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A report of 18 blackthorn injuries of the upper limb

      Abstract

      This study aims to analyse various manifestations and to evaluate the clinical outcome in the patients who had exploratory procedures following blackthorn (Prunus spinosus) injury. We performed a retrospective review of a consecutive series of 18 patients admitted between April 1997 and March 2001 to a District General Hospital of the UK. In all the cases, the site of injury was the upper limb. The mean age at presentation was 39.1 years. There was a male predominance (83.33%) and a marginal right side preponderance. The majority of the patients (83.33%) presented between March and August, which correlates with hedge-cutting time. The mean delay in presentation was 3 days (range: 1–14 days). The final postoperative outcome was satisfactory in all cases. We conclude that conservative treatment alone failed to resolve the symptoms. We recommend that all patients presenting with a history of blackthorn injury should undergo an immediate and thorough exploration to avoid undue complications.

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