Bad vibrations: Jackhammer use leads to gangrene on fingers

Doctors in Japan have reported a rare complication of long-term exposure to vibrating industrial machinery

A construction worker discovered a rare complication of jackhammer use the hard way, when the constant vibrations led to gangrenous fingertips.


The 41-year-old, who was also a pack-a-day smoker, presented with a three-month history of progressive, non-healing digital ulcers on his dominant right hand, report doctors from the Okinawa Chubu Hospital in Japan.

The man had been using vibrating tools, including jackhammers and drills for 20 years.

On presentation his fingertips had greyish purple