Retrospective analysis of acute hand injuries in an academic
tertiary hospital that need plastic surgeon consultation
Received: 23 October 2014 /Accepted: 30 August 2015 /Published online: 14 October 2015
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015
Background Hand surgery covers a major area of plastic
surgery practice. To our knowledge, there is no publication
directly investigating the characteristics of hand injuries
that plastic surgery consultation was requested, which
could be an essential information to guide the plastic sur-
gery education programs. This study determined the fea-
tures of the hand injuries presented to the plastic surgery
department during a year from an academic trauma hospi-
tal in Turkey.
Methods Epidemiological information of the patients with
hand injuries who were admitted to the emergency department
of an academic tertiary hospital and needed plastic surgery
consultation was evaluated. Patients were analyzed retrospec-
tively in terms of gender, distribution of age, occupation,
mechanism of injury, cause of injury, injured soft tissue struc-
tures, and duration of hospitalization.
Results One thousand and forty-three (83.7 %) of the 1246
patients included in the study were male and 203 (16.3 %)
were female. The mean age of patients was 32. The most
common injured structure were the tendons with a rate of
41.2 %. The tendons were followed by fractures, tissue de-
fects, nail injuries, nerve injuries, and vascular injuries with a
rate of 18.8, 16.6, 10, 8.3, and 5.3 %, respectively. The most
frequent mechanism of injury was crush type (38.6 %) follow-
ed by blunt cut (26.9 %), sharp cut (25.9 %), combined
(4.8 %), and avulsion injuries (3.8 %). 7.8 % of the patients
with hand injuries had amputations.
Conclusions Despite the limitations, our study can reflect
emergency hand injuries that a plastic surgeon may be faced
within a tertiary care center. By our work, a plastic surgeon
will be aware of demographic features of a patient with a hand
injury presented by the emergency department.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, risk/prognostic.
Hands are the most used organs in our daily activities;
therefore, hand injuries may cause major problems on
physical and mental health in all age groups. According
to the annually report in the USA, upper extremities were
reported as the most common injured body part in all in-
jury visits to emergency departments (EDs) . Compara-
ble surveys from European countries have reported the in-
cidence rate of hand injuries treated in EDs as 1800 per
100,000 inhabitants for the Netherlands and 3600 per 100,
000 inhabitants for Denmark. These injuries constitute
29 % of all unintentional injuries for both countries .
Hand injuries which constitute the majority of admissions
to EDs can range from a simple laceration to a more com-
plex trauma such as amputation. These injuries often result
in anatomical and functional impairments which can lead to
cascading effects such as high on-going health-care costs
and diminished ability to engage in employable work.
Eventually, these injuries impose a considerable economic
burden for the community .
Hand surgery covers a major area of plastic surgery prac-
tice. Contrary to common belief, plastic surgeons play an in-
strumental role in the political and educational development of
* Ugur Kocer
Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Plastic, Reconstructive and
Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, 06100 Ankara, Turkey
Eur J Plast Surg (2016) 39:93–98