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Plant Thorn Synovitis

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Plant thorn arthritis is a noninfectious inflammation of a joint as a result of a thorn puncturing the joint and leaving residual plant matter lodged within the joint. The plant thorn fragments cause a localized inflammation reaction in the joint lining tissue that leads to swelling, stiffness, loss of range of motion, and pain. The joint lining tissue is called the synovium. Inflammation of this tissue is medically referred to as synovitis. Plant thorn arthritis is also called plant thorn synovitis.

The plants that commonly cause plant thorn arthritis are those that produce thorns. These plants include palm trees, roses, black-thorn shrubs, cacti, bougainvillea, yucca, pyracantha, plum trees, and mesquite trees.

Doctor Gets Plant Thorn Arthritis One patient's story

In a reasonable attempt to better the lives of my daughter, Cara, and son-in-law, Jim, as well as enjoy their company during a concentrated effort, I assisted them in landscaping one fine weekend day. With the primary goal of building a retaining wall and secondary goal of tidying up overgrown greenery, I attacked a palm tree grouping with pruning shears. The palm tree group of three (Phoenix roebelenii to be scientifically precise) hadn't been pruned since they moved in some two years ago. It was well overgrown and in serious need of shaping.

Jim was industriously off at the store purchasing cement blocks, and I was in a hurry to get the pruning completed so as not slow the construction of a block retaining wall upon his return. I was wearing gloves that had extra padding over the knuckles. I finished the pruning in a timely manner and was available to help Jim unload the blocks when they arrived.

We installed the blocks regularly along a well-designed foundation that Jim and his boyhood friend Andrew built. While lifting the blocks, I felt a soreness in my right hand and at first wondered if I had strained the tendons of my fingers by pruning too rapidly. I removed the work glove on my right hand to find two thorn tips embedded in it! One was in the back of first segment (proximal phalanx) of my middle finger. The other was stuck directly in the joint at the base of the middle finger, the knuckle joint (third metacarpophalangeal joint).

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