Melbourne Hand Surgery 

Coronavirus update: All suitable consultations at Melbourne Hand Surgery are currently conducted via telehealth (phone or video consultation) to maximise the patient and staff safety. We have implemented enhanced hygiene meaures in our rooms including acrylic screens, masks, hand sanitiser, face shields and physical distancing-related changes. 

We are cannot guarantee that our safety-first approach to providing essential healthcare in these unprecented times will ensure that we avoid unexpected disruptions in the weeks ahead, but that - in addition to providing you with excellent care - is our objective. Do not be alarmed by our face masks, screens or shields. We don't want anyone to become unwell as a result of accessing healthcare services, and we don't want the continuity of care that we provide to our patients to be affected by a phone call from a contact tracer advising our staff that we must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

Victorians are in this together and together we will get through this. Thank you for your understanding as our community works through these unprecedented times together (last updated: 7 July 2020).

Cellulitis

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying connective tissue. It is most commonly due to bacteria that are commonly found on the skin, like Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. It can be the result of cracked skin, cuts, bites, blisters, burns, surgery, injections or any other break in the skin.

What are the symptoms?

Cellulitis is associated with skin redness, throbbing pain, skin sensitivity, swelling and increased warmth of the affected skin. The redness increases in area as the cellulitis worsens, and often travels up the forearm and arm. There may be discomfort in the lymph nodes in the armpit and you may have fevers and shakes, and feel generally unwell.

Risk factors

Cellulitis is more likely to occur and be troublesome in individuals who have diabetes, lymphoedema or immune compromise.

Treatment

Treating cellulitis of the hand and forearm involves a combination of

  • elevation
  • antibiotics
  • splinting
  • pain relief
  • rest
  • +/- surgical cleaning of the entry wound or any blistered skin or devitalised tissue
  • identifying the bacterial source of the infection through swabs, blood cultures and/or tissue culture

If cellulitis is not responding promptly to treatment it is advisable to see a surgeon. Cellulitis can progress to become serious and it can also mimic a variety of other infective conditions that require surgery, such as abscess formation, necrotising fasciitis, septic arthritis or flexor tenosynovitis.

FRACS

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