Hand and Wrist Injuries

WHAT IS THIS AND WHY HAS IT OCCURRED?

The wrist and hand are frequently injured during sporting activities. Distal radius fractures are the most common fractures seen in emergency departments, and scaphoid fractures are the most common carpal fractures. Injuries to the hand and wrist range from acute traumatic fractures to overuse conditions, which often occur in racquet sports, golf and gymnastics. Finger trauma is common in ball sports. If wrist, hand and finger injuries are not treated appropriately at the time of injury, they can lead to future impairments that can affect both sports and activities of daily living.

COMMON WRIST & HAND INJURIES:

• Fractured Scaphoid & Distal Radius

• Carpal Ligamentous Strain/Rupture

• Abductor pollices Longus Tenosynovitis (De Quervains)

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Injuries to the wrist often occur as a result of a fall onto an outstretched hand. The most common wrist/hand injuries in athletes are fractures of the distal radius and scaphoid, or damage to an intercarpal ligament. Intercarpal ligament injuries are becoming more frequently recognized and if they are not treated appropriately, may result in long-term disability. De Quervain’s Syndrome is inflammation of the synovium of the abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis tendons. These tendons run along the outside of the forearm attaching to the thumb. Before attaching to the thumb they pass around a piece of bone at the end of the forearm where friction can occur resulting in inflammation. This most commonly occurs as a result of repeatedly lifting a weight you are unaccustomed to. Inflammation can also affect the nerve that passes close to these tendons in the wrist. The median nerve may be compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel along with the wrist, hand and thumb tendons. This is commonly known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and is characterised by burning pain, numbness and/or parasthesia