Hand Infection Treatment Ellicott City MD

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W Christopher Urban, MD
(410) 544-4855
1600 S Crain Hwy
Glen Burnie, MD
Business
Bay Area Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Yuhwan Hong, MD
(410) 554-2857
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Med Coll, Valhalla Ny 10595
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided By:
Rosanne Michelle Bloom, DDS
(301) 631-5860
130 Thomas Johnson Dr Ste 2
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Kevin Edward Mc Govern, MD
(410) 461-9500
3570 St John's Ln
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Hahnemann Univ Sch Of Med, Philadelphia Pa 19102
Graduation Year: 1980
Hospital
Hospital: Laurel Regional Hospital, Laurel, Md; Howard County General Hospital, Columbia, Md
Group Practice: Maryland Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Michael A Franchetti, MD
(410) 461-9500
3570 St John's Ln
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Jefferson Med Coll-Thos Jefferson Univ, Philadelphia Pa 19107
Graduation Year: 1982
Hospital
Hospital: Laurel Regional Hospital, Laurel, Md; Howard County General Hospital, Columbia, Md
Group Practice: Maryland Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Cyrus Pezeshki MD
(410) 282-2211
6730 Holabird Ave
Baltimore, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Heather M Abrahams, DDS
(410) 975-0911
2021 Emmorton Rd Ste 218
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Olumuyiwa Akinade Paul, MD
(410) 750-7978
8262 Glenmar Rd
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Howard Univ Coll Of Med, Washington Dc 20059
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided By:
William Edward Beatie, MD
(301) 572-1000
9711 Finch Ct
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1979

Data Provided By:
William John Launder, MD
(410) 461-9500
3570 St John's Ln
Ellicott City, MD
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mt Sinai Sch Of Med Of The City Univ Of Ny, New York Ny 10029
Graduation Year: 1975

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Diagnosis and Treatment of Hand Infections

In this article, hand surgeons from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. offer us a review of rare, but potentially disabling hand infections. They focus on two infections of the wrist, hand, or fingers: osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. Causes, type of bacteria involved, patient symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are summarized for each condition. Complications with and without treatment are also presented.

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone or bone marrow that can affect the hand. The most common infecting bacteria are staph, strep, and e coli. Undiagnosed, delayed diagnosis, or untreated, any of these infectious agents can cause destruction of the joint. Loss of motion, impaired function, and eventual arthritis with pain, stiffness, and disability can occur. The disease process can get so bad, a person can lose the affected hand.

How does a person get osteomyelitis of the hand or wrist? There are three main mechanisms: 1) puncture wounds (e.g., human bites, thorns, fractures, and surgery), 2) spread from infection of nearby soft tissues, and 3) spread through the blood system from any other infection in the body.

The immune system sets up an inflammatory response and tries to wall off the infection. In the healthy child or adult, this reaction may be enough to take care of the problem. But malnutrition, smoking, medications that suppress the immune system, and cancer or other health problems can put the patient at a disadvantage for self-healing.

In the case of one particular bacteria (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, pronounced "mersa"), even healthy people can be affected. Tissue invasion and severe bone destruction can occur quickly. That's why early diagnosis and immediate treatment is recommended for hand infections of this type.

How does the hand surgeon know a patient has an osteomyelitis-linked hand infection? There are usually visual signs (swelling, redness, warmth) and pain. The patient may have a fever with chills and fatigue. These flu-like symptoms are a red flag of systemic (system-wide) infection. Blood tests and imaging studies possibly including X-rays, bone scans, PET scans, MRIs, and other more advanced imaging aid in making the diagnosis.

Once it's clear what the surgeon is dealing with, then treatment begins. Antibiotics may be all that's needed if the problem is identified and caught early. But most of the time, surgery is needed to debride (clean out) the area. This surgical procedure is followed by a course of antibiotics as well.

It may be necessary to perform more than one debridement, a process called serial debridement. Serial debridement is done until the affected area is clear of infection. The whole process can take six weeks or more. If the infection has occurred around an implant (e.g., joint replacement or hardware used to repair a fracture), the implant may have to be removed before debridement and antibiot...

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