Hand problems can range from trivial to disabling. As it is not always easy to judge the severity of a hand injury, getting to a doctor after injuring your hand is prudent. When it comes to your child, it is even more important to diagnose the cause of his or her hand problems as quickly as possible.
Sprains and Dislocations of the Finger
Finger sprains and dislocations are among the most common injuries that cause hand problems. The most frequently injured joint is the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint. The PIP joint sits between the first and second finger bones, with the first or proximal fingerbone being the nearest to the hand.
Accidents like jamming a finger while playing basketball can force the joint to bend backward, a condition known as hyperextension. Under normal conditions, the joint has ligaments and tissues that keep the fingers from bending sideways or backward. In a sprain, those tissues are stretched or partially torn, causing swelling and stiffness.
In a dislocation, the tissues are completely torn, and the joint’s bones become separated and misaligned. Like a sprain, a dislocation is accompanied by swelling and stiffness. Since it is not easy to determine the severity of a sprain or dislocation, a child suspected of having such an injury should be taken to a doctor. While splinting and icing a joint can take care of a sprain, a dislocation requires medical intervention to properly realign the joints.
Hand Problems from a Broken Wrist
A broken wrist is a common sports injury, especially in football, but it can occur anytime somebody tries to break a fall with an outstretched hand. The joint most commonly affected is the scaphoid. A child with a fractured scaphoid will have a swollen and painful wrist, but they will still be able to move it. Scaphoid fractures are among the more notoriously hard hand problems to detect, especially during the first week. Our doctor may therefore recommend taking a repeat X-ray after that week.
Hand Problems from Animal bites
As with practically every other part of the human body, some hand problems and injuries can result in infections. Animal bites are a common cause of infections; cat bites are especially infamous for causing an infection. Cats have small and narrow teeth that can penetrate deep into the skin. The resulting small punctures heal deceptively quickly and trap the bacteria from the cat’s mouth under the skin. In some cases, this can result in an abscess. An infected hand will be red, abnormally warm, and swollen. There may also be red streaks near the wound. The child may also have a fever, sweats, or chills.
When to Call for Help
A parent should take their child to visit Dr. Arora if any of the following are true:
- The child’s hand looks “wrong” and is in a strange shape or position.
- The child is in severe pain
- There is a lot of swelling within 30 minutes after an injury
- The child still has a lot of pain and swelling two days after getting hurt
- There are signs of nerve damage like tingling, numbness, or weakness
- There are signs of infection like redness, warmth, fever and increased pain
- The skin is pale or blue and feels colder than the skin on the uninjured hand.
At Arora Hand Surgery, our skilled and experienced doctor will be able to diagnose the cause and severity of your child’s hand problems. You can rest assured you receive the comprehensive, personalized care you deserve when you choose Dr. Arora. Contact one of our offices in Macomb, Warren, Howell, or West Bloomfield to schedule your consultation.