Hand and wrist injuries are so common that we have created an entire list of them. While treatable, it’s important to take the proper measures to avoid serious complications such as deformities that can lead to disability.
Common hand and wrist injuries
1. Jammed Finger
A jammed finger is caused by striking the end of your finger when it’s fully extended. Symptoms include pain, swollen joint, difficulty bending, and joint tenderness.
2. Finger Fracture
A finger fracture is a bone fracture by a force of contact. Symptoms include pain, tenderness over the fractured bone, and possible deformity.
3. “Mallet” Finger
A mallet finger is caused by force to the tip of the finger leading to a ruptured tendon that keeps the finger held straight. Symptoms include not being able to hold the fingertip straight and tenderness behind the fingernail.
4. Nail Bed Injury
A nail bed injury is caused by the crushing of a nail bed from a forceful impact. Symptoms include blood under the nail and tenderness that stems from a tear in the nail bed.
5. Finger Dislocation
A finger dislocation happens when the force applied to the finger is great enough to displace the joint. The middle finger is the most commonly displaced finger.
6. Tendon Tear “Jersey Finger”
A Jersey finger is caused by a forceful grasp that ruptures the tendon and makes you unable to flex the joint at your fingertip. The ring finger is most likely to tear a tendon.
7. Wrist Bone Fracture “Scaphoid”
A wrist bone fracture is caused by falling on an extended hand. Symptoms include pain when moving your wrist and tenderness in the wrist at the base of the thumb.
8. Wrist Ligament Tear
The wrist twists from injury or impaction. Symptoms include localized pain in the wrist when the wrist is gripping in a twist.
9. Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tear “Skiers Thumb”
Your thumb is only stable when you are grasping with your hand due to a torn ligament. It is painful to grasp objects.
Inflammed tendons caused by doing the same movement over and over. Symptoms include tenderness when in motion.
11. Stress Fractures
A repeated activity causes the bones to fracture. Symptoms include pain with movement.
12. Growth Plate Stress
A bone becomes overstressed from overuse when it’s still developing. Most common in gymnasts and baseball players.
13. DeQuervain’s Syndrome
A condition caused by repetitive rotating the wrist and gripping. Most commonly occurs in tennis and badminton players.
14. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
The tendons become irritated and lead to swelling, which makes the tendons difficult to move.
15. Boutonnière Deformity
The finger is bent and can no longer straighten itself. This occurs by injuring the tendon on the top that attaches to the middle bone of the finger.
What are the most common hand and wrist injuries in sports?
Athletes and laborers will suffer from traumatic injuries which are caused by accidents. Chronic injuries will stem from overuse of their hands to perform repeated tasks. Dislocations are common as well as sprains, broken bones, torn ligaments, stress fractures, nerve damage, and swollen tendons.
Evident dislocation (the hand or finger is stuck in an unnatural position)
A clicking noise when you move your finger, wrist, or hand
For minor injuries, use the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation for the affected limb. This method will help with pain, swelling, and stiffness. Take ibuprofen to ease pain and swelling.
Treatment will vary by the location of the injury and severity. Surgery is required for ligament tears, but taping, braces, physical therapy splints, or casts are other treatment options for lesser injuries. The doctor will take into consideration short and long term damage, lack of mobility, and potential deformity.
How to prevent a hand or wrist injury
You can prevent hand and wrist injuries by wearing wrist guards, protective gloves, and stretching before extensive use. If you are a laborer, you may feel silly stretching but it’ll save you a lot of ache and pain.
Chronic pain can be reduced by taking breaks to let your wrists or hands rest. You can also reduce pain and avoid carpal tunnel syndrome by using keeping your hands properly postured and using correct hand movements that correlate with your hands’ natural movements. Don’t forget to always use protective gear.
If you have one of these common hand and wrist injuries, then visit Village Emergency Centers where we’ll take care of you right away.