Management of Treadmill Hand Injuries Using Soft Tissue Distraction




Background: In the modern day cities, home treadmill usage is increasing. Toddlers are prone to a special injury by the treadmill, during workout the toddler tries to get on the belt and the roller action pulls the fingers under the belt and get caught between the belt and a metal rod under the machine and the belt scrapes the fingers. If untreated some of these injuries will lead to flexion contracture. The usual treatment is release of contracture and skin grafting, however, graft discoloration and recurrence of contracture are the complications of this method and the patients usually seek treatment for the brown discoloration of the grafts at a later age. Objectives: In this study we assess the results of Z-plasty in combination with soft tissue distraction without skin grafting with long term usage of splint as an alternative treatment for these patients. Materials and Methods: In this retrograde descriptive cross-sectional study, we evaluated the patients presented with treadmill hand injuries between the years 2006 and 2011. Demographic data including age and sex in addition to other information including location of trauma, severity of trauma, time elapsed between the trauma and treatment, type of treatment including wound care and surgical method and treatment outcomes were assessed. Results: A total of 8 patients (3 girls and 5 boys) following finger treadmill injury were assessed. 15 fingers in 7 patients had volar injury. The middle finger was the most commonly injured finger. In all patients a minimum of 2 fingers were injured and in just 1 patient 3 fingers were injured. In long-term follow-up all the patients had acceptable volar skin and complete ROM of the fingers. Conclusions: Due to discoloration of the skin graft and recurrence of contracture following skin graft as the sole treatment for the injury, application of Z-plasty with soft tissue distraction and long term splints seems to be a proper alternative treatment for these patients.