5 Common Injuries That May Require Surgery

Injuries That May Require Hand Surgery

There are about 110,000 lost time hand injuries recorded a year. Reasons of these injuries include: fistfights, accidental falls, work-related injury, fistfights, recreational activities & sport related injury.

Finger, hand, or wrist injuries are most common in contact sports like football or soccer, wrestling, and in other sports like skiing, skating, biking, skateboarding, and snowboarding.

For adults, most of these injuries occur because they lose bone strength and muscle mass while they age. They also have other problems with balance and vision which makes accidental injury risks higher.

For children, on the other hand, hand injuries occur from accidental falls or from playing sports. Any hand or wrist injury needs to be evaluated especially if it’s at the end of the long bone which is near the joint, because the growth plate or physis may be injured, too.

If treated properly, injuries are expected to heal without the need for a wrist & finger replacement or any significant surgeries.

Common Hand and Wrist Injuries that are Sports Related

There are many hand & wrist injuries that active sport athletes are bound to experience. These types of injuries can be grouped into 2 main categories: Chronic injury and Acute injury.

Chronic or Overuse
Chronic injury or overuse injury include dislocation, tendon inflammation, stress fracture, nerve injury, tendon inflammation and dislocation. These injuries are stressed-induced.

Although long term disability is a low possibility as compared to acute traumatic injuries but if these injuries persist, it could require hand surgical procedure.

Acute or Traumatic Hand Injuries
Such acute hand injuries are common among athletes who are participating in close contact sports like soccer, football, hockey, etc. Some examples of acute injuries include tendon inflammation, broken bones, joint dislocations, ligament tears, spraints and muscle strains.

Common Hand Injury Treatments

Physical therapy, the use of braces and splint can treat the common hand wrist injuries. For more complicated injury like wrist fusion, or carpal tunnel release, thumb joint replacement could be necessary depending on how severe the injury is.

Types of Hand Injuries That May Require Surgery

Finger Dislocation. Finger dislocation is a common hand injury that occurs when the bones of the finger move or get dislocated. It can occur in any joints of any of the fingers but it is observed to occur mostly in the middle knuckle of the index, middle, ring, and little finger.

To treat this, a doctor must be the one to perform the relocation. Treatment requires anesthetic injection to the finger to reduce the pain. After 12 to 18 weeks, the finger should be fully healed but in the event that some tissue or a fragment of the dislocated joint become lodged between the bones, then surgery will be necessary to put the bones back in place.

Wrist Bone Fracture “Scaphoid”. The scaphoid is one of the small bones that make up the carpal bones lf the wrist. It connects two of the rows of the bones: the proximal row and the distal row. A scaphoid fracture usually occurs from a fall onto an outstretched hand.

If the fracture had not caused the bone to move out of place, then this can be treated with a cast. However, if the fracture caused the bones to shift, then surgery is the best option, which will include the insertion of pins or a screw.

Tendon Tear “Jersey Finger”. Tendon tear is a common injury that involves the fingers. It occurs especially in contact sports when one player attempts to grab an opponent’s jersey and injures his finger.

This requires surgery as the tendon needs to be repaired and fracture fixations are necessary. If left untreated, the whole hand will eventually be affected. It can impact grip strength and the ability to handle objects.

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tear “Skiers Thumb”. Skier’s thumb is a common injury of the soft tissue connecting the thumb bones together. This soft tissue is called the “ligament “.

Typically, this injury only immobilizes the person for several weeks. However, surgical repair will be required especially if the ligament is completely ruptured.

Stress Fractures. Stress fractures is caused by a repetitive activity that overcomes the strength the bones of the hands. This results to a small fracture, affecting an athlete’s performance.

Treatments for this type of injury include bone scans and casting. If the condition is worse, hand surgery will be required.

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