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Spring Sports Injuries: Common Hand Injuries and Treatment Options

Spring Sports Injuries: Common Hand Injuries and Treatment Options
Spring Sports Injuries: Common Hand Injuries and Treatment Options

Spring is here and so are spring sports! With sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis starting up again, it is important to stay cautious of the injuries that could be sustained. In particular, hand injuries are quite common among these sports.

Let’s identify the most common sport-related hand injuries and discuss various treatment options for each:

  • Sprain: Hand or wrist sprains are extremely common in spring sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments in the hand or wrist are overstretched, which can often happen when falling on your hand or catching a ball at a bad angle. Minor sprains can often be treated at home with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). For more severe sprains, when the pain and swelling don’t subside, your physician may immobilize the affected joint and suggest physical therapy.
  • Fracture: Fractures of the hand or wrist occur when the bones of the wrist or finger break under pressure, causing intense pain. Whenever there is the potential to fall in a sport, there is a potential to fracture your wrist or hand. If you suspect a fracture, you should seek immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity of the fracture, your physician will either immobilize the joint or perform surgery.
  • Finger Dislocation: Finger dislocations occur when the base of your finger is pulled out of its normal positioning due to a blunt force. This can happen due to a bad catch or a sudden hit. Finger dislocations are usually treated with a reduction, where the physician manipulates the finger joint back into place followed by immobilization to allow healing. For more severe dislocations, surgery may be required.
  • Jammed Finger: A jammed finger occurs when an object or force hits your finger while it is fully extended, pushing it back into your hand. Jammed fingers are common in soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and more. When treating a jammed finger, never pull on it to realign it as this can worsen your injury. Instead, the injury will usually heal on its own over time.
  • Tendonitis: For sports like baseball, softball, and lacrosse, you are almost always working your hand and wrist. When playing these sports regularly, you may sustain an overuse injury such as tendonitis. Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons in your hand and wrist, causing swelling and discomfort. Tendonitis is another injury that can often be treated at home with conservative measures such as the RICE method. If your pain persists, consider seeking medical attention for further guidance.

Staying knowledgeable about common hand injuries during the spring sports season is essential. Not only will this help to prevent these injuries, but it will also help you deal with them when they do occur. If you have sustained a hand injury, Dr. Shrouder-Henry is an expert orthopedic surgeon specializing in the hand and wrist and is ready to help you get back on the field or court as soon as possible!

AUTHOR: Jason Shrouder-Henry MD, MB is a Board Certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder throughout Chicagoland.