Purpose: To describe the characteristics of nail gun–related open-globe injuries.
Methods: Retrospective series of all patients presenting with open globes secondary to nail gun injury from 2000 to 2010. Data were collected on demographics, setting of accident, presenting clinical examination findings, visual acuity, management, surgical procedures needed, and long-term outcomes.
Results: Forty-two patients (43 eyes; mean age, 31.6 years; 100% male; 79% Hispanic) suffered open-globe injury from nail gun accidents. Thirty-seven eyes (86%) sustained injury at work. One of 15 (6.7%) patients, on whom data were available, wore protective eyewear during the incident. Entrance wounds were classified into Zone I (n = 24 [56%]), Zone II (n = 12 [28%]), and Zone III (n = 7 [16%]). Six eyes (14%) had retained intraocular foreign bodies. Mean presenting logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity was 1.64 ± 0.83, whereas mean final logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity was 1.01 ± 0.96 (P = 0.004). Two eyes (4.7%) had no light perception vision at final examination. Seventeen (40%) patients developed a traumatic cataract, and 2 (4.7%) had dislocated lens fragments. Most common findings on presentation included vitreous hemorrhage (n = 30 [70%]) and hyphema (n = 28 [64%]). Two eyes (4.7%) had a retinal detachment at presentation, and 10 (23%) developed a retinal detachment during follow-up visits. Anatomical success was observed in 11 eyes (92%) with a retinal detachment. Three eyes (7.0%) became phthisical or prephthisical, and 1 was enucleated for severe pain. No eyes developed endophthalmitis or sympathetic ophthalmia.
Conclusion: This is the largest compilation of nail gun–related open-globe injury reported to date. Posterior segment complications, noted in the majority of cases, likely contributed to the overall guarded visual outcomes. Preventative measures for eye protection should be strictly followed while using nail guns.