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December 1967

Epiphyseal Destruction From Frostbite of the Hands

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn
From the sections of Pediatrics (Drs. Wenzl and Burke) and Orthopedic Surgery (Dr. Bianco), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;114(6):668-670. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090270124018

EPIPHYSEAL destruction caused by frostbite of the hands is apparently rare. We have found detailed reports of only five cases.1-5 Bigelow and Ritchie6 studied six children with frostbite injury of the hands, and reported some clinical details on three of these children. Since frostbite must be fairly common in some parts of the world, we are not certain whether this injury is really rare, or merely taken for granted. We are reporting a case in order to bring the entity to the attention of clinicians dealing with such injuries.

Report of Case  A 10-year-old boy complained of swollen finger joints. One year earlier, he had pushed his bicycle home through deep snow in a temperature of OF. He wore no gloves or mittens, and was outdoors for about 30 minutes. When he entered his home, the fingers of both hands were white and hard, distal to the proximal

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