Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written for the health care professional.

* This is the Professional Version. *

Palm Abscess

by David R. Steinberg, MD

A palm abscess is a purulent infection of deep spaces in the palm, typically with staphylococci or streptococci.

Palm abscesses can include collar-button abscesses, thenar space abscesses, and midpalmar space abscesses. An abscess can occur in any of the deep palmar compartments and spread between the metacarpals, from the midpalmar space to the dorsum, manifesting as an infection on the dorsum of the hand. Intense throbbing pain occurs with swelling and severe tenderness on palpation. X-rays should be taken to detect occult foreign bodies. Incision and drainage in the operating room (with cultures), with care to avoid the many important anatomic structures, and antibiotics (eg, a cephalosporin) are required. In areas where methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is prevalent, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, doxycycline, or linezolid should be used instead of a cephalosporin.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

  • Drug Name
    Select Trade
  • PERIOSTAT, VIBRAMYCIN
  • CLEOCIN
  • No US brand name
  • ZYVOX

* This is a professional Version *