Every day, people are sidelined because of damaged bones or tendons in their hands. While not always preventable, identifying and understanding these types and causes of routine hand injuries may help you steer clear of them.
Hand injuries come about for a number of reasons, including work, trauma, overuse or sports. In fact, a recent study conducted by the U.S Department of Labor found that 23 percent of all work-related injuries involved injuries to the hand. While there are numerous types of hand and wrist injuries, the five most common include the following.
Finger and Hand Fractures
Finger and hand fractures are one of the more familiar injuries. Although certain fractures are evident, some are less obvious as they can be as fine as a strand of hair, while others are not produced by a hard blow or accident but are the consequence of repetitive movements, known as stress fractures.
Most of these can be dealt with by numbing the area and executing a simple procedure or by splinting the hand for four to six weeks. Seldom does this sort of break need surgery.
Fractures of the wrist and the forearm bone (distal radius) where it attaches to the wrist are usually the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand. Hands are simply not well-padded and aren’t treated kindly when your entire body weight lands on them.
More serious wrist injuries can happen when you fall onto the wrist from a height or in the course of a motor vehicle crash and may bring about broken or dislocated wrist bones. A cast may be suitable for most, but certain fractures may require surgery for the best outcome.
When you fall frontward, as you might when you trip while running or rollerblading, your immediate response is to place your hands in front of you. Regrettably, this reaction causes you to come down on your palm, bending your wrist backward and maybe stretching or tearing the ligaments linking the bones to your wrist.
You should see a doctor if your pain began after a fall or other traumatic event, if the joint is swollen, if you have trouble moving the wrist, or if your pain persists. X-rays may be necessary to rule out a fracture, joint instability, or arthritis of the wrist.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The muscles in your wrist and hand are maneuvered by nerves that extend the length of your arm. On the inside of your arm, there’s a nerve, the median nerve, that manages your fingers’ movement. If you do the identical, recurring hand and finger movements throughout the day at work (or you have a hobby that experiences repeated motion), the inside of your wrist can swell, causing that median nerve to compress. This is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Consequently, you’ll sense a tingling in your fingers and pain when attempting to grip things.
If after four weeks, there’s no progress with conventional treatment, you need to consult your physician. You should, however, go for treatment sooner if you detect your symptoms are quickly progressing, you’re undergoing loss of motor skills, or have trouble completing routine tasks as normal.
All your fingers have tendons in them, structures that connect your muscles to bone. Overusing the same muscle groups may trigger inflammation in these tendons, causing pain, weakness in the hand and skin that feels too warm. This ailment is described as tendonitis, frequent for those who do assembly work, for gardeners and musicians.
Tendonitis can be handled conventionally with rest, icing the injury, and keeping the hand and wrist raised. In some instances, the patient may need anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone injections to ease pain. Surgery may also be needed at some point.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact Our Hand Specialists at UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Hand injuries can be debilitating and cause long-term damage. If you have a hand injury, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve your chances of a full recovery.
If you have any questions about hand injuries, or if you would like to learn more about preventing hand injuries, please contact us today. We are here to help you stay safe and healthy.