Soft tissue injuries of the hand, most commonly affecting ligaments and tendons, can result from everyday activities or sport. Even overuse of a smartphone and other handheld devices can lead to unintended problems with the hand and wrist. These injuries – even with proper treatment – often require an extended amount of healing time.
What causes Ligament and Tendon Injuries?
Ligament/tendon injuries of the hand and wrist are categorized in one of two ways: acute and overuse. The former is caused by trauma, often sudden – as in a fall – while those related to the latter are gradual in nature, caused by repetition of an activity that doesn’t allow for proper healing time. Overuse activities are often athletic or work related, or even handheld device related.
How do you know you have a Ligament or Tendon Injury?
The signs and symptoms of ligament/tendon injuries vary depending on severity, but they are fairly standard:
- Pain or tenderness
- Bruising or swelling
- Weakness or cramping
- Restricted range of motion
How does OSI fix Ligament and Tendon Injuries?
An OSI board-certified orthopedic specialist will listen to your symptoms, discuss your lifestyle, and examine you for signs and symptoms of ligament/tendon injury. Your OSI doctor will do one or more of the following:
- Physical exam: Your OSI professional will perform a careful examination of your hand/wrist to determine if this is a soft tissue injury or something else. Prior to your visit, an initial treatment with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol is found to be effective for an acute injury.
- X-rays: X-rays may be needed to help your OSI doctor rule out other issues with your hand or wrist.
Many soft tissue injuries can be effectively treated without surgery:
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
- Physical therapy exercises
- Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Your OSI orthopedic specialist may recommend surgery for more serious tendon tears or for severe sprains where torn ligaments need repair. Also, a tendon damaged by persistent inflammation (tendinitis) may require surgery.