Close range gun shot injuries of the hand with the "mole gun".


INTRODUCTION A mole gun is a handmade weapon used as a trap to kill moles by farmers. Their action is based on a simple hammer mechanism: when the moles put their head through the metal ring to get hold of the food, they trigger the mechanism. The hammer strikes the primer, which ignites the gunpowder, propelling the pellets from the barrel. The purpose of this study was to report our experiences in a group of patients who accidentally suffered injuries by mole guns to the hand. METHOD Since 2000, 20 patients had attended the clinic with mole gun shot injuries to the hand. RESULTS The mean age of patients was 38 years. Thirteen cases involved skin defects over the dorsum of the hand associated with extensor tendon and bone injuries. The skin defect was covered with posterior interosseous artery (PIA) flap in 12 cases. In one case, the PIA pedicle was found to be injured so radial forearm flap was used. The main intervention time for these cases was 6.2 days. All flaps except two PIA flap survived uneventfully. One flap was completely lost while other survived with distal necrosis. In remaining seven cases the thumb was the main injured part; it had complete disruption of its arterial supply and was managed with amputation with or without matarcarpal removal. These cases were managed immediately. CONCLUSION The risk of injury to the PIA by pellets is low in such close range shots to the hand and PIA flap could be used to cover the defects. In such cases, initial debridement should be minimal and the soft tissue, tendon, and bone injury can be managed in the same stage during the first week of injury.

DOI: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318187acd8

Cite this paper

@article{Keskin2009CloseRG, title={Close range gun shot injuries of the hand with the "mole gun".}, author={M. Emre Keskin and Tolga Beydes and Zekeriya Tosun and Nedim Savaci}, journal={The Journal of trauma}, year={2009}, volume={67 1}, pages={139-42} }