Causes and consequences of hand injuries

Am J Surg. 2006 Jul;192(1):52-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2005.10.055.


Background: Hand injuries are considered to be the most frequent body injuries, the treatment of which is of long duration and great community expense. The aim of this study was to define the most frequent causes of hand injury in the investigated materials; the severity of hand injuries and outcome of treatment performed in the typical trauma surgery ward; and overall costs of hand-injury treatment.

Methods: Between 1987 and 2000, 1199 patients (average age 37.0 years (+/- 15) were treated for complex hand injuries in II Surgery Clinic in Cracow. Causes, places, and mechanisms of hand injuries were evaluated as were types and duration of treatment. We also estimated also total (direct and indirect) treatment costs.

Results: Of all hand injuries, 45.3% occurred at home and 19.7% at work. Hand injuries caused by mechanical equipment predominated (34.9%) and were the most severe. Up to 26.7% of injuries occurred after alcohol consumption. Average total treatment time was 76.9 days (+/- 67). Hand impairment of variable severity was found in 58.5% of patients. Indirect costs constituted a dominant part of overall costs (96%).

Conclusions: The complex treatment of the injured hand at specialist centers allows for shorter treatment duration, improved treatment results, and decreased indirect expenses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand Injuries / economics
  • Hand Injuries / epidemiology
  • Hand Injuries / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Severity Indices