BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006380
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Necrotising fasciitis of the thumb

  1. Alok Misra2
  1. 1Department of Otolaryngology, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK
  2. 2Department of Plastic Surgery, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Evgenios Evgeniou, evgenios{at}

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare condition that should be diagnosed early and managed aggressively in order to avoid death. We present a case of necrotising fasciitis of the thumb and discuss the assessment and management of this serious condition.  A 44-year-old woman presented with a painful and erythematous right thumb and progressive swelling of her hand following a minor injury to the tip of her thumb 3 days previously. A diagnosis of necrotising fasciitis was made and the patient underwent urgent debridement of non-viable tissue. She required 1 week of supportive therapy in intensive treatment unit and was discharged from hospital after 3 weeks. Necrotising fasciitis is a rapidly progressing life-threatening infection, usually caused by streptococcal organisms. Immediate resuscitation, broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics and early surgical debridement are necessary in order to avoid significant morbidity and mortality.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article