Bloke Contracted 'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria After Cracking His Knuckles

There are plenty of people who will tell you not to crack your knuckles on the assumption it could give you arthritis. Some don't really care about the horror stories and crack on (teehee) to their heart's content.

But this one might make you think twice before twisting your fingers and toes - however, it's a pretty rare circumstance.

Antoine Boylston, from Kentucky, cracked his knuckles in a normal way, but he unfortunately reopened a scab that was sitting on his pinky. Usually that wouldn't do much, except maybe cause an infection, the 31-year-old managed to contract what some would call a 'flesh-eating' bacteria.

NHS Choices says necrotising fasciitis is less flesh 'eating' and more a bacterium that releases toxins that damage muscle tissue. But to anyone who comes across someone with the condition would take one look at the affected area and think they were an extra off The Walking Dead.

Credit: PA/Real Life
Credit: PA/Real Life

The bacteria lives in your gut and throat with no issue, but when it gets into your deep tissue - that's when you need to seek medical help immediately.

Antoine says he thought he broke his pinky because of the immense amount of pain that was throbbing and eventually took himself to hospital.

He's told Metro: "By the time I arrived, my right hand had started to darken and swell.


"I thought a flesh-eating bug was something people got in the movies - not from cracking their knuckles too much. I'd do it a lot, and not think anything of it - but I was going to live to regret it."

When he presented to doctors, they had to work quickly to ensure the bacteria didn't spread to the rest of his body. They stripped back the skin from his finger to his elbow and cut out the infected area - leaving a grisly open wound on his arm.

Credit: PA/Real Life
Credit: PA/Real Life

Credit: PA/Real Life
Credit: PA/Real Life

There were concerns he wouldn't regain feeling in his fingers as physicians had to cut the blood supply to stop the infection from spreading. But after another round of surgery and a few days of recovery - the blood started flowing again to two fingers and his thumb.

They amputated his little finger and got a skin graph from his thigh to replace the huge chunk they had to remove.

The service technician says it's been difficult to use the hand, saying: "It turns out your grip strength actually comes from your pinkie and ring finger. It seems like nothing, but the pinkie is actually one of the worst fingers you could lose."

Antoine says the experience has spooked him enough to never crack his knuckles again - which isn't too hard to understand.

Sources: NHS Choices, Metro

Featured Image Credit: PA/Real Life

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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