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Injury

WHAT IS DE QUERVAINS TENOSYNOVITIS AND HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

De Quervains tenosynovitis is a condition that affects two tendons that run from the back of the thumb down the side of the wrist. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is the name given to the condition that occurs when these tendons are swollen and irritated. Swelling of the tendons, and the tendon sheath (a tunnel-like structure that the tendons travel through at the wrist), can cause pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist. Risk Factors De Quervain’s tenosynovitis: •...

CENTRAL SLIP INJURY

The extensor tendon on the back of a finger is a delicate and complex structure. The tendon divides into a central slip and two lateral bands. Working together, normally these would straighten the finger. A Boutonniere deformity arises when there is a rupture of the central slip. This is a relatively uncommon sporting injury – caused by a sudden, forced bending at the PIP joint (e.g., finger hit by ball, or falling onto bent finger), or can be caused if the...
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Is My Finger Broken?

Finger fractures are common injuries, and the mechanism of injury (how it happens) varies from balls hitting fingertips, fingers getting caught in dog leads, fingers being crushed in door jams, through to simple trips and falls. The end result is the same… a broken bone. A common myth is that if you can move your finger, it is not broken. While severe fractures or joint dislocations may prevent movement, for most fractures the finger will still move quite well. Generally,...
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Treatment of a Lumbrical Muscle Tear

The lumbricals are four small muscles located between the metacarpal bones of the hand. While only very small, the actions performed by the lumbricals are important for many functions of the hand, such as gripping movements. Lumbrical muscle injuries occur when a finger (middle/ring finger) is forcefully straightened while the other fingers are actively gripping/bent. Rock climbers are at greatest risk for lumbrical muscle tears. Diagnosis Lumbrical muscle tears can be diagnosed by stress testing (see Figure 1) and by an...

FLEXOR TENDON RUPTURE

What is It? The flexor tendons of the fingers allow the fingers to bend and grip. When the tendon is no longer attached to the bone at the end of the finger (rupture), it is impossible to bend the fingertip. What is it caused by? The most common cause of a flexor tendon injury is a deep cut to the finger. When cut, the tendon acts like a rubber band, and the ends pull away from one another. When this...
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JOINT DISLOCATION

What is It? Joint dislocation is an injury where a joint is forced out of normal position. It is usually obvious if a finger has been dislocated as the finger will appear crooked, swollen and will be very painful. The finger may be bent at a strange angle and often it is not possible to bend or straighten the finger. What is it caused by? Dislocations can occur in contact sports, such as football and hockey. Those who play ball...

SWAN NECK DEFORMITY

What is It? Swan neck deformity is caused by abnormal stress on the volar plate, the ligament around the middle joint of the finger (PIP joint). The resulting shape of the finger looks similar to a swan's neck, which is how the condition got its name. What is it caused by? For a swan neck deformity to occur, abnormal stress must be put on the ligament around the PIP joint of the finger. The stress causes the ligament to loosen,...

BOUTONNIERE DEFORMITY

What is It? A Boutonnière deformity is also known as a ‘central slip’ injury. This is because it involves injury to the central slip of the extensor tendon of the finger. This means the part of the tendon which straightens the middle joint of the finger has been injured (see figure 1). What is it caused by? A Boutonnière deformity is commonly caused by a forceful blow to the top side of a bent middle joint of a finger. It...
Filed under Hand Therapy \ Injury

MALLET FINGER

What is It? A mallet finger injury occurs when a finger extensor tendon is ruptured near the fingertip (see figure 1). Because the tendon is no longer attached to the bone, the finger droops, and is unable to be straightened voluntarily. What is it caused by? The most common cause of a mallet finger is when the tip of a finger is forcibly flexed or hit against a solid object (e.g. hit by a ball). Less often, the cause is...

Scaphoid Fractures

The scaphoid is one of eight carpal bones in the wrist. It is a commonly fractured bone in the wrist, accounting for over 85% of all sport-related carpal bone fractures. Scaphoid fracture is particularly common in sports involving high impact injuries to the wrist. Young males and persons between 10 and 19 years of age are at highest risk for scaphoid fracture. When an injury occurs, pain (with or without swelling or bruising at the “thumb side” of the wrist) can...
Filed under Hand Therapy \ Injury
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