Unusual Injuries: Traumatic hand amputation while wakeboarding

We receive numerous reports of patients with unusual injuries with spectacular images and unexpected complications. Here is the first in a selection…

Amputation of a limb as a result of it being caught in a loop of rope is a well recognised hazard in heavy industry (eg. the deep-sea fishing industry). This case illustrates that it can also occur as a result of a sporting injury.

Traumatic amputations are rare in civilian practice and we need to look to the experience of the military for their management. An equally important lesson is that doctors should be concerned with injury prevention. This case should be publicised to water-sports enthusiasts who need to develop fail-safe methods of indicating when it is safe to start powerful machines.

Henry Guly

Traumatic hand amputation while wakeboarding