Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

Have you ever heard of a tendon laceration from using a power spray to wash a house? I left my 18-year old son in charge of power washing the house and he ended up in the emergency room with a tendon laceration. He says the spray just touched his hand in one place but it left a mark on him. So I guess it must be true.

Answer:

Pressure washers are being used by more home owners, handymen, and business owners. They are very handy for quick cleaning of hard-to-reach places. And one person can clean an entire house or building in a couple of hours.

High-pressure injection of water can cause inflammation in soft tissues. But in this case, there was a substantial mechanical force from a stream of water. Those home units can put out a strean of water pressure of 2300 psi -- enough to cause some serious soft tissue injuries.

Although this type of injury is rare, with the availability of industrial water guns and pressure washers for home use, we may expect to see an increase in this type of problem. It really only takes a moment of contact to sustain serious damage including nerve and tendon lacerations. John C. Austin, MD, and Fred M. Hankin, MD. High-Pressure Water Injection Causing an Isolated Tendon Laceration: A Case Report. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. April 2007. Vol. 36. No. 4. Pp. 213-214.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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