thenar space (infection)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Infection of the thenar space of the hand is rare. It usually arises from:

  • penetrating injury
  • extension of midpalmar space infection
  • extension of flexor tendon sheath infection
  • extension of radial bursa infection

Clinically, there is a swollen and painful thenar eminence. The thumb may be pushed into abduction.

Depending on the site of infection, the space needs incision via one of the following routes:

  • volar transverse incision
  • thenar crease incision
  • dorsal incision
  • a combination

The wound is irrigated, packed and is given a delayed closure. Intravenous antibiotics are mandatory.