Melbourne Hand Surgery 

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Face masks remain mandatory when you attend our practice in person. Videoconsultations are conducted via telehealth at our dedicated virtual clinic to maximise patient and staff safety. We are experiencing extremely high demand for appointments so require that all patients provide a referral prior to booking an appointment so that we can identify and manage urgent and emergency conditions in a timely manner, and so that our surgeons can assess your suitability for a telehealth appointment and identify any further information or tests that might be required before your consultation. If our surgeons assess that your condition (especially recent injuries) is best managed with hand therapy rather than surgery we may recommend that you see a qualified hand therapist (physiotherapist or occupational therapist) rather than schedule an appointment with our surgeons.    If you are eligible to get vaccinated and/or boosted, please do so. 

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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