Patient Comments: Plant Thorn Arthritis - Types of Plants


If known, what is the name or type of plant that caused your plant thorn arthritis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sannystac07, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 07

I have a very old rose bush at my house and I was trimming it without gloves. A thorn stabbed my knuckle on my thumb and I pulled the thorn out almost immediately. Blood started squirting into the air everywhere just from a tiny yet forceful prick! My knuckle swelled until I thought it would pop for about 4 days. I thought I was better until we had a rainy day about 2 weeks afterward and the swelling and pain are back. Looks like I have plant thorn arthritis. It literally feels like my thumb could burst!

Comment from: Milena, 65-74 (Caregiver) Published: January 16

The tip of the agave plant stuck my finger. It is swollen and sore. I feel no thorn, it did bleed. But it is very swollen this evening and I am worried about plant thorn arthritis. I am icing it. Hope it helps.

Comment from: Danac, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 21

Bougainvillea thorn caused my plant thorn arthritis. The diagnosis was cellulitis. I took 30 days of antibiotics with little to no result, and extreme pain and inflammation. I am getting ready to see an orthopedic surgeon. I should have gone to a doctor immediately but I didn't.

Comment from: EmmaS, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

I was trimming my bougainvillea 6 weeks ago, and a thorn pricked my left ring finger proximal knuckle. I waited 10 days to see a doctor, they did an MRI and found no thorn, and prescribed antibiotics. No relief from the swelling, pain and lack of range of motion (ROM) so we opted for surgery to wash the joint. It is 10 days post-surgery now and it is still swollen with very limited ROM. I am still on antibiotics, fungal and mold cultures came back as no growth after 4 weeks. Hoping this resolves itself someday.

Comment from: bethankful, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I just got pierced by a thorn through my glove while trimming a rose bush. Within a few hours, my joints began to ache and swell. I had read before that Ichthammol ointment would pull out the thorn residue and relieve the pain. I had used this before and received wonderful results. I had never heard of the ointment before and was surprised to find it looks and smells like black tar. My finger is starting to feel better already. I highly recommend this treatment for plant thorn arthritis.

Comment from: Twirly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I had lung cancer successfully removed from my upper left lung, in April this year. The remaining part of my lung feels solid I don’t know why.

Comment from: Scizor29, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 22

I was pricked by greenbrier (Smilax hispida) across the back of my hand. Symptoms are consistent with all those listed for plant thorn arthritis. I will be wearing gloves in the future!

Comment from: shnon, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

Cholla caused my plant thorn arthritis, twice now with a delayed reaction, and then the swelling/arthritic pain lasts a very long time.

Comment from: F Carter, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I was stuck with a palm frond while assisting a coworker who was trimming the palm branches. A branch with a 10 inch thorn fell down unexpectedly and the thorn pierced my right middle finger. A week later I went to the emergency room (ER) and was mistakenly diagnosed with a bacterial infection. I had an incision and drain procedure. I am extremely disappointed that the doctors didn't even google this diagnosis. I googled it before I went in, but unfortunately, I saw another website that was less informative, and ended up with my hand mauled by these guys.

Comment from: Sugar64, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

Yesterday I got pricked by Bougainvillea thorns numerous times while putting out a few wheelbarrow loads of cuttings out for the trash. One I hadn"t even noticed went through my glove and in the side of middle finger at the middle joint. Today it is swollen and stiff!

Comment from: Jason, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 25

I ended up getting a black thorn in my middle finger, next to the middle knuckle during a recent dirt bike ride. It was shallow and I had little pain, I pulled it out easily and went on my way. Next day that knuckle was swollen and aching. Two days later swelling went down and no more issues with that knuckle. Now six days later my ring finger knuckle where the finger connects to the hand is aching and my elbow is aching as well. I have no swelling. There is no black dot at the puncture sight. I am very surprised what one of those thorns can do.


Arthritis: 16 Bad Habits That Cause Joint Pain See Slideshow
Comment from: Olga A, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Today at 10 AM I got a very small piece of thorn in my medium knuckle right hand finger. By 7 PM my joint started hurting and swelling. The thorn was from the Lincoln rose. It was very small. It bruised my middle finger right hand knuckle.

Comment from: james, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 07

I had an incident where I was stuck with a palm thorn in my elbow. It has swollen up and there is pain in the joint, I am worried about plant thorn arthritis.

Comment from: betty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I am currently dealing with plant thorn arthritis, I just found out through this article what it was. I was cleaning out prickly bushes on Mother's Day and a thorn went through my gloves and it hurt. I am not sure if it was one or two days later that it started to hurt and it looked like a splinter was the culprit. I tried for 2 days to get it out. The pain is in the middle finger, on the inside of the finger right at the first joint where it bends. It swelled up, was a little red where it looked like a splinter was and I couldn't bend it all the way. I had my yearly dermatology appointment today luckily, and she looked at it under a magnifying lens and said she didn't see a splinter, it looked like dried blood. She used a blade to get at it. She also prescribed antibiotics. All the black is gone and I’m hoping the antibiotics helps clear it up. She mentioned something you could get from a thorn prick so I looked it up. So far the range of motion varies from not being able to bend it to being able to bend it about 75 percent. I hope it goes away with the antibiotics.

Comment from: Carol, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

The knuckle of my middle finger was punctured with the thorn of a knock out rose.

Comment from: laura, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I stepped on a thorn of an orange tree recently. The surgeon was not able to remove the thorn. My foot was very red and swollen. I also took antibiotics for one month and that helped.


The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer