Sports Injury Doctors Discuss Basketball Wrist & Hand Injury
With summer vacation almost upon us, kids everywhere will be hitting the hoops during the fun-filled days of sunshine. But wrist and hand injuries are some of the most common incurred during basketball. From dribbling, passing, catching, shooting, collisions with players and falls on the hard court can all place wear and strain on the hands and wrist.
In this article, Bloomfield Hills, MI sports injury doctor, Dr. Rehman discusses the different types of wrist and hand injuries common in basketball – and how doctors treat them.
Basketball Sports Injury: Sprained Wrist
You’ve often heard of basketball players experiencing a sprain during a game, but most people aren’t clear on what exactly a sprain is.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament – which is the tissue that connects one bone to another. There are multiple ligaments in the wrists, and basketball injuries often involve a sprain of one or more of the wrist ligaments at a time.
Mild or “first degree” sprains occur when there is a stretching of the ligament. Moderate or “second degree” sprains involve a partial tear of one or multiple ligaments in the wrist. While severe or “third degree” sprains are when ligaments have torn completely.
In basketball, wrist sprains often occur when a player falls onto an outstretched hand, bending the wrist beyond its normal range. This results in the strain, tear or even detachment of the ligament.
Sprained wrists incurred during basketball games are typically mild, and only require treatment of rest, icing and compression. However, severely sprained wrists involving torn ligaments may require surgery to heal completely and without long-term complications.
If pain and swelling from a wrist sprain does not go away within 24 hours – and/or if there is wrist immobility or instability – treatment by a sports injury doctor is essential. Prompt and treatment is important to prevent further wrist damage or lasting wrist problems.
Basketball Sports Injury: Wrist Fracture
While a sports injury to a ligament is a sprain, an injury to the bone is called a fracture. Though less common in basketball than sprains, fractures are of the scaphoid bone, beneath the thumb and above the forearm, is one of the most commonly fractured bones for basketballers.
Typically wrist fractures are caused by a fall on the court, but can often occur during a violent collision with another player. A wrist fracture may be a complete break, or a partial break, of the wrist bone.
Wrist fractures or broken scaphoid bones can be difficult to distinguish from a wrist sprain. Both basketball injuries can cause mild it is essential to see a sports injury doctor to be properly diagnosed.
Basketball Sports Injury: Jammed Finger
Anyone who’s ever played basketball – even in gym class – has probably jammed their finger at least once. Jammed fingers are extremely common basketball injuries, and typically are not serious and heal on their own.
If there is a small bit of swelling, but the player still has a full range of motion, it is likely a mild jam that will heal on its own with proper care. Sports injury doctors generally treat a jammed finger with rest, ice and splinting – including time off from the court.
Basketball Sports Injury: Hand or Finger Fractures
However, a severely jammed finger could result in a fracture. The many small bones that make up the hands and fingers are also easily fractured during competitive basketball. Fractures to the hands or fingers often occur in basketball from a finger jam when a player catches a ball or collides with another player.
The symptoms to look for in a fractured finger include swelling, pain, and occasionally numbness. Sometimes fractured (broken) fingers can be realigned using a splint. In cases of more severe breaks, surgery may be required.
Seeing a sports injury doctor is crucial if you suspect any type of fracture, to ensure the bone heals in the proper alignment and there is no long term problem. Depending on the seriousness of the hand or finger fracture, recovery can take between four to eight weeks to heal.
Macomb County Sports Injury Doctor
If you are suffering from any sports injury or pain in your fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact Macomb County Sports Injury Doctor Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. Early detection, awareness, and treatment is essential to ensure that today’s sports injury doesn’t turn into a lifetime of long term mobility problems.
Doctor Rehman will assess your individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your condition.