The Avocado Hand: Who’s to Blame?

The popularity of avocado rose when it was named as one of the super foods due to its high nutrient value. Along with the rise of its popularity comes the rise of the injuries called The Avocado Hand.

Just recently, TV host Joy Behar told viewers that she spent overnight in the hospital after injuring herself while cutting an avocado. In 2012, award-winning actress Meryl Streep suffered the same injury.

You may find it silly, but your orthopedic doctor in Ft. Worth will say it’s true. There is such a thing called “The Avocado Hand”.


Actually, this is just an accidental, self-inflicted injury to the hand while trying to cut or peel an avocado.

But how come many people injure themselves while cutting this healthy fruit?

Blame the fruit’s structure itself. It has a hard covering, a soft flesh underneath it, and a big seed in the middle. So it’s easy to think that the avocado is sturdy enough to cut through using a knife in one hand and firmly holding it with the other.


However, many of us suffer cuts and even serious knife injuries that can send an orthopedic hand doctor in Ft. Worth worrying. It is when the knife slips through the soft fleshy fruit, to the big stone-like seed, to the fingers or palm that causes injuries to the nerves, tendons, and bones.

The treatment may require exploration of the hand under regional or general anesthetic depending on the severity of the injury. The patient may leave the hospital within 24 hours.


There is just one medical literature available about the Avocado Hand but there are numerous news articles about it online. The New Zealand Herald reported that insurance claims on avocado-related injuries increased from 137 in 2015 to 162 in 2016. In London, a surgeon told The Times that he had four Avocado Hand patients a week. It may sound alarming but the public needs to be educated on this danger and on how to properly cut an avocado.


Put the avocado on a chopping board. Gently run the knife through the skin and flesh and around the pit. Open the avocado and carefully remove the pit with a spoon.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29465848
  2. http://imj.ie/the-avocado-hand/
  3. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11856961

Issa Bacsa

Filipino freelance writer and author, Gen X mother to a Gen Z daughter, retrogamer, binge-watcher.