Which clinical history is characteristic of felon?

Updated: Mar 11, 2021
  • Author: Brandon Stein, MD; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Penetrating trauma often precedes a felon. Wooden splinters, thorns, glass, repeated fingersticks in diabetics or minor cuts are common predisposing causes, yet no history of penetrating trauma is discovered in approximately 50% of patients. Infection also may spread from a paronychia. [4]  

The infection often begins as cellulitis, which is initially confined by the tough fibrous septa that course throughout the pad. At this stage, patients may report pain, redness, and swelling. 

If resolution does not occur, abscess formation is accompanied by progression of swelling and intense throbbing pain. There is usually not significant pain with range of motion at the DIP joint. 

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