Impalement injuries

Michael D. Horowitz, Dennis B. Dove, Frank J. Eismont, Barth A. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Impalement injuries are unusual, complex surgical problems. We present a case of impalement through the spine and abdomen, describe a two-team approach to operative extraction utilizing simultaneous laminectomy and laparotomy incisions, and outline the management of an infectious complication caused by unusual bacterial and fungal pathogens. General principles of management include: the impaling object must be stabilized and manipulation avoided during extrication and transport. Operative removal requires careful preplanning, and should be tailored to the specific presenting injuries, with early multispecialty involvement as necessary. Extensive exposure is mandatory and may be achieved through a variety of standard or unconventional incisions so as to permit extraction of the impaled object under direct vision. Meticulous care of the traumatic wound is necessary, and careful followup is required for recognition and early management of infectious complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-916
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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