Hand and Wrist Injuries

Hand and Wrist Injuries

 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Hand and Wrist

 

hand and wrist injury

The hand and wrist areas of the body form a complex intersection that provides synchronized movement and functionality that is critical to performing everyday tasks.

At the farthest point of the hand and wrist anatomy, each finger contains three bones that all have individual joints that connect with one another. While this provides excellent dexterity, it also means that injuries can be very local and precise to a particular joint between two bones of a single finger.

The wrist consists of two rows of 8 total bones identified as metacarpals. Between the distal end of the forearm and the metacarpals lies the carpal tunnel, a passage consisting of ten tendons that help provide the wrist with excellent flexing capabilities.

Additionally, each ligament around a joint contains a synovial capsule that contains the fluid necessary to reduce the friction that is caused through the movement of the joint.

The capsules work together with articular cartilage which surrounds the endings of all the particular bones within the hand to provide smooth movement, absorb shock and help support the weight bearing capabilities of each joint.

The intricacy of the connections between bone, ligament, muscle, tendon and accompanying tissue mean that a lot of different injuries may occur within the hand and wrist area. Injuries can range from external forces resulting in incisions to internal irritation of a ligament or a compressed nerve due to a repetitive stressful motion.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome typically occurs through repetitive movements and is an irritation of the synovial membranes of the wrist and hand.

Colles Wrist Fracture

Colles’ Wrist Fractures are a break of the radius bone of the forearm and generally occurs when person uses their hands during a fall.

Finger Fracture

Finger Fractures typically occur from an acute traumatic impact to one of the finger bones, causing it to fracture.

Finger Injuries

Finger Injuries can range from minor cuts, major avulsions, fractures, dislocations, and ligament and/or tendon damage.

Ganglion cysts

Ganglion Cysts are a swollen lump on the wrist or finger that contain a gelatinous joint lubricant and are usually attached to a tendon.

Hand Injuries in Rock Climbing

Hand Injuries in Rock Climbing are very common and are due to rock climbing’s heavy emphasis on hand and upper body strength.

Hand Numbness / Ulnar Neuropathy

Ulnar Neuropathy is a condition where the ulnar nerve becomes compressed causing a tingling in the outer arm to the little finger.

Jammed Finger

Jammed Fingers usually occur from an acute traumatic impact to the finger and result in immediate pain and swelling of the finger joint.

PIP Joint Dislocation

PIP Joint Dislocations are the dislocation of the joint, that is proximal to the knuckle, due to the straining the ligament attachment.

Scaphoid Fracture of the Wrist

Scaphoid Fracture of the Wrist is a fracture of the scaphoid bone located in the wrist below the thumb and often occurs when breaking a fall.

Skier’s Thumb

Skier’s Thumb is a condition where an injury has occured to the ligament supporting the thumb causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

Tendonitis of the Wrist

Tendonitis of the Wrist is a result of repetitive overuse causing irritation of the sheath tunnel surrounding the tendons of the thumb.

Tenosynovitis

Tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the synovium fluid filled sheath that surrounds the tendons of the wrist causing pain and swelling.

Trigger Finger

Trigger Fingers occur when a tendon in the hand becomes swollen and physically bigger than the tendon sheath surrounding it.

Wrist Sprains

Wrist Strains are the result of an impact that causes the ligaments that connect bone to bone to overstretch and develop minor tears.

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