Most sports, particularly involving balls or rackets will involve some kind of contact with the hand and fingers and mostly we’d rush that off as part of the experience of the game
if you have pain and swelling around your knuckles that doesn’t settle after a couple of days of doing sensible things like resting them, icing them
maybe taking anti-inflammatories you should probably have it checked out because it’s quite an injury to have a dislocation or a fracture around the knuckles.
Sports Related Heavy Injuries
Some sports are more prone to that such as netball, basketball, where something quite heavy hits the fingers and extends them,
so if your injury isn’t settling down quickly have an x-ray…
Joints can stiffen very quickly and once they become stiff they’re very hard to get better again, so the sooner action is taken the better.
Almost any contact sport may end up in the players ending up on the ground or a fall onto the outstretched hand is something that
we do unconsciously to stop ourselves from injury and it may be that at the time of the fall or the tackle or coming off the snowboard,
you don’t notice an immediate trouble with the wrist,
but there may be swelling that develops in the next few hours or overnight and the wrist may feel stiff and one of the questions
I would ask myself if I heard a patient telling me this story was; is there a ligament injury inside the wrist?
Fractures in Wrist
Fractures we tend to notice straight away.
You see the change in shape and you see the bruising and you see the swelling coming on very quickly, but ligament injuries, though very important may be more insidious in their appearance,
if you feel your wrist is sprained and it’s really not settling down, you should probably have it checked out.
There are a number of important structures inside the wrist holding the little bones together
if they’re partially injured or torn and that may have an impact on how the wrist works in later life, so the reassurance of an x-ray or a scan.
Any sport or activity that takes place at speed can result in an injury if the player or participant comes to a sudden halt.
For example, coming off a snowboard or a push bike and making contact with the road surface.
It’s important to remember that most people enjoy these activities without risk of injury, but if it happens and the unexpected can, you should probably get it checked out.
Velocity Travel Injury
If you’re traveling at velocity and the limb makes contact with the hard surface, there can be a ligamentous injury or even of a break in the bone and these vary on where they occur really with the time of year.
At Easter time, we heard a lot of people coming back from the slopes,
mostly with their arms in plaster after a scaphoid fracture or a distal radius or wrist fracture.
In the summer, when contact sports have us more in contact with grass and softer ground, we might see more ligamentous injuries or dislocations.
If you have an injury coming off at speed and making a sudden stop and the swelling or the pain doesn’t settle after a couple of days,
it would be a good idea to have it looked at in case something needs addressing.
Most of us have very busy lives and pain anywhere can be quite an inconvenience.
What we should do is take sensible measures straight up if we are aware we’ve got an injury.
How to Recovery / Tips
Some people are able to take anti-inflammatories, rest, ice and gently let things recover, but sometimes even after those sensible measures discomfort doesn’t settle down
and particularly if pain wakes us from sleep at night it should be investigated, just to put everyone’s minds at rest.
We may not have had a fracture which is quite quickly obvious, or maybe a sprain,
a cartilage injury or a ligamentous injury and under those circumstances it can take a while to settle down
but if there’s been damage that discomfort may not settle down and it may lead to some difficulties later on in life.
Our advice would be if you’ve taken sensible measures and it hasn’t settled down after a week or so you should probably get it checked out.
Sometimes just a simple x-ray or a scan can put people’s minds at rest and help us support you in your rehabilitation.
The most important part of getting better from an injury is identifying what that injury is.
There are different rehabilitation plans for the different things that can be upset, for example,
it’s extremely important to start early active movements for joint dislocations or ligamentous injuries around the knuckles,
but it wouldn’t be a good idea to get it moving quickly if there was a fracture or break in the bone.
It helps you to help you to identify what the injury is right from the beginning and then together you can plan your rehabilitation.
Injury Requires an Operation
Not every injury requires an operation, not every fracture requires fixation.
There are many things that can be done but the key to getting better is understanding what the problem is in the first place.
If there is a fracture to a bigger bone such as the wrist,
this too may be managed either in a plaster cast or occasionally with surgery depending on the fracture pattern and it may be helpful to get x-rays or a CT scan to help progress that forwards.
Once the diagnosis is made and you’ve worked out what it is and we can plan how to fix the situation,
improve the situation and plan your rehabilitation,
in concert with my colleagues in hand therapy who are specialist therapists able to get your joints moving as quickly as possible.