The Most Common Hand Injuries & How to Avoid Them
Our hands are one of the most versatile and valuable body parts. They’re used all the time, from cutting fruit to working on your car, and even as you scroll through this blog! If you’ve ever had a hand injury, you know that even the slightest bit of discomfort can impact your ability to perform any activity, so it’s good to know how to avoid hand issues. With expert advice from our center for hand and physical therapy, here are some of the most common hand injuries, how they impact your life, and how best to avoid them.
Most of us know what constitutes a cut, and how they can happen, but it’s well worth going over them thoroughly. Cuts can come from various sources, including thin paper, rough concrete surfaces, or sharp glass. Because they’re one of the most common injuries, they also happen to be one of the easiest to prevent and care for. With that said, it’s always good to avoid cuts as best as possible. Deep gashes can become problems for ligaments and bones (which we’ll get to in a bit).
While cuts pierce the skin and result in a bit of bleeding, fractures are much more dangerous and painful. Hand fractures occur when a bone in your hand breaks or chips, and are usually caused by excessive force. Broken bones heal at different rates, but most fractures can heal over 4-6 weeks. A boxer’s fracture is one of the most common hand injuries, often found in individuals ages 16 to 29, and caused by hitting a wall or another immovable surface.
For many industrial or construction workers, hand injuries like severed fingertips are one of the most common types of hand injuries. They occur due to table saws, circular saws, or hands getting stuck between sharp objects or pinched between tight spaces. They can also be caused by accidentally getting caught in-between snow blowers or lawn mower blades, and are one of the more painful hand injuries. Recovery can take months and might require surgery and additional follow-up procedures.
Tendon and Ligament Injuries
Tendons and ligaments hold hand structures together and help them move. Major injuries to these body parts can cause serious discomfort when performing basic tasks using your hands. These injuries are caused by not correctly using knives, or getting deep cuts from sharp pieces of glass objects. Occasionally, tendon injuries can be due to simple wear and tear or aging. Injuries like torn flexor tendons need an immediate diagnosis, especially if you have multiple injured fingers or damaged blood vessels. Be sure to contact an expert if you believe your deep cut or hand injury might have resulted in torn ligaments and tendons.
The hand and wrist are connected, meaning any injuries to your wrist will also impact your range of motion and overall ability to perform basic tasks. Wrist fractures are generally caused by trying to brace a fall with your hand. Surgery is required if the bone is badly displaced or cracks in multiple places. Usually, casts are used to protect the wrist from further damage and ensure proper healing. Serious wrist injuries or improper healing can lead to a lifetime of stiffness and a much weaker hand.
Preventing These Common Hand Injuries
Hand injuries often require medical treatment and are very frustrating for patients. They might force you to miss time at work and spend weeks and months away from activities you normally enjoy. In worst-case scenarios, hand injuries can cause debilitating long-term effects, so be sure to do your best to avoid having them happen at all. Preventing hand injuries is key, and it starts with protecting your hand from harm. Follow some of these steps and pay attention to your surroundings to prevent these common hand injuries:
- A Heightened Focus on Training and Prevention
- Keep Your Hand Away From Trouble
- Recognize Common Pinch Points
- Wear Gloves When Operating on Sharp or Dangerous Surfaces
- Wear Wrist Guards When Lifting Large or Heavy Objects
- Keep Your Hands Clean, Even if Your Cuts Aren’t That Sharp or Dangerous
- Avoid Working on Equipment While It’s in Motion
Don’t Leave Your Hand Compromised — Contact Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Today!
Hand injuries happen, but that’s no excuse for you not getting the right treatment. At Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder, our Philadelphia hand surgeons will review every option and give you the best possible solution for your hand injury. Whether you need surgery or just rest and care, our team can help treat anything from tendon inflammation to nerve compression. Contact us today!