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Hand and wrist sports injuries

The hands and wrists contain many bones, tendons and ligaments which can easily become damaged from repetitive movements, degenerative conditions and sports injuries.
Common sports injuries to the hand, fingers and wrist.

Common sports injuries to the hand and wrist are often associated with different sports. For example, contact sports such as hockey and football may cause dislocation to the finger joints, ligament tears, finger fractures and tendon inflammation. Where as sports of a repetitive nature such as tennis and gold may cause an inflammation of the tendon (tendonitis), stress fractures and nerve damage.

Metacarpal fractures and phalanges fractures

Metacarpals are the bones which connect your wrist to your fingers. Phalanges are bones that make up your fingers. Broken finger bones are the most common injury to the hand, usually resulting from direct trauma or falls from contact sports.

Finger fractures may be treated with the use of a splint to hold the finger in place while it heals.

Thumb ligament tears

The thumb ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is a ligament between the base of the thumb and index finger. It can become damaged if the thumb is suddenly forced away from your hand and is most commonly seen people who play football, and netball and those who go skiing.

Surgical treatment may be needed to connect the ligament back to the bone.

Hand tendon injuries

The flexor tendons run along the forearm to the fingers along the palm and allows you to bend your fingers and grip things.

The extensor tendons run alongside the forearm to the fingers along the back of the hand and allow you to straighten and stretch your fingers.

They can often be injured playing sports like rugby or by overusing the grip in sports such as bouldering and rock climbing.

You may need surgery to repair damaged tendons to enable your orthopaedic hand surgeon to stitch the tendons back togethter.

Wrist fractures

Wrist fractures can be more prevalent in sports where falling may occur and the hand is put out to catch the fall. You may need to wear a splint to support the wrist in place, or surgery to hold the bone in place.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is pain felt down the forearm, on the outside of the elbow resulting from overuse such as playing golf, tennis and other repetitive strain.

Surgery for tennis elbow involves an operation to remove the section of the tendon which is damaged.

Golfers elbow

Similar to tennis elbow, golfers elbow is pain felt down the forearm but on the inside of the elbow and is commonly felt in sports of repetitive nature.

A like tennis elbow, surgery for golfers elbow involves an operation to remove the section of the tendon which is damaged.


Tendonitis is another injury resulting from overuse which results in inflammation, and swelling in the tendon which results in pain.

The pain may be reduced with rest, and use of anti-inflammatories. If they do not help then steroid injections or surgery to remove the damaged tendon may more suited.

De Quervain’s Tendonitis

De Quervain's is when the tendons the connects the forearm to the thumb is inflamed and painful.

It may be seen more in activities that involve a grip such as golf and tennis. You may be advised to carry out exercises to help strengthen the muscle.

If the pain persists you may be offered decompression surgery to create more space the tendon to move.


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