Conditions & Treatments
Bite Injuries - Animal Bites
IntroductionAnimal bite injuries can cause skin wounds and structural damage to the hand. Infection and, and less commonly, rabies are always a main concern. Pets are the most common source of bite injures, although they may result from wild animals as well. Animal bite injuries need prompt careful cleaning. Hand surgery may be necessary to drain infections or repair injured bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
AnatomyYour hand is composed of many bones that provide structure for your wrist and fingers. The bones are connected with strong ligament tissues. Tendons are strong fibers that attach your muscles to your bones and allow movement. Your hand also contains nerves, blood vessels, and fat. The skin that covers your hand protects it from the environment.
You will most likely participate in hand therapy following non-surgical or surgical treatment of your injury. Your therapist will teach you exercises to help you gain range of motion, flexibility, coordination, and strength. Therapy will help to reduce swelling, pain, and stiffness. The extent of therapy that you receive depends on your injury and the type of treatment you had. The goal of therapy is to restore hand function.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.