The hand and wrist are highly sensitive and complex structures.
There are 27 bones in the hand and wrist and injuries to this area are common. Falls onto an outstretched arm can often cause a fracture in one of these bones. Grip weakness or slight swelling may be the only symptoms initially. Bones such as the Scaphoid bone on the thumb side of the wrist have a poor blood supply and when fractured are at risk of avascular necrosis (bone death) if not correctly managed.
Many of the injuries in the hand and wrist need to be managed early for proper healing to occur. There is often a window for treatment in the hand that if missed, can have a negative effect on the outcome of the injury. Tendon avulsions (detachment) injuries are particularly important to manage early and will often require urgent surgery.
Finger injuries such as a Jersey finger (rupture of the FDP tendon) may require customised splints to allow the injury to heal.
There are specialised splints and braces to protect the wrist and hand. De Quervains is a wrist problem (thumb side) often seen in mums caring for newborns and TFCC problems cause pain on the little finger side of the wrist. Each of these injuries require a different kind of brace to ensure the correct structures are off-loaded.
The thumb function is 50% of the hand function. The repetitive nature of many of our occupations and daily activities can cause degeneration of the joints in the thumb over time. Modifications to sporting and household equipment (such as grip size) and preventative rehabilitation programs can help protect the thumb.
Early assessment of hand and wrist injuries and specialised management of these injuries is very important. If in doubt about your hand injury, see a physiotherapist early.