The 10 Types of Wrist and Hand Injuries You Need to Know

There are many different types of wrist and hand injuries that can occur. The most common ones are fractures, sprains, and strains. However, there are other types of injuries that you should be aware of. Here are the 10 types of wrist and hand injuries:


1. Broken Hands and Wrists

The first type of hand and wrist injury is a broken bone or fracture. The bones in the hand are very small, so they can break easily. Wrist fractures are common among older people with osteoporosis because even minor stresses to their wrists can cause a fracture.


2. Tendonitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon, which attaches muscle to bone. The most common tendon to become inflamed is the Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle. However, tendonitis can also occur in the hands and wrists. The symptoms of tendonitis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area.


3. Hand Strain

Hand strain is a common injury that can occur when you use your hands for extended periods. The most common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and weakness in the hand. You may also experience tingling or numbness in the fingers. If you have hand strain, you should avoid using your hand until the pain subsides. You can also try applying ice to the affected area or taking over-the-counter ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation.


4. Hands sprain

A sprain can be caused by a sudden twist or pull on the ligaments that connect your bones. The most common place for a sprain to occur is at the end of your fingers, where they join your palm, or at the base of your thumb and wrist.

Symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, and inability to move the joint normally.


5. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the nerves in your hands and wrists. It’s caused by compression of the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel (a narrow passage in the wrist). The main symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is tingling or numbness in the fingers.


6. Dislocations

The most severe of hand injuries are dislocated bones.  The bones in our hands are connected by ligaments. Ligament damage usually occurs when the hand is forced out of its normal position, resulting in a dislocation. The injury will require immobilization to heal fully and avoid further complications such as arthritis or permanent disfigurement.

7. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a progressive form of arthritis, affecting the joints over time. The cartilage between the bones wears away and forms bony spurs called osteophytes. The joint can become swollen, tender, and painful as a result of the degeneration process. The wrist is an area that commonly becomes affected by osteoarthritis because it bears much of our body weight throughout the day when we are standing or walking upright with our hands at our sides.

8. Gout 

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid in the blood. The most common joint affected by gout is the big toe, but it can also affect other joints including those in your hands and wrists. The symptoms of gout include pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, tenderness in the affected area.


9. Bursitis

Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa, which is a small sac that acts as a cushion between bones and muscles, tendons, or skin. The most common areas to develop bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. Symptoms of bursitis include pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and tenderness in the affected area.


10. Carpometacarpal Injury

A carpal metacarpal injury is a fracture that occurs in the wrist. The most common symptoms are pain, swelling, and bruising. Treatment typically includes immobilization in a cast or splint followed by physical therapy. Surgery may be required for more severe fractures. They occur most often in people who participate in sports such as hockey, football, and rugby.


Getting the Right Treatment for Different Types of Hand Injuries

Hand injuries come in a variety of forms and can severely limit the use of your hands, as well as being quite unpleasant.

If you have a serious injury or one that gets worse with time, it’s critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This could avoid long-term damage to your hand’s capability.



Are You Looking for a Sports Medicine Physician You Can Trust?

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!


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