Ligament and Soft Tissue Injuries of Wrist and Hand

Ligament and Soft Tissue Injuries of Wrist and Hand

Ligament and soft tissue injuries of the wrist and hand are common occurrences and can result from various traumatic events, sports activities, or repetitive use of the hand. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and limited function, affecting the hand's ability to perform everyday tasks. Here are some common ligament and soft tissue injuries of the hand:

  1. Sprains: Hand sprains involve the stretching or tearing of ligaments that connect bones to other bones. Ligaments are essential for stabilizing joints and preventing excessive movement. Sprains can occur in any joint of the hand, including the finger joints and the wrist.
  2. Tendon Injuries: Tendons are tough, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. In the hand, tendons enable the fingers and thumb to move. Tendon injuries can include strains, partial tears, or complete tears, and they may result from acute trauma or overuse.
  3. Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis): This condition involves inflammation and thickening of the sheath surrounding a tendon in the finger. It can cause the affected finger to catch or lock in a bent position, making it difficult to straighten.
  4. Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger): A mallet finger occurs when the extensor tendon of a finger is damaged or torn, usually by a forceful impact on the fingertip. It leads to the inability to straighten the finger at the last joint.
  5. Skier's Thumb (Gamekeeper's Thumb): This injury affects the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb, usually resulting from a forceful abduction or hyperextension of the thumb. It can cause pain and instability in the thumb joint.
  6. Boutonniere Deformity: This injury involves a disruption of the central slip of the extensor tendon in the finger, leading to the characteristic appearance of a bent middle joint and a hyperextended end joint.
  7. Swan Neck Deformity: This deformity occurs when the volar plate, a ligament that stabilizes the finger joint, is injured, causing the middle joint to hyperextend and the end joint to flex.
  8. Wrist Sprain: A wrist sprain involves the stretching or tearing of ligaments in the wrist joint. It can occur due to sudden impact, twisting, or bending of the wrist beyond its normal range of motion.
  9. TFCC Tear: The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is a group of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage that stabilizes the wrist. A TFCC tear can result from a fall on an outstretched hand or excessive rotation of the wrist.
  10. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This condition involves compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. It can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
  11. Tendinitis: Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons that attach muscles to bones in the wrist. It can be caused by repetitive movements or overuse of the wrist.
  12. De Quervain's Tenosynovitis: This condition affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist and causes pain and swelling. It is often associated with repetitive thumb and wrist motions.
  13. Ligament Tear: In addition to sprains, more severe injuries can lead to partial or complete tears of the ligaments that stabilize the wrist joint.
  14. Ganglion Cyst: Ganglion cysts are non-cancerous lumps that commonly develop along the tendons or joints of the wrist. They can cause discomfort and may affect wrist movement.
  15. Flexor and Extensor Tendon Injuries: These injuries involve damage to the tendons that control finger and wrist movements. They can result from cuts, lacerations, or overuse.


Treatment of ligament and soft tissue injuries of the hand may involve:

  • Immobilization: Splints or casts may be used to immobilize the injured area and allow the tissues to heal.
  • Hand  Therapy: Exercises and therapy can help improve strength, flexibility, and function in the hand after the initial healing phase.
  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation, please discuss with your GP or the specialist if you need a prescription.
  • Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation and pain, your GP or the specialist will determine in consultation with the hand therapist
  • Surgery: Severe ligament or tendon injuries may require surgical repair or reconstruction.

If you suspect a ligament or soft tissue injury in your hand, it's essential to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional, particularly a hand specialist. Early and accurate diagnosis, as well as appropriate treatment, can promote proper healing and restore hand function.

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Ligament and Soft Tissue Injuries of Wrist and Hand Ligament and Soft Tissue Injuries of Wrist and Hand