Introductions The rate of acute hand trauma visits to emergency departments (ED) and surgeries decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our aim was to analyze the influence of national lockdown during the first wave and the regional restrictions during the second wave on the rate of visits to the ED and urgent hand surgeries in Finland. Methods Material for this retrospective study was gathered from three Finnish hospitals All ED visits and urgent or emergency surgeries from January 2017 to December 2020 were included. Incidences per 100 000 persons with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and compared by incidence rate ratios (IRR). Results The incidence of hand injury was lower after the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020 (IRR 0.70 CI 0.63-0.78). After lockdown ended in May, the monthly incidences of ED visits returned to the reference level. During the lockdown, the incidence of fractures and dislocations was 42% lower in March (IRR 0.58 CI 0.50-0.68) and 33% lower in April 2020 (IRR 0.67 CI 0.57-0.80). The incidence of fracture repair surgeries was 43% lower in March 2020 (IRR 0.57 CI 0.35-0.93) and 41% lower in July 2020 (IRR 0.59 CI 0.36-0.98). Incidence of replantation was 49% higher in March 2020 (IRR 1.49 CI 0.53-4.20) and 200% higher in July 2020 (IRR 3.00 CI 0.68-13.2) but these increases had high uncertainty. Conclusions The rate of ED visits due to hand injuries decreased while the rate of emergency hand operations remained unchanged during the national COVID-19 lockdown in spring. After the lockdown, the incidences returned to reference level and were unaffected by regional restrictions during the second wave of pandemic.
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