Hand Doctors Explain Common Baseball Injuries of the Arm & Fingers
Summertime has finally arrived – and for many kids (and adults!) this means playing baseball or softball! But, with the kids isolated during Covid-19 – out of school and away from organized sports – the burden is on parents to keep children safe during home baseball games and other athletic activities. B
As all coaches know, with summer sports, unfortunately, come injuries. And while baseball is a non-contact sport, injuries to the fingers, arm, hand and wrist often occur. Trained coaches employ many methods of preventing and recognizing sports injury. Parents should know these too, especially during times of social distancing!
Doctor Rehman is specially trained to diagnose and treat sports and baseball injuries of the hand, arm & wrist. She has helped hundreds of patients in the Clarkston, Waterford & Bloomfield Hills area get relief from athletic injuries and get back to the sports that they love as quickly as possible.
While finger fractures are the most common baseball injury, there are three more lesser known but very common baseball injuries. In this article, Doctor Rehman explains a few of the more common medical conditions that can affect child, student, little league, amateur and even professional baseball players.
Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger)
Mallet finger an injury that occurs to the fingertip that is caused by a sharp blow, or a jamming injury, to the fingertip. This injury frequently occurs when catching a baseball, so it is sometimes called baseball finger.
In this condition, the tendon that is responsible for straightening the tip of the finger is damaged, and you may not be able to straighten your finger. Pain and swelling at the end of the finger are the most common symptoms, coupled with an inability to straighten the finger completely. This could become a permanent condition if treatment is not sought early enough.
An X-ray will typically need to be taken to rule out the presence of a fracture. Frequently, the tendon will pull off a piece of the bone to which it is attached at the end of your finger. Most injuries of this nature can be healed through rehabilitation. Assuming there is no fracture, the finger will need to be straightened and placed into a split to keep it stabilized. This splint may need to be worn up to 6 weeks.
But if a large fracture of the bone has occurred, or the joint is misaligned, surgical repair may be required. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you begin rehabilitation, the longer the time period of recovery. So it is important toi see a specialized hand doctor like Dr, Rehman as soon as possible.
Trigger finger is common in people who perform repetitive gripping actions or prolonged, strenuous grasping – like athletes who throw or pitch a baseball. While it can also be the result of medical conditions that affect tissue, such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, it is quite commonly seen in baseball players.
Most treatment for trigger finger involves conservative methods such as resting the hands, applying cold packs and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. For more advanced problems, a corticosteroid injection may be performed, and specific occupational therapy exercises prescribed for remediation. Sometimes splinting of the finger is used, to keep the finger in the extended position at night for up to six weeks.
If the condition is severe, surgery could be required. As with any sports injury, early medical intervention is the key to getting you back on teh field as quickly as possible!
Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Capitellum
This is an injury to the outside of the elbow that occurs from repeated weight-bearing activities on the arm and elbow. It often occurs in baseball players, but can also happen in other athletes that use overhead motions, such as basketball players, gymnasts, pole vaulters and shot-putters.
The repetitive compression of the elbow creates abnormalities of a small part of the humerus (upper arm bone) at the elbow. Fragment of bone and cartilage can actually break off and cause the elbow to lock.
If the condition is caught early, stopping the activity and engaging in physical therapy may allow the area to heal and resolve the pain. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Baseball Injury Hand Doctor Waterford Area
If you have suffered an injury or pain in your arm, fingers, hand elbow or wrist, contact Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat medical conditions caused by playing baseball, or other sports. With early intervention, Doctore Rehman can get you back on the field in no time!