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Wrist & Hand Injuries

Flexor Tendon Injury

A Flexor Tendon injury is damage to the flexor tendons which run all the way from the muscles located in the forearm through the wrist and to the tips of the fingers and thumb. This tissue can be damaged as a result of a deep cut to the palm side of the fingers, hand, wrist, forearm or as a result of an accident during sports such as football, rugby and wrestling.

A Flexor Tendon injury can make it impossible to bend the fingers or thumb. A completely torn tendon will pull far apart making it impossible for the breakage to heal on its own and will need to be surgically repaired. As a result it is always important to consult your healthcare practitioner if you should suffer an injury to the finger.

Sprained Wrist

A sprained wrist refers to damage of the ligaments around the wrist joint. It is caused when the ligaments surrounding the list are stretched beyond their normal limits, which results in wrist pain and swelling around the site of injury. Sometimes bruising will also be present. Most sprains will heal within six weeks without medical intervention, provided they receive the right care and attention. In the early stages it is important to follow the “RICE” method of treatment:

  • Rest: For the first few days, reduce the amount of activity you do and gently exercise the wrist regularly to avoid stiffness. This helps to prevent further injury and allows the healing process to begin.
  • Ice: Use an ice pack on your wrist for 10 minutes every 2 hours, for the first few days. Then use the ice pack 3 times a day until the swelling goes down. This helps to reduce pain.
  • Compression: Wear an wrist support during the day to help support your wrist and reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep your wrist raised above the level of your elbow where possible for the first few days. This helps reduce swelling and pain. Severe sprains should be assessed by a medical professional.

Tendonitis of the Wrist

Tendonitis means inflammation and swelling of a tendon and results in pain near the joint. It is frequently caused through overuse of the tendon during strenuous, repetitive activity. This can occur during for example racket sports or manual work such as gardening, where the wrist and arm go through the same motion multiple times. Symptoms progress gradually often beginning as a dull ache in the wrist which then changes to increased pain during physical activities. Pins, needles and numbness in the fingers may also be present. Tendonitis of the wrist responds well to physiotherapy treatment and sufficient rest. Any activities which may further aggravate the condition such as contact sports must be avoided.

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