Traumatic hand injuries are bruises, injuries, and inflammation of the hand and wrist that can occur at home, work, and during sports.There is the same probability of whether trauma occurs to the right or left hand.
In the case of distortion trauma (twisting), the fingers may be stretched excessively, which can lead to dislocation or dislocation.
Already at home there are numerous possibilities for injury; These include in particular:
- slipping in the bathroom on wet floor or in the shower;
- fall from a stool or chair climbed to reach a high kitchen shelf;
- when cutting food, the hand or wrist is accidentally hit;
- Stumbling over power cables (computers, etc.) in low light conditions.
Children often jam their fingers in the car door, in which case the nail can also detach. Factory workers often work on extremely powerful machines (e.g. lathes) and insert the fingers or entire hand into the gear train; sometimes the index or middle finger remains in the machine.
Falling material or metal parts, unfortunate loads deposited on the ground, etc. can also lead to finger bruising.
The foot can be very effectively protected from injury by work shoes, but there are no comparable protection options for the hands and so they are exposed to a constant risk of bruising.
Hand injuries caused by sports accidents can be caused, for example, by falling from a bicycle, by a blow to the hand (water polo, volleyball, basketball, etc.) or by direct physical contact during martial arts.
A classic example is a compressed finger, which often occurs when smashing or walls in volleyball.
What are the symptoms and signs of hand and finger trauma?
The main symptoms of hand bruises are movement pain and swelling on the palm or back of the hand.
The loss of strength and the restriction when bending the fingers and wrist are caused by painful stitches.
Passive movements are also limited and painful, especially in the case of injuries to the fingers, complete bending or stretching is usually impossible.
After a severe bruise, the patient may suffer a loss of strength when shaking hands, holding objects, pouring a glass of water, closing the hand into a fist, opening the hand to catch a ball, etc.
The most difficult are the movements to stretch the base joints of the fingers while simultaneously bending the finger middle or finger end joints.
If there are internal injuries to tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, bones, etc., there is also a bruise, i.e. leakage of blood under the skin.
In more serious cases, bone fractures and paralyzing nerve lesions can also occur or tendon injuries that hold the fingers in a certain position: for example, if the tendon of a finger extensor ruptures, the finger remains bent or stretched.
How is a hand bruise diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made primarily by clinical examination; based on the anamnesis, the doctor examines the affected area and tries to find out which movements are possible and which are painful; he may order imaging procedures to assess the internal structures.
In the case of severe trauma, the patient usually goes to the emergency room, where an X-ray is taken in search of potential bone fractures.
In order to assess the condition of the tendons, a skeletal muscle ultrasound is performed, on which injuries and inflammations can be easily detected.
What can be done? What is the right therapy for traumatic hand injuries?
In the case of tendon injuries, the doctor weighs up whether surgical intervention is necessary or whether immobilization of the finger by means of a splint is sufficient.
If the trauma has caused a fracture of the wrist, hand or finger, the orthopedist will plaster the hand and advise magnetic therapy to accelerate the formation of the bone callus.
For minor traumas that have caused no injuries but only severe pain and swelling, should be treated with ice in the first 24-48 h. After two days, cold therapy is interrupted because the cold would slow down the body’s own healing and anti-inflammatory processes.
Mobilization must begin as soon as possible to reduce stiffness; therefore, rehabilitation exercises are recommended if there is a restriction of movement.
Children are treated the same as adults.
The doctor may advise taking anti-inflammatories to relieve pain and inflammation; in some patients this is already sufficient, in others they only provide temporary relief.
If the pain and swelling have not subsided two days after the injury, the doctor may recommend physiotherapy; in this case, in my opinion, manual treatment is the most effective: myofascial manipulationreleases the adherences to the connective tissue caused by trauma, which now interfere with movement and cause pain, tingling or numbness.
In the case of a compressed finger, for example by smashing in volleyball, the injury is first supplied with ice, followed by traction and bandage in a slight bending position.