bug
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Russian Olive Thorn Injury

I have searched the internet and find nothing about reactions to Russian Olive thorns.

Both my husband and I have noticed when poked by Russian Olive thorns we get pain, swelling, redness and sometimes infection at the injury site.

Hubby got poked in the knee last week and he immediately started limping. Knowing how nasty these thorns are, he took sample from tree to his Dr. who sent him to emergency room. Both Dr's kind of dismissed his explanation of the reactions we get, gave him antibiotics and vicoden and sent him home with a number to call orthopedic surgeon if it gets worse.....who by the way already called us back and said it's just a thorn poke.....

He is still limping and in pain. It wakes him in the middle of the night.

Anyone have any information on this plant and reactions people get ??

Maybe we could copy and take back to Drs.

Thanks

opabinia51
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Try going to your local college or university and do a journal search for this topic. Probably Russian Olive AND Poison. You could also search for Russian Olive AND Thorns. Also, look up the latin name of the plant by googling Russian Olive AND Latin name or scientific name. This may aid in your search.

I'd do a search for you but, I am so busy right now.

GreenBayMike
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latin: Elaeagnus Angustifolia
https://www.galvbayinvasives.org/Guide/Species/ElaeagnusAngustifolia
-Mike
From the Frozen Tundra

GreenBayMike
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Sorry, let me explain above post - this article says the Russian Olive is not poisonous, but it doesn't mention puncture wounds.

Actually a puncture wound may have nothing to do with what actually poked you, but rather what was coated on the thorn at the time of puncture. The reason puncture wounds are so suceptible to infection is because of how the wound closes up, leaving contaminants encased in and beneath the skin. Depending on the depth of a puncture wound, in order to decontaminate it, you actually may need to cut it open. If it is a shallow puncture, you can soak in alcohol or anti-biotic solution and hopefully decontaminate it that way...

There could be any number of things coating the outside of the thorns, including bacteria, mold, fungus, etc. that may have nothing directly to do with the Russian Olive itself. https://extension.usu.edu/forestry/UtahForests/TreeID/Assets/Images/ela1-3.jpg

on another note, an excerpt from https://www.mofga.org/mofgm04l.html describes the Russian Olive as an invasive species.
All the other New England states, as well as the New England Wildflower Society, consider this plant to be a threat. Russian olive (Eleagnus angustifolia, near cousin of the autumn olive) is considered an invasive in Maine. Natural systems in Maine are under enough stress so that perhaps it were better if we didn’t purposefully add one more potential threat to our native ecology.
And from Cat Fancy: Russian Olive shows on the list of non-toxic to felines. Not saying that means non-toxic to humans, but cats are mammals too. :wink: https://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants-non-toxic.html

https://www.aragriculture.org/horticulture/ornamentals/toxic_plants.htm Lists them as non-toxic too (again implying ingestion).

https://extension.usu.edu/rangeplants/Woody/russianolive.htm indicates they are hard to manage and largley a pest as described in the Uses and Management section, and has been declared a noxious weed in Utah.

Here's something you may find very interesting: A lawsuit regarding a Russian Olive puncture wound, which was infected by a septic tenosynovitis secondary to foreign body. I didn't read all the "legal-ease" in the article. https://www.peo7.com/peo/caselawDetail42110.htm

And lastly an amusing story with the title "Russian Olive will poke your eye out" at https://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Weed/olive.htm

There's more, but I don't want to bore you.
-Mike
From the Frozen Tundra

GreenBayMike
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OK, last post, I promise!
Next time, try these: https://www.safegrasp.com/gardenarmor.html
and https://www.visi.com/~ssutherland/SITE/gardenarmor910.html
Heck, just wear a suit of plate mail :D
-Mike
From the Frozen Tundra

opabinia51
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Thanks a million GreenBay!

gallum90
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i have a problem with plants like that. if you soak it in a bowl filled with hot water and dish soap yes dish soap.... it will steralize it and bring down the swelling then you can look at it to make sure theres nothing more serious and most of the time this works and the problem goes away

bug
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Yep, thanks Mike and opabinia51.
That's pretty much what I found too.
I did find an email to an expert at Oregon state that I wrote to.

stormy
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russian or autumn olive thorn reaction

Bug, I found your posting researching for info on thorn reaction.

I too, have adverse reactions to thorn picks from my autumn olives thorns. They are very sharp and stiff and usually penetrate deep.

Usually stabbed in hands while trying to move branches mowing around shrubs. Yes, joint in finger swells and stiffens, aches, and becomes infected. I had to open up red/swollen wound to get peroxide to penetrate. Initial 1/32" hole creates a 3/8" swollen scar.

Days after prick, my whole hands swell, also swelling on bottoms of feet, hives as well. Allegra, ibruprofen do little to relief itching and swelling. I've had these secondary reactions before, and have spent the last couple years trying to find source of allergic reactions. These secondary symptoms flaired up again after a recent thorn puncture. Which made me suspect the thorns.

I have not found any exact info on the thorns causing reactions, it is listed as non-toxic to animals. But have read that it may substances on the thorns cause infections.

If I find anymore info I'll forward to you, I'd appreciate any additional info youmay find as well. Thanks.

GreenBayMike
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If it were my Russian Olive, it would become my burning brush Russian olive (pull it out and burn it). :D

(Just kidding by the way)
-Mike
From the Frozen Tundra

bug
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Wow thank you Stormy! At least now we know we are not crazy! It is so frustrating to be dismissed by the medical experts. :roll:

He is still limping, using a knee brace and taking ibuprofen. He called another orthopedic surgeon who cannot see him for a month!!

GreenBay Mike, I was planning to let some new spouts near the road grow as a buffer but I'm going to take them outnow.....hubby calls me the fiskar butcher .....hehe :twisted:

The one shrub that got him in huge though...

Stormy, I will keep you updated here if we find out anything.

bug
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Two articles found:


https://www.aginfo.psu.edu/News/october99/toxic.html

https://www.pubmedcentral.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=1492537&pageindex

Thank you Stormy!

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Grey
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Interesting.

I'm going to read some of these links in a moment, but I wanted to add a thing or two before I did:

Clean wounds with alcohol (I know, it stings like H) rather than peroxide. I have a neighbor who is a nurse at a heart hospital, who says there are a number of doctors who believe that peroxide does more damage than good because it eats the tissue, and doesn't seem to get rid of all infecting particles.

Could the infections be caused by something on the thorns or the tree? Do you or your neighbors spray with roundup or pesticides or do you put any kind of chemical on your plants? Do birds hang out in these trees?

I know those trees are pretty, and they make a great theft deterrent... but I think I would get rid of them if you get infected by them so easily.

Some excellent, excellent research in this thread! Great work!

Edit: that last article is one that perhaps we should print out and keep handy - you never know when you or a neighbor might need that!

bug
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No we do not use roundup and I wouldn't say birds hang out in these bushes.

Yes, we are copying the article to take to drs.

jennifita2
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Similar Injury

Has there been an update on how he is doing or if you got any help from the medical community? My dad is in a similar situation but his poke was with a Hawthorn Bush instead. I have copied and pasted the description of his problem from another site. At this point we are STILL looking for medical help and any helpful suggestions from the online community since we have gotten nowhere.

The description my dad has written is not even close to describing the pain he is in. Let's see....he can't even pet a dog, lock the door, etc. Please read on and reply with any suggestions you may have. If this is not to be posted here, please move. This may need its own thread. THANKS!!

"Hello all,
I realize this is an old thread but I just did a quick surface search about the lingering effects that taking a thorn jab from a Hawthorn tree might give one. Thankfully I was able to find something of keen interest to me on this site, as I wasn't able to dig up much info otherwise. In saying that I must say that my daughter did a google search on my behalf a few weeks back and ran across an interesting article about "Thorn-induced synovitis." Which when reading through the article I found that I have many of those lingering issues that were spoken of in the article… on-going health issues that started for me on June 13, 2006.
Long story short is that within the hour of me being poked (which I immediately pulled out... thinking at the time that I had it all. Now, I just don’t know?????), my right hand and wrist area began swelling. For nearly two solid weeks I had substantial swelling. It was totally useless to me. Still, today… the wrist is barely swollen, but is very tender and sore all the time. That very evening I went to our local Urgent Care medical center. Had it x-rayed, nothing but a sprain was my diagnosis. Two days later I began a series of doctor visits… was put on antibiotics, the works… nothing helped. Then I had an Ultra Sound performed, more X-rays… and an MRI about four weeks ago. All tests revealed that nothing out of the interior ordinary was messed up in the hand/wrist area. I’ve been on steroids three or four times… did hand therapy, had cortisone injected in that area three times… nothing has worked but the cortisone, which was very temporary in bringing me relief. So now, with the information I now have from the “Thorn-induced synovitisâ€

bug
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Update

Hubby saw orthopedic surgeon, had MRI and will consult with orthopedic surgeon again about the MRI in a couple of weeks.

Sorry to hear about your Dad Jennifita, sounds like he is in worse shape than my hubby. Please keep us posted.

Newt
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Bug and Jennifita, have either of you tried seeking homeopathic help? I did a google with several different terms.
synovitis + homeopath
Thorn + synovitis + homeopath
and the first term had the most helpful info. This conversation is interesting.
https://www.abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/24197/

I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and the only real help I ever received was from homeopathy, accupuncture and a physical therapist in South America. I had even been to Johns Hopkins Hospital in my search for relief.

I hope that leads to some relief.
Newt

bug
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Newt wrote:Bug and Jennifita, have either of you tried seeking homeopathic help? I did a google with several different terms.
synovitis + homeopath
Thorn + synovitis + homeopath
and the first term had the most helpful info. This conversation is interesting.
https://www.abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/24197/

I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue and the only real help I ever received was from homeopathy, accupuncture and a physical therapist in South America. I had even been to Johns Hopkins Hospital in my search for relief.

I hope that leads to some relief.
Newt
Thanks Newt!
I will check that out!

jennifita2
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UPDATE:

My dad had a total wrist joint synovectomy this morning. The doctor said it was definitely caused by the thorn. There was a lot of infection but not the normal kind. This was something the doctor said would have been absolutely necessary after he saw it even though it didn't show up on any MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, blood test, etc. It was in the wrist joint itself as well. He has sent tissue to the pathology lab and we should get some results on Friday regarding if there is a bacteria or fungus growing in there. They cleaned it out and put two drains in it to help get rid of some of it. On Friday we go back to the surgeon and on Monday to the Infection Specialist who will decide what kind of antibiotics we will have to go on. Hopefully this was the answer we needed. Thanks for all of your thoughts and the homeopathic route information. Without the internet and your thoughts we wouldn't be getting the help we needed. This forum is what sparked my searches regarding thorn induced synovitis and that is exactly what it turned out to be.

Thanks again,
Jennifer

Newt
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Jennifer, thank you so much for updating us on your father's wrist. What a shame he had to go through this. Please let us know what the pathology report tells you.

Give him our regards and well wishes. I'm so glad that folks here were able to help.

Newt

bug
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Jennifer, Healing thoughts your Dad's way!
:applause:
:D

bobbyr87
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I was pruning a Russian Olive and a thorn went right through my leather glove and into the knuckle just below the fingernail of my left ring finger. Just a tiny little pin prick. It began to hurt immediately, way out of proportion to the size of the little puncture. It has been swollen for a couple weeks now, won't go away. I figured the thorn must have some poison or something. After reading the posts here, looks like that's not the case. I figure I must have hit the knuckle just right and punctured that synovium thing in my knuckle that I have never heard of until today. What are the odds.

Soreknee
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I cut down a Russian Olive tree and prior to kneeling down to cut the stump, I kicked away most of the brush, but not all. Both knees had small pokes from thorns, and I thought it was no big deal. I hardly felt them and they were very shallow. About six hours later I started to notice some soreness and attributed it to kneeling for five minutes and being over 55 years old. Overnite things became worse, and in the morning I had difficulty walking. As the following day progressed one knee in particular became worse. Additionally, it seemed to be warm to the touch at the punture site. The tree was a volunteer tree in a pasture and definately has not been treated with any chemical. I printed the "Thorn-induced synovitis" article and am going to take it to my Dr. tomorrow. Thank you to whoever did the research and posted the article.
Soreknee in Nebraska.

drsisme
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Better late than never

I know this may seem a little late, but I was doing research on thorn punctures, because I was punctured by a Hawthorn tree thorn, which left it's husk in the wound and, for some reason, the husk does not want to come out. What I have found is two fold. One is that the puncture wounds from these thorns can serve the same function as a punture wound from a needle, helping foreign bodies enter the body, while leaving minimal evidence, or hope of removing the foreign body once the thorn/needle is removed.
Second, since the puncture wound closes so well, when the thorn is removed, it is hard to get any anteseptic into the depths of the wound to kill the foreign body. Because of this, I chose to take garlic as a profilactic antibiotic to minimize the systemic reaction to the foreign body, and I used Blood Root paste to draw the foreign body out through the skin.
Garlic is an active anitbiotic that seeks out bacteria, killing it where it is encountered, which is why garlic cannot be added to bread until after the yeast has completed its work, or the bread will not rise. Blood root and other pastes/salves are natural compounds that draw foreign objects from the body, including fiberglass and other irritants.

royonrescue
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Re: Russian Olive Thorn Injury

Hi Bug,

I'm not sure if you received your answer to the mystery of the swollen painful knee after being stuck by the thorn? If not, here's some information based on my own experience of being poked just recently by an Autumn Olive Thorn in the Ring Finger knuckle.

There's a possibility of it being Plant Thorn Arthritis, caused from a thorn fragment remaining in or around the joint area. This plant protein causes an inflammatory response that becomes an acute from of arthritis and will remain until the plant fragments, no matter how small, are completely removed. I'd encourage treatment sooner than later as it will become chronic and as far as my research goes, there is no home remedy cure.

I know that this is probably not the news you were looking for but I'm afraid your husband's symptoms are classic. Here's a link for more information.

https://www.medicinenet.com/plant_thorn_ ... /page3.htm

Hope this helps!

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