Mutilating Hand Injuries

(Hand Trauma; Hand Injury)


A mutilating hand injury is severe damage to the hand. The injury may include damage to bones, tendons, soft tissues, nerves, and skin. It can become a life-threatening condition.If you have this type of injury, call for medical help right away. Immediate care may result in a better repair and decrease the chance of further damage. Untreated, this can lead to a serious infection.


Mutilating hand injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • Industrial accidents
    • Machine injuries
    • Power tool injuries
  • Crushing accidents
  • Burns
  • Chemical exposure
  • Car accidents
  • Farming injuries

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of injury include:
  • Having an occupation that requires use of dangerous machinery
  • Removing safety guards from machinery, such as power saws or wood chippers
  • Using short-cuts and improper technique while using machinery
  • Using your hands to remove clogged grass from lawn mowers or snow from snow blowers without shutting off the power
  • Operating machinery or vehicles under the influence of alcohol or medications that cause impairment during use


Injury to the hand is obvious. Bone, tendons, skin, nerves, and soft tissue may all be damaged. Common symptoms include:
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Amputation of hand or fingers
  • Ripped skin
  • Skin loss
  • Open wound
  • Exposed bone or tendons
  • Pain
Severe Hand Trauma
hand trauma
© Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


When you are brought to the emergency room, a doctor will quickly assess your injury. Your wound will be inspected and your hand’s nerves and tendons will be tested. You will be asked to explain how the injury happened. You will also be asked which of your hands is dominant.Imaging tests assess damage to the bones, nerves, tendons, skin, or other soft tissues. These may include:You may need examination under anesthesia to:
  • Allow the doctor to closely examine your wound
  • Remove debris or dirt

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