Sports Injuries of Finger Joints


Hand and wrist injuries make up around 25% of all sports injuries and are among the most prevalent injuries suffered by sportspeople. Hand and wrist injuries may make regular activities challenging on and off the field. Common sports where athletes can sustain these injuries include:

  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Bowling
  • Boxing

When it comes to sports injuries, early intervention is crucial, so understanding the clinical features of these prevalent hand and wrist injuries might help you predict whether they require treatment.

We’ll go over common sports-related injuries, their origins, symptoms, and therapeutic approaches in this article.

Finger and Hand Injuries Symptoms

Unstable PIPJ due to complete tear of the radial collateral ligament

Symptoms of an injured finger or hand are difficult to ignore. The symptoms of finger injuries might help you distinguish between various types and determine whether to seek treatment. The following are the most prevalent symptoms of hand and finger injuries:

  • Hand or wrist pain
  • Loss of finger mobility
  • Restricted hand and wrist movement
  • Soft tissue swelling
  • Hand weakness
  • Deformity
  • Signs of bruising


Finger and Hand Injuries Diagnosis

Because there are so many different finger and hand injuries, your doctor will begin with a physical examination. 

  • They’ll look at your injured finger to see how well you can move it.
  • The doctor will assess the grade of power in your fingers and hands.
  • Look for visible and superficial indications of injuries.

Your physician will also:

  • Inquire into your medical history.
  • Inquire about how and when you hurt your finger or hand.
  • If they suspect a fracture or significant damage, they could request an x-ray or other radiological study.


Sports-Related Injuries

The following are common sports injuries of the finger joints:

Boxer’s Fracture

Boxers who do not use boxing gloves or punch with poor technique are more likely to suffer from this catastrophic hand injury. The bones of the knuckles (metacarpophalangeal joint) shatter as a result of this injury. This is an accident that necessitates an immediate visit to the hospital.

Finger Jams

This condition is also known as “basketball finger.” However, it can occur during any sports activity which involves the hand coming in contact with a ball. 

Severity can range from a simple hand sprain or dislocation that you can repair by tugging on the finger to a more significant dislocation or fracture.

Finger Fracture

A finger fracture occurs when one or more of the three phalanges break. The most common cause of finger fractures is an impact or collision to the hand. 

You may experience:

  • Acute pain
  • Finger and wrist swelling 
  • Bruising that will occur soon.
  • Attempting to move your finger, which may seem distorted, will be uncomfortable.
  • The finger may be numb or tingling if there is a nerve injury.


Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, like tennis elbow, is a kind of tendonitis. The distinction is that the damaged tendon sits on the elbow’s inner side. As the name implies, this is prevalent among golfers.

Mallet Finger

Mallet finger is a condition in which the sufferer cannot extend or straighten their distal finger joint without support. The finger will be swollen and uncomfortable. It might be anything from a minor strain to the tendon being ripped away from the bone. The tendon may not sustain a tear in certain situations, but a little piece of bone may break off where the tendon is connected. It typically occurs as a result of catching your finger on something.

Wrist Fractures

Wrist fractures are prevalent in sportspeople, such as snowboarders or rollerbladers who use their hands to support themselves when falling. However, wrist fractures can occur during almost any physical activity.

Wrist Ligament Tear

Acute trauma or chronic overuse can induce a tear in the ligaments or cartilage of the wrist. A forceful fall on an extended arm that forces the wrist to bend unnaturally is the most prevalent cause. Repetitive wrist movement can cause the cartilage within to peel away from the bone as time progresses.

Scaphoid Fracture

A scaphoid fracture is an acute injury caused by fractures of one or more bones of the wrist. It usually follows falling onto an outstretched hand, putting all of the weight on the palm, and hyperextending. It is a common sports injury among football players.

Sprained finger

Finger sprains are a very prevalent type of injury. Sprained fingers are more frequent in athletes who participate in sports that involve catching or throwing balls, although they can happen to anybody. 

A blow most commonly causes sprained fingers to the end of a finger, resulting in hyperextension of the interphalangeal joints. This trauma leads to ligament injury.


Tendonitis is a frequent injury that affects athletes from all sports. Non-athletes might get tendonitis from overusing tendons in their everyday activities. Pain, swelling, and irritation of a tendon are symptoms of this condition. Overuse or beginning an activity that a tendon is not acclimated to is the most common precipitating factor.

Thumb sprain

When the thumb is twisted out of its available range of motion, generally backward, it results in a sprained thumb. This injury results when you tear ligaments that support the joint at the base of the thumb. A sprained thumb manifests as pain and swelling and typically occurs when performing sports activities such as skiing, rugby, and basketball. Taping and ice compression can provide some relief.

Proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ) fracture from cricket or basketball injury with dorsal dislocation of the pipj with a single screw fixation

Fracture base of distal phalanx typically known as mallet fracture with fixation of 2 screws to restore articulation of the DIPJ (Distal Interphalangeal Joint)


Finger and Hand Injuries Treatment


Surgical interventions depend on the type of injury. They include:

  • Closed or open reduction and fixation 
  • Tendon repair
  • Nerve repair
  • Joint replacement, etc.



When you sustain a finger or hand fracture, the initial treatments are usually rest and ice. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are another option for pain relief.

Your hand surgeon may use the following to treat your finger if it doesn’t require surgery.

  • Splint, often known as “buddy taping,” entails taping one finger to the other in order to prevent it from moving.
  • Cast
  • Brace

Your doctor may also recommend physiotherapy once your finger or hand injury has healed.


When should you go to the doctor for a finger injury?

You should see a doctor if you experience the following:

  • Pain that worsens with activity. 
  • Injury that does not improve.  
  • Associated significant finger and wrist swelling.
  • Loss of range of motion.

When it comes to injuries to the hand, prompt medical attention can reduce healing time and improve treatment outcomes.

What are common finger injuries?

Common finger injuries include hand sprain, tendonitis, ligament tears such as skier’s thumb, volar plate injury, etc.

Unstable PIPJ due to complete tear of the radial collateral ligament