Advice For Wrist & Hand Sports Injuries
While the hand and wrist are not as frequently injured by athletes and active people as other body parts, like the knee and shoulder, sports and wrist injuries can lead to pain and long absences from sports and exercise.
More Resources to Get Better
Common wrist injuries in sports and exercise
For active people, wrist injuries might not be as common as shoulder or knee injuries, but they can be challenging for golfers & tennis players. Here are the most common.
This week’s Ask Dr. Geier column addresses an injury that is often missed in sports - a scaphoid fracture.
Today’s Ask Dr. Geier column addresses a fairly common hand injury in sports - mallet finger.
The Serious Injury Checklist
Do you know the one question you should ask yourself to know if you should see a doctor?
The Sports and Exercise Injury Primer
This series explains the top 20 injuries suffered by athletes and active people.
Ask Dr. Geier: Wrist and Hand Injuries
How to get rid of pain, anxiety and frustration from your wrist or hand injury.
That’s Gotta Hurt
The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever
Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.Get the Book
Frequently Asked Questions on Wrist and Hand Injuries
- +Could I have a serious injury?
-Could I have a serious injury?Whether you suffer a traumatic injury in sports or exercise or your pain developed over a period of time, there are several signs and symptoms that could suggest your pain could represent a serious injury. These include difficulty bending or using your wrist or hand, or pain in the wrist or hand when using the arm. Also you might have an obvious deformity around the wrist, hand or finger or numbness, tingling or weakness in the hand or fingers.
- +What are the common injuries?
-What are the common injuries?Some of the common wrist injuries seen among athletes and active people include distal radius (wrist) fractures, scaphoid fractures, extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tendon subluxation, triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the common hand and finger injuries they suffer include boxer’s fractures, hook of the hamate fractures, ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injury of the thumb, PIP and DIP joint dislocations of the finger, mallet fingers and jersey fingers.
- +Should I go to a doctor or ER?
-Should I go to a doctor or ER?Most orthopedic injuries, especially those that occur in sports and exercise, that require urgent treatment in an emergency room result from a traumatic event. These are some of the signs and symptoms that suggest you might go to an emergency department for your injury: the bone is crooked or out of place, the injured area is very swollen, or the bone is poking through the skin. You might also have bleeding that won’t stop, have signs of a nerve injury, or your pain is unbearable. If you cannot do what you want to do as well as you want to do it, it can always be a good idea to see your doctor or an orthopedic surgeon.
- +Do I need x-rays or an MRI?
-Do I need x-rays or an MRI?X-rays only show bones, while MRIs show soft-tissue structures like muscles, tendons and ligaments. Many people – and some doctors – believe that a wrist or hand injury is automatically a ligament or tendon injury, which wouldn’t show up on an x-ray. X-rays can be important, though, to demonstrate arthritis, fractures and other causes of pain.