The hand is an essential part of our body. It is used to perform various daily tasks. A hand injury could seriously affect one’s ability to carry out everyday tasks and quality of life. Orthopedic specialists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and managing musculoskeletal disorders, including those that affect the hands. We’ll be talking about the types and options of hand injuries that orthopedics treat and how to recover from them.
Types of Hand Injuries
Hand injuries may occur for various reasons. These types of injuries are the most common:
- Fractures can be described as broken bones. Hand fractures can happen in any bone in the hands, including fingers, wrist, and hand bones.
- Dislocations are when one bone is forced to move from its normal place. You can have dislocations in your wrist or fingers.
- Strains & Sprains
- Tendinitis. The inflammation of the nerves and tendons can cause pain, limited mobility, and even death.
- Carpal tunnel Disease: A condition where the median nerve (which runs from the wrist to the forearm) is compressed, causing pain, sensations, and numbness.
Hand injuries vary in severity depending on what type of injury they are. One or more of the following treatments may be recommended by an orthopedic surgeon for hand injuries:
- Immobilization: A cast or splint keeps the hand and fingers in a fixed position while the injury heals.
- Medications: You can use over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen/ibuprofen to reduce swelling and relieve pain. If necessary, your doctor could prescribe stronger pain medication.
- A Physical Therapist: An OT can help you strengthen your hand muscles and improve flexibility with exercises and stretching.
- Surgery: Sometimes, surgery is required to fix or reconstruct the hand injury. Surgery may also prove necessary in cases where severe fractures, dislocations, or other injuries are involved.
Hand injury recovery depends on the severity of the injury and the method used to treat it. The hand may need to be supported for several weeks following surgery. Physical therapy may also prove necessary to regain hand strength.
Non-surgical treatment can include medication, immobilization, and physical therapy. It is possible for the injury not to heal fully in some cases.
Preventing Hand Injuries
Hand injuries can be prevented, especially for those who do repetitive tasks that may expose them to a hand injury. You can prevent hand injuries by:
- Protective gear needed: Wearing gloves, wrist guards, and elbow pads is a good idea when you are involved in any activity that may cause injury to your hand.
- Good technique: Proper technique is key to avoiding injuries in sports and other activities.
- Hand and wrist stretching: This technique can help prevent injuries, especially when used excessively.
- Breaks: It is important to take breaks when performing repetitive tasks. This helps prevent overuse injuries.
A splint acts as a hand immobilizer to help prevent further injury. A splint is recommended for between a few days and a few weeks, depending upon the severity of the injury. Splints can be made from prefabricated or custom-made materials. Prefabricated, ready-made splints can also be customized to fit the patient. Custom-made and made for the patient, custom-made socks offer more support and comfort. Orthopedic hand surgeons can work with patients and determine the best type for each patient.