Hand Infections

Hand infections can cause severe problems that persist even after the infection has resolved, such as stiffness, loss of strength, and even loss of tissues such as skin, nerve and even bone. Thus early and aggressive treatment of hand infections is essential. When seen early, some infections can be treated with antibiotics, local rest, elevation and other nonoperative measures. However, even after a day or two, many infections can cause severe problems, unless treated with a combination of antibiotics, surgical drainage, and removal of infected or dead tissues. Any drainage or pus should be sent for laboratory testing to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and the appropriate antibiotic for treatment. Infections resistant to commonly used antibiotics are increasingly common (known as methicillin-resistant staph aureus infections, MRSA). They may require comprehensive care rendered by hand surgeons, infectious disease specialists, and hand therapists.