Palm Tree Thorn Injuries-A Case Series of Ambulatory Patients Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Palm tree thorn injury is characterized by a painful and protracted inflammation. Eight men were treated in a primary care setting. The intensity and duration of pain, the results of imaging procedures, and the outcome of treatment were monitored. Findings: The mean age was 39.8 ± 17.2 years. The mean duration of pain was 12.6 ± 5.9 weeks. The mean pain intensity level was 6.3 ± 1.4 of 10 on a visual analog scale from 1 to 10. There was local inflammation in all cases. Bacterial cultures were not done in any of the cases, but three patients were treated with empirical antibiotic therapy. Conclusions: It is often safe to treat the patient in an out-patient setting. Imaging is unnecessary and unhelpful. Empirical antibiotic therapy does not shorten the clinical courses. Pain is prolonged despite lack of evidence of a remnant thorn.

publication date

  • January 16, 2010