Hand Infection Treatment Scarborough ME

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Robert B Keller
(207) 885-4479
49 Spring St
Scarborough, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
Daniel W Wilson, MD
(207) 885-0011
11 Indian Woods Rd
Scarborough, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Colombo, Fac Of Med, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Graduation Year: 1950

Data Provided By:
Susan M Mosier La Clair, MD
254 Western Ave
S Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mi Med Sch, Ann Arbor Mi 48109
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided By:
Gregory Clarence Pomeroy, MD
(207) 774-3338
254 Western Ave
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Royal Coll Of Surgeons In Ireland, Med Sch, Dublin, Ireland
Graduation Year: 1989

Data Provided By:
Dr.Ann Babbitt
(207) 828-1133
800 Main St # 3
South Portland, ME
Gender
F
Education
Medical School: Med Coll Of Wi
Year of Graduation: 1977
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
3.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided By:
Stanley James Bigos, MD
(206) 548-4288
100 US Route 1
Scarborough, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo, Columbia Sch Of Med, Columbia Mo 65212
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided By:
Dennis John Sullivan, MD
(207) 774-4523
100 Foden Rd Ste 307
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Cornell Univ Med Coll, New York Ny 10021
Graduation Year: 1978

Data Provided By:
Craig Ridges Barrow, MD
254 Western Ave
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Loma Linda Univ Sch Of Med, Loma Linda Ca 92350
Graduation Year: 1997

Data Provided By:
Samuel Spencer Scott, MD
(207) 773-9729
100 Foden Rd Ste 307
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics, Hand Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Dartmouth Med, Hanover Nh 03755
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided By:
Donald Geo Belliveau, MD
(207) 284-5946
468 Boom Rd
Saco, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Med Coll, Valhalla Ny 10595
Graduation Year: 1956

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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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