Sports injuries of the hand and wrist – There is not a single sport that doesnt require the use of your hands in some fashion or form. For this reason, there are numerous sports injuries of the hand and wrist every single year. Even very small injuries to the hand or wrist can turn into something serious and permanent if not treated properly. Thats why, if your hand or wrist has been injured you will need to visit an emergency room or hand surgeon.
The Types of Injuries
About 10% of sports injuries that lead to an emergency room visit are to the hand, including lacerations, fractures, infections, and serious bruises. Of course, most common sports injuries are from blunt force trauma. The hand can be crushed or bent backward and can take the brunt of the force if you fall during a sports game.
In addition to the sudden injuries that occur during a sports game, there is also the risk of overuse injuries. This can include inflammation or damage to ligaments and muscles. Generally, these occur when the player is required to make the same motion over and over again. Its commonly seen in sports like golf, baseball, and tennis. These repetitive motion injuries even have names: skiers thumb, Dr.Quervains tendonitis, basketball finger, and tendonitis.
The first thing you should do is work to prevent these injuries if you play sports regularly or even if you only play on occasion. Steps you can take for prevention include:
- Wear wrist guards and gloves as needed. Make sure the items you use for protection of the hands and wrists are high quality and designed to help dissolve impact on the small bones, ligaments, and tendons in the hand.
- Always take breaks during sports activities to give your hands a chance to rest, especially if your sport requires repetitive motions.
- Always use the proper posture and position any time you need to make repetitive motions. For example, know how to hold the bat or tennis racket properly before using it.
Even if you take these steps, there is a chance you could sustain an injury to your hand while playing sports.
When to Go to the Doctor
If you are injured, you will need to determine if the injury is minor or serious. Often, very minor things can be treated at home. However, if you experience any of the following, you need to visit the emergency room or hand surgeon:
- You have a bleeding wound that has not stopped bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure.
- You have severe pain and swelling in the hand.
- You notice your hand or fingers turning gray or becoming discolored.
- You see that your fingers are abnormally bent or twisted.
- You can hear a clicking or grating sound whenever you move your fingers or hand.
- Bruising and swelling does not get better after two weeks.
If you have any reason to believe that you have sustained a serious injury, it is better to be safe than sorry. When it comes to your hand, taking any chances can result in permanent damage. Always see a hand surgeon or go to the emergency room if you think your hand is hurt more than it seems at first.
There are different treatments used to deal with sports injuries of the hand. A simple contusion (bruise) can be managed with ice and medication. Some cuts require stitches. If any bones are broken or ligaments and tendons are damaged, then hand surgery may be required as opposed to simple casting. Thats because there is too much of a risk for permanent damage in the hand. In some cases, consecutive surgeries will be needed to fully repair the injury.
When you play sports, you are at risk of hand injuries, even if you take proper precautions. However, you should always use safety gear to protect your hands and wrists. Additionally, if you must make the same repetitive motions over and over again, then take breaks throughout the sport to allow your hand time to rest. If you have any sports related injury of the hand, go to a doctor or hand surgeon as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more permanent the damage can become and there may not even be a solution to giving you back full use of your hand.