Closed Continuous Irrigation With Lidocaine and Immediate Mobilization for Treatment of Pyogenic Tenosynovitis

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Abstract

Pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis treatment consists of either closed continuous irrigation with sterile saline or antibiotic solution, or open debridement and irrigation. These treatment approaches serve to resolve the infection, but are extremely painful and residual stiffness can be devastating to the patient. We describe herein our approach to managing pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis. To provide continuous irrigation, a butterfly catheter with needle removed is utilized with irrigation holes cut into the tubing. The catheter is inserted into the tendon sheath at the level of the Al pulley and brought out at the level of the A5 pulley. A knot is tied in the end of the catheter for retention, eliminating the need for sutures. Immediately postoperative, continuous irrigation with sterile saline mixed with lidocaine is initiated and is titrated to achieve pain-free motion in the finger. Occupational therapy begins an aggressive course of active and passive range of motion exercises immediate postoperatively, which is continued for the remainder of hospitalization. Our approach of continuous infusion of a lidocaine solution allows for pain-free movement immediately postoperatively to mechanically debride tissue, as well as allow for early active range of motion. We have obtained excelleepaknt results with this technique in all of our cases.

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