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A felon is primarily an inflammation of the connective-tissue space which is situated on the palmar surface of the last phalanx of the fingers (Fig. 2).
This definition was determined on after studying the anatomy of this part and making careful dissections of several felons. The anatomy of the anterior or palmar surface of the last phalanx is exceedingly interesting. In studies of the longitudinal and cross-sections, one will note a connective-tissue space situated anteriorly to the bone. The space is surrounded by a dense wall of connective tissue which prevents the escape of any substance injected into it. To demonstrate this space or cavity, I have injected it with wax. The specimen was then frozen and a longitudinal section made showing the space to be greatly distended and completely walled off from the remaining subcutaneous tissue of the rest of the finger (Fig. 2).
It has been noted by
DORRANCE GM. TREATMENT OF FELONS WITH REFERENCE TO THE PATHOLOGIC ANATOMY AND LOCATION OF INCISIONS. JAMA. 1913;60(19):1416-1418. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340190010005