Melbourne Hand Surgery 

Coronavirus update: We will be closed on Wednesday 8 April, but will reopen at 8:30am on Thursday 9 April. 

Melbourne Hand Surgery has mechanisms to protect our patients and staff while we continue to provide healthcare services. All consultations are now conducted via telehealth (phone or videoconference), except where we have previously confirmed the requirement for an in-person physical examination or wound care management.  Only emergency surgery is being conducted in hospitals for the foreseeable future, in keeping with Government directives. 

Due to the change in circumstances we will be closed on Fridays until further notice. If our practice is unable to physically open for business at any point in the coming weeks or months we will communicate this to existing scheduled patients via email and SMS (please do not attempt to reply other than with Y or N to an SMS, as the automated system does not facilitate this). Incoming telephone calls and receipt of voicemail messages may be temporarily affected by such a change. We will use this website banner to update you on changes to our practice and the availability of non-urgent procedures and surgery in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you for your understanding as our entire community works through these unprecedented and rapidly evolving times together (last updated: 4 April 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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