Epidemiology and management outcome of fingertip injuries: A ten - year review at a Tertiary Health Institution in Nigeria

  • O. A. Olawoye
  • Y. O. Abdullahi
  • C.J. Onwudinjo


Introduction: Fingertip injuries are one of the most common injuries in the hand, because the fingertips are exposed in many of the activities of daily living. The goals in the reconstruction of fingertip injuries are finger length preservation, covering the defect, establishing well-padded and sensate pulp, as well as providing a bed for growing nail. All these should be aimed at achieving optimum function and aesthetic outcome.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients with fingertip injuries managed at a tertiary hospital in Nigeria over a 10-year period was done. The patients’ profile as well as the clinical presentation, management options and the outcome of care of the patients were documented and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Forty-five fingertips of 38 patients were managed. The median age was 20.50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. The leading causes of tip injuries were jamming of fingers in doors (26.3%), machines injuries (23.7%) and vehicular accidents (18.4%). Tip amputation ranked the highest (36.8%) among the injuries sustained by the patients, followed by tip avulsion (28.9%). The management offered included V-Y flap, thenar flap, cross finger flap, suturing of lacerations and refashioning of the stumps. About 87.5 % of the patients reported a satisfactory outcome.

Conclusion: While accurate diagnosis and appropriate intervention are key in achieving a satisfactory outcome in fingertip injuries, the preventive public health advocacy for safer environment and workplace would help in reducing the burden.


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eISSN: 0012-835X