Bite Injuries to the Hand - Review of the Literature

Pradyumna Raval 1, Wasim Khan 2, Behrooz Haddad 2, Anant Narayan Mahapatra*, 1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Ireland
2 University College London Institute of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, UK

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© Raval et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Ireland; Tel: (041) 9837601; Fax: (041) 9833868; E-mail:


Patients presenting to the emergency department with bite injuries to the hand sustain them through a number of causes including domesticated as well as stray animal bites, and human bites commonly sustained as a result of violence. The nature of the injuries sustained can be very deceptive. A small tooth mark on the exterior can be a fulminant infection in the tissues deeper down. Tendon injuries, fractures of the metacarpals and phalanges and management of the wound are critical issues faced by a surgeon in dealing with such patients. Similarly the less common bite injuries to the hand, often with disastrous and sometimes fatal complications, do also present to the emergency department. A high incidence of suspicion is needed in dealing with these injuries effectively. In our article we discuss the common as well as uncommon causes of bite injuries to the hand and their management. In addition to reviewing the literature to ascertain the management of such injuries, we also discuss interesting and rare case reports.

Keywords: Antibiotics, bites, Eikenella corrodens, hand, pasteurella multocida.