patients who had the single-stage procedure had a significantly shorter stay.

Agricultural hand injuries are not totally avoidable and their incidence can be reduced by proper education, but the low economic and literacy status of the patients is a big hurdle. The forearm offers many flaps for reconstruction of hand, which can be used in defects on dorsal or palmar aspect of hand and results in early discharge from the hospital and early rehabilitation. In patients with associated injury to the forearm, abdominal flaps can be used for cover.