A man in Kentucky developed a life-threatening infection from “flesh-eating bacteria” — and nearly lost his hand — after cracking his knuckles, according to news reports.
The 31-year-old man, Antoine Boylston, was at work one day in April 2016 when he cracked his knuckles — a frequent habit of his, according to the Daily Mail. But afterwards, he was in so much pain that he thought he’d broken his pinkie. In fact, as his doctors later told him, cracking his knuckles could have caused the infection by opening an existing scab on his hand, allowing bacteria to get into the wound.
Boylston felt so ill that by the end of the day, he went to the hospital. “By the time I arrived, my right hand had started to darken and swell,” Boylston told the Daily Mail.
Doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis — a serious bacterial infection that destroys skin and muscle tissue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Boylston had emergency surgery, which required doctors to open up his arm from his elbow to his fingers to cut the infection out. He spent a week in the intensive care unit.
“Doctors warned I may lose my hand — but if I had waited much longer [to go to the hospital] I could’ve lost the entire arm or died,” Boylston said. “I thought a flesh-eating bug was something people got in the movies — not from cracking their knuckles too much,” he said.
You can read the full story here.
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