Who knew you would have to watch your back, or should we say hand, when making the family’s homemade guacamole? Avocados; they look innocent enough, but did you know that avocados are the cause of hundreds of hand injuries a year?
Take for example, UFC Tri Star Welterweight contender, Rory MacDonald. He gave himself a deep cut in his left hand while cutting an avocado at home, prompting a trip to the emergency room and making him worry he’d have to drop out of his UFC 170 fight against Demian Maia. Fortunately for MacDonald, he received stitches for his hand injury.
The danger is hidden inside the avocado. Avocados have a soft creamy skin, easily sliceable, but inside, the pit also needs to be removed carefully. Often times, this is done by stabbing the end of a knife onto the pit and twisting it off. If not done properly, the knife can glance off the pit and cut your hand.
You can also injure yourself when slicing the inside of the avocado while it rests in the palm of your hand; the pressure may be too great and accidentally, you slice right through the peel and your palm along with it, hitting an artery, nerve or tendon in the process.
Slicing an artery, nerve or tendon can be serious. It is possible to have a partial injury to a tendon and still move the hand normally, but there is a risk that the tendon could rupture completely. According to Dr. Ruhlman, “Knife injuries from cutting an avocado are among the most common injuries I see, and unfortunately, often cause an injury that needs surgical repair. Hopefully, awareness of this common injury might prevent a rate of such a devastating injury.” By using the proper tools and technique, injury can easily be prevented. If you do cut yourself it might mean surgery and possible months of therapy.
OSS has several providers specializing in hand injuries. If you are suffering from a hand-related injury, contact OSS to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at (206) 633-8100.