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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fishing Injuries

Those who love fishing often go all out for the sport...hook, line, and sinker. With access to so many lakes and rivers in Central Texas, and the Gulf Coast just a few hours away, it's no wonder this is a fisherman's paradise. What's not paradise is suffering an injury while enjoying a day on the water.

Most fishing injuries involve the hand and wrist, including:
  • Fish bites and impalements: resulting in soft-tissue or tendon damage
  • Sting ray lacerations (if fishing in salt water): when the sting ray's venomous barb pierces the skin
  • Lodged fish bones or scales: also piercing the skin in a splinter-like fashion and possibly trapping harmful bacteria underneath
  • Hand and wrist overuse injuries: as in sports like baseball and golf, repetitive use of the wrist in casting and reeling motions can cause damage to the joint and surrounding tendons.
Another serious condition to be aware of is Fish Handler's Disease. This happens when you have an existing cut or scrape and you handle a diseased fish, which could cause a serious bacterial infection. Symptoms can include fever, swelling, tenderness, and bruised-like spots at the site of the wound. Antibiotics are often the only way to treat it.

With any fishing injury resulting in significant blood loss, be sure to:
  • Clean the wound with warm, soapy water
  • Bandage it with clean dressings
  • Get medical attention immediately if you think you need stitches
If you've been injured while fishing and suffer from an existing health condition like diabetes of an autoimmune disorder such as arthritis, seek treatment from a certified hand specialist. It is also a good idea to wear protective gloves.

As a reminder, always remember to carry a First Aid kit with you when fishing, and note the quickest route back to land (if boating) in case of a medical emergency.

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