Did you know that the wrist and hand are some of the most commonly injured body parts? In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 5 million people visit the doctor each year because of a wrist or hand injury. If you are one of those people, or if you are just looking for information on wrist and hand injuries, then read on. In this article, we will discuss 5 fast facts about these injuries.
Hands are an important aspect of our daily lives. Many activities we perform today like using the computer, playing an instrument, clasping a watch, and so on—were previously unimaginable. Unless your hands hurt or quit operating correctly, you probably never give them a second thought.
Here are the 5 fast facts about wrist and hand injuries:
A wrist fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the wrist. These fractures can occur from a fall, a car accident, or any other type of impact on the area. Symptoms of a wrist fracture include pain, swelling, and bruising around the wrist; difficulty moving the wrist; and deformity of the bone. If you think you have a fractured wrist, seek medical attention right away.
Any injury to the hand can cause numbness and tingle in the fingers. This is because there are many nerves in the hand that can be injured. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of hand numbness and tingling; it occurs when one of the nerves in the wrist becomes compressed. People with this condition may also experience pain in their hands or fingers; weakness in the hands or fingers; and difficulty moving their wrists or thumbs.
A sprain is an injury to the ligaments at a joint, such as the wrist joint. If you have ever had a twisted ankle, then you know what a sprain feels like-you will feel pain around your ankle when you walk on it, but it does not hurt to the touch. Sprains can also occur in the hand and wrist area, and they often result from a fall or a sports injury. Symptoms of a wrist sprain include pain, swelling, and bruising around the wrist; difficulty moving the wrist; and instability at the joint.
Most hand and wrist injuries can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medications, ice packs, and rest. However, if you are experiencing severe pain, numbness or tingling in your hands or fingers, or any other symptoms that concern you, then seek medical attention right away.
Some hand and wrist injuries are so severe that they require surgery to repair. For example, if the bone is broken in such a way that it cannot be set with a cast or brace, then you may need to have surgery to repair it. If you injure your ligaments, tendons, or other tissues that are not able to heal on their own such as when the injury causes tissue death-you also may need surgery. Lastly, if you experience an infection due to an open wound from a hand or wrist injury (for example), then you will likely need antibiotics and possibly even surgery for this condition as well.
Wrist protection, gloves, and stretching are just a few methods for avoiding a catastrophic hand or wrist injury. To avoid overuse injuries, athletes should take breaks to rest their hands and wrists, maintain appropriate posture and technique, and wear protective equipment.
The hand and wrist are made up of several joints, ligaments, and nerves. Any of these might cause discomfort in the wrist. Wrist pain is caused by overuse, overexertion, impact injuries, and a variety of health problems. Depending on what is causing them, the severity, position, and therapy for these problems will differ. While wrist injury can’t always be prevented, reducing your risk of one by managing underlying health conditions such as arthritis, using correct form when gripping or lifting objects, and performing muscular strengthening exercises are all possible.
Dr. Chen sees patients at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California. He is a board-certified Pediatrician and Sports Medicine Doctor that specializes in the non-operative medical treatment of a wide variety of various musculoskeletal conditions, including back injuries. Dr. Chen graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine and went on to complete Pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (Rutgers), then went on to fellowship training in Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the perennially top-ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. There he provided sideline coverage for NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University (OH). Since graduating, Dr. Chen has continued his love of sports coverage by volunteering for the San Francisco Marathon, the San Francisco Giant Race, and as the team physician for Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. Being a part of The Center for Sports Medicine allows Dr. Chen quick access to a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiatrists, and physical therapists to return you to your highest functional level quickly and safely. Click here to contact us for your next appointment!