Hand,Wrist & Elbow Injury & Care

The Hand, Wrist, and Elbow

Fractures of the hand can occur in either the small bones of the fingers (phalanges) or the long bones (metacarpals). They can result from a twisting injury, a fall, a crush injury, or direct contact in sports. 

The scaphoid is one of the small bones in the wrist. It is the wrist bone that is most likely to break. The scaphoid is located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends. 

When you bend your elbow, you can easily feel its "tip," a bony prominence that extends from one of the lower arm bones (the ulna). That tip is called the olecranon. It is positioned directly under the skin of the elbow, without much protection from muscles or other soft tissues. It can easily break if you suffer a direct blow to the elbow or fall on a bent elbow.

Common Injuries

Distal radius fractures are very common. In fact, the radius is the most commonly broken bone in the arm. The break usually happens when a fall causes someone to land on their outstretched hands. It can also happen in a car accident, a bike accident, a skiing accident, and similar situations.

A wrist sprain is a common injury. There are many ligaments in the wrist that can be stretched or torn, resulting in a sprain. This occurs when the wrist is bent forcefully, such as in a fall onto an outstretched hand.

Seek treatment if you experience the following: 

Hand:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity
  • Inability to move the finger
  • Shortened finger
  • Finger crosses over its neighbor when making a partial fist
  • Depressed knuckle

Wrist: 

  • Swelling in the wrist
  • Pain at the time of the injury
  • Persistent pain when you move your wrist
  • Bruising or discoloration of the skin around the wrist
  • Tenderness at the injury site
  • A feeling of popping or tearing inside the wrist
  • A warm or feverish feeling to the skin around the wrist

Elbow:

  • Pain or burning on the outer part of your elbow
  • Weak grip strength
  • Swelling or a deformed appearance (indicating dislocation or fracture)
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Locking of the elbow joint

 

Content on this page was taken from: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org.