Sports-related injuries to the hand and wrists are common, ranging from minor cuts, scratches, and sprains to more severe conditions such as dislocations and fractures. In this blog, you’ll learn about some of the most frequently treated injuries, prevention tips and helpful hand exercises. Keep reading…

Common causes of hand & wrist injuries in sport

Often, injuries are caused by a sudden impact with a person, ball, or bat, falling awkwardly, getting stepped on, or fingers caught in equipment. Alternatively, it could be a repetitive strain sustained over a prolonged period.

Manchester Hand Surgeons frequently treat patients with injuries from all sports –including cricket, football, cycling, tennis, rugby, golf, netball, running, basketball, horse riding, martial arts, and skiing. We prioritise getting you back to enjoying your sport safely and quickly.

We’re proud to support a number of local sports teams, clubs and sporting facilities including Brooklands Cricket Club, Cheadle Cricket Club, Didsbury Cricket Club, Great Moor County Junior FC Under 11s Pumas, Jameel Stuart Cricket Academy and Cricket Point Bolton.

Different sports-related Injuries to Hands & Wrists

Finger Fracture

A break or fracture in the three small phalanx bones that make up each finger is usually caused by impact or collision, often accompanied by immediate swelling, bruising, and pain when you move your finger, which may appear deformed. The finger may feel numb or tingly if there is any nerve damage.

Sprained Fingers & Thumbs

Ligament injuries occur when the ligaments are bent out of their normal range of movement, such as when impacting a high-speed travelling ball or pulling backwards in a contact sport. Effective treatment includes icing and compression, taping, or strapping the adjacent finger. Coldwater immersion is highly effective, as the cold water can surround the whole injured area.

Mallet Finger

Mallet finger is a condition where you cannot extend or straighten the end joint of a finger without assistance. It can vary from a mild tendon stretching to the tendon being pulled away from the bone.

Dislocated Finger

A dislocated finger occurs when two finger bones forming joints become displaced, injuring the ligaments and other soft tissue.

Symptoms include:

👉 Immediate pain with an obvious deformity of the finger

👉 Great difficulty trying to move the finger

👉 Rapid swelling and bruising may appear later

👉 Nerve damage may feel numb or tingly

👉 Blood vessel damage could result in the skin feeling cold and appearing pale

Jersey Finger

A more severe condition is a tear of one of the flexor tendons in the finger. Symptoms include swelling and bruising, pain in the fingertips, inability to bend the finger normally, and tenderness on the finger’s pad. Surgery is often recommended to repair the tear, varying by how far the tendon has retracted.



Quote from Mr Kunal Hinduja, Senior Orthopaedic Consultant at Manchester Hand Surgeons:

 “Your hand is one of the most complex parts of your body. Its strength and dexterity are essential for many sporting activities. Unsurprisingly, sports-related injuries to the fingers, hands and wrists are common. My advice is to address acute injuries and conditions proactively. Otherwise, they can become chronic, requiring interventional treatment, surgery and longer-term rehabilitation.”

Prevention tips to reduce the risk of hand or wrist injury

Hand-related sports injuries are commonplace, especially as the weather improves and many people return to sports after a winter break. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

👍 Always warm up your hands, fingers and wrists before sport, especially if you’re playing a bat, racket or contact sport – keep reading for some examples and follow our socials for simple hand exercises

👍 Refrain from playing through pain

👍 Taping or bracing mildly injured fingers and the wrist during games and practice

👍 Avoid wearing jewellery, such as bracelets and rings

👍 Use a closed fist instead of an open hand, for instance, when blocking a football or serving a volleyball

Simple Hand Exercises

Start by doing five repetitions of each exercise three times a day. Add one or two repetitions every few days if you feel comfortable. Stop these exercises if your symptoms worsen or cause new pain, and speak to your GP, physio or orthopaedic consultant.

Hand Clench

Step One – Rest the side of your hand on a table with your fingers and wrist straight. Clench your hand into a loose fist.

Step Two – Hold for two seconds, then unclench and straighten your fingers. One full clench and release is one repetition.

Finger & Thumb Touch

Step One – Place your palm out in front with your fingers outstretched.

Step Two – Touch your thumb to the top of your little finger and then stretch your hand out again. Repeat for all fingers. One touch back and forth for all fingers is one repetition.

If you have a sports-related hand or wrist injury, trust the hands of experience at Manchester Hand Surgeons. We offer rapid diagnosis, treatment plans and recovery. Self-pay and health insurance options are available.



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