Wood-Splitter-Related Upper-Limb Injuries: A Single-Centered Case-Series Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 13;19(18):11507. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811507.


(1) Background: Injuries to the upper limbs during wood splitting can affect social and economic life. We aimed to describe the clinical information concerning these injuries in Japan. (2) Methods: We identified patients from our patient database from April 2015-November 2021 and extracted data from their medical records, which includes age, gender, occupation, month, time and location of the injury, diagnosis, duration of hospitalization, ICU admission, treatment interventions including surgery, outcome, and medical costs. (3) Result: Seventeen cases were identified. Most of the patients were male (n = 15), with median age being 68 years old. Regarding the patients' backgrounds, six were apple farmers and three were unemployed. Injuries to the index finger was most common (n = 9), followed by injuries to the thumb in five cases (n = 5). Most of the incidents occurred at home or on the patient's farm estate. No injuries were due to incidents at work. (4) Conclusion: The wood splitter-related injuries required long-term treatment and frequently damaged the thumb, a functionally important digit. All the injuries were sustained during non-occupational use of a wood splitter. Therefore, we suggest that safety training should be provided to prevent traumatic injuries when these products are being sold.

Keywords: hand injuries; injury prevention; wood splitter.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Farmers*
  • Farms
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Upper Extremity
  • Wood*

Grant support

This research received no external funding.