Update on my rose thorn puncture

alisandeMay 16, 2008

It's almost three weeks since I went to the ER with an infection caused by a rose thorn. I did the ten days of antibiotics. The red streak and swelling are long gone, and the pain in my hand is not nearly as bad as it was.

Still, I can't hold anything that requires spreading my fingers. I can spread them, but I can't grasp without pain and weakness in my hand. I'm reminded of this every day when I instinctively reach for a half-gallon of milk. I can open doorknobs (which I couldn't do at first), but not sealed jars.

The odd thing is the the round, hard lump at the entry point on the back of my hand. It's 1/4" wide and looks and feels as though a BB was caught under my skin. It's whitish in the center, surrounded by purple. The surface isn't painful, but it hurts to press on it. I'm wondering if the tip of the thorn remains embedded in my hand. I wondered that when I was at the ER, but the doctor said thorns are tough and the tip wouldn't have broken off.


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well, it certainly sounds possible! An infection built around the thorn, much like I've had with slivers that I cant get out.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Sounds like you have been in a lot of pain, I am sooooo glad you are getting better, I Pray that you will be completely over it real soon.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:27PM
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I found the article in the link below. If there is a thorn part still in your hand, you need a ultrasound (not an mri or x-ray because it won't show up on those) to see it!

Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (called the synovium) that surrounds a tendon. Symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the particular joint where the inflammation occurs. When the condition causes the finger to "stick" in a flexed position, this is called "stenosing" tenosynovitis, which is commonly called "Trigger Finger."

I learned something new today!! Thanks! :-) Hope it helps you too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Thorn in hand

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:30PM
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I think I'd pay a visit to your regular dr...it sounds like after antibods, that thing should be totally cleared up...maybe something is still in there! Hope it feels better soon!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:30PM
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My aunt once had a big thing that looked like a pimple, sort of on her elbow. It was bothering her and she ask me to look at it.

I could see a black spot in the center. So I gave it a gentle squeeze. The black think stuck up a little. I got tweezers to get ahold of it. I pulled and pulled and pulled and a thorn about two inches long came out of there.

She must hit her elbow on one of those thorny trees. It probably hurt at the time but she forgot about it.

Those thorn are hard wood and it broke. You sure could have a piece of it in there.

Knowing me I'd have to get a needle and open it. But is is probably wiser to go to the doctor. I never was very "wise"


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Ohhhh, I am sorry you are going through this - some lady on another forum said she had to have her finger AMPUTATED because of a rose thorn - please be careful with a wound such as this.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:33PM
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I'm sorry too. It really turned into a bad thing, didn't it?

I do think you should follow up with your md. I find it hard to believe that the tip could not have broken off in your hand.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Susan I would suggest going to the Dr. and having it checked.Years ago when DH was a lineman climbing poles he got a splinter in his hand,on the pad of his hand under the thumb.He went to the ER and they checked it and pulled out a little splinter of wood,said there wasn't anything else in there,bandaged it, gave him a tetanus shot and sent him on his way.A few days later it got really sore and red so he went back to the doctor,was sent home again with antibiotics,no splinter (they said).Said it was probably just infected because it was a splinter from a creosote treated pole.A few days later it was really red and swollen and there was a red streak starting to go up his arm so we went to the ER again.The attending DR. X Rayed it and there was definitely something in there,embedded deep in his hand.She lanced the place where the splinter originally went in and pressed a little on it and out popped a splinter the size of one of those square toothpicks.Soooo,go see about it!LOL You never know what might be in there still.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Thanks, everyone. I'll take your advice. I printed out the PDF of Lydia's article and will take it to the doctor with me. Hopefully, he'll order an ultrasound. I'll let you know!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Oh yes a rose thorn tip can break off! I can't believe that Doctor said that...I am always digging thorn tips out of my hands or fingers. I grow over 200 rose bushes!!! I had the very same infection that you had and my Doctor told me that sometimes rose thorns can have listeria on them and that is what causes infections. I took 2 weeks of antibiotics and it cleared up.

I am still stunned that the Doctor said thorn tips don't break off.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:53PM
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if you Google rose thorn injuries you get all kinds of articles. Almost all of them will say that the biggest problem is the tip of the thorn remaining in the skin. I only know this because I smacked my knee with a rose thorn a couple months ago. I wound up with the most unbelievably painful knee. The tip didn't break of for me though. What I did was puncture the bursa on my knee cap. Crazy painful.

Some of the things I read though were of very serious chronic conditions caused by those bacterial infections. I would definitely stay on that injury. Insist they make sure there is no thorn fragment in there and that ALL the infection is gone.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 1:17AM
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Gee Susan - the original injury was bad enough. You certainly didn't need a complication but it does sound like you need to have it looked at again. Splinters can do odd things and if you can't operate your hand normally it might still be in there. You would expect the pain to be gone by now.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:30AM
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Susan, here is the thread on which the lady lost her thumb (I said finger - sorry):

Here is a link that might be useful: ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:05AM
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I've wondered how your injury was healing. Sounds like it's not! I don't mess with our roses (or our thorny locust trees) because I'm so afraid of a similar injury. Hope you get some answers -- and relief -- soon!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Darn! I don't want Rose Bushes anymore now!

I hope you get over this soon.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 2:32PM
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Sorry to hear about your injury. I hang out on the Rose Forum and I have heard about people getting infections. I guess I have been lucky (knock on wood) because I have 40 bushes and have been growing them for over 30 years and got lots of thorns and cuts but no infections. I try to ALWAYS wear gloves and wash up to my elbows with antibacterial soap after working on them. I hope you are better soon.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 5:28PM
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The tip of a rose thorn can definitely break off and stay embedded in your skin. I'm one of those rose nuts from the Roses Forum and I know (from experience) what I'm talking about. Please go back to the doctor and have that lump lanced, okay?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Hi Alisande! Just seeing if I can post on this old thread I found at google.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:25PM
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