How is the finger test performed for the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: Steven A Schulz, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The finger test should be used in the diagnosis of patients who present with necrotizing fasciitis. [72, 73] The area of suspected involvement is first infiltrated with local anesthesia. A 2-cm incision is made in the skin down to the deep fascia. Lack of bleeding is a sign of necrotizing fasciitis. On some occasions, a dishwater-colored fluid is noticed seeping from the wound.

A gentle, probing maneuver with the index finger covered by a sterile powder-free surgical double glove puncture indication system is then performed at the level of the deep fascia. If the tissues dissect with minimal resistance, the finger test is positive.


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