Original Article
January 1972

Corn Picker Injuries of the Hand

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
From the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Arch Surg. 1972;104(1):26-29. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180010020005

The corn picking machine can inflict mutilating wounds to the hand. The injuries often cause marked tissue necrosis and are grossly contaminated. The surgeon is faced with an injury which has occurred many hours before and in which uncertain tissue viability makes initial surgical debridement very difficult. There is a high rate of infection in those patients treated with primary skin cover. If tissue viability is in question, delayed skin cover should be used. The dominant hand is most commonly injured. Either traumatic or surgical amputation of one or more fingers is frequent. The thumb and radial side of the hand are more commonly spared than the ulnar side. The remaining fingers are often stiff, sensitive, and of little value to the patient.