Upper extremity wringer injury

Vasc Surg. Nov-Dec 1975;9(5):302-7. doi: 10.1177/153857447500900507.


A clinical survey of 92 upper extremity wringer injuries over the past four years at the Bexar County Hospital are presented. Our treatment regimen and results are outlined. Complex injuries occurred infrequently (7%). No vascular insufficiency developed and no fasciotomies were required. We are of the opinion that hospitalization is necessary in all but a small number of selected cases. Close observation is necessary to prevent edema progression and further tissue loss. Ninety-two upper extremity compression injuries secondary to washing machine wringers were reviewed. Seventy-six percent of the injuries occurred in persons under 10 years of age. Extremity distribution was equal. Injury occurred below the elbow in 72% of the extremities. Soft tissue injury was manifested by swelling and tenderness in 96%. Twenty-one percent had no violation of the skin. Major avulsion, such as third degree skin loss, crush injury, dislocation, and tendon avulsion, occurred in 8%. The treatment regimen consisted of surgical preparation with Betadine, compressing dressing, and elevation. Observation of the involved extremity is made every hour for development of vascular insufficiency. Fractures and other major injuries were treated as indicated. No fasciotomy was required. No vascular insufficiency developed. SKin slough was present in 16 of 92 extremities and skin graft was required in 5 of the 16. Results of treatment reveal 87% with no functional impairment of the involved extremity. Varying degrees of impairment are present in 6% of the injured extremities with all localized to the major avulsion group of injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home
  • Arm Injuries / etiology*
  • Axilla / injuries
  • Child
  • Elbow / injuries
  • Forearm Injuries / diagnosis
  • Hand Injuries / diagnosis
  • Hand Injuries / therapy
  • Humans
  • Wrist Injuries / diagnosis