How to Drain a Felon
A felon is an infection of the pulp space of a distal finger/thumb that usually occurs secondary to minor trauma. Prompt treatment is required as there is risk of spread to the flexor tendon sheath and even osteomyelitis.
- Digital block
- Incision and drainage with unilateral longitudinal approach to avoid damage to neurovascular structures and release the vertical septae
- Preferred approach as it will limit loss of sensation to finger pad
- Typically on ulnar side (unless little finger)
- Other types of incisions may be made for more severe infections
- Dry dressing
- Wound check within 2 days
- Oral antibiotics
- Evidence-Based Management of Acute Hand Injuries in the Emergency Department. Emergency Medicine Practice. December 2014.