Sports Injuries of Finger Joints

We use our hands on a daily basis for activities like sports, work and taking care of errands.

As a result of using our hands daily, we are prone to getting ligament injuries, the majority being minor and asymptomatic; lasting for a week at most. Ligament tears and fractured phalanges are serious injuries. These result in symptoms of unresolved swelling and continued pain around the bruised joint for more than a week.

How to manage these injuries:

  • Cold compression
  • Rest with a splint; with little to no movement
  • Controlling swelling and pain relief with analgesics

The result of ignoring these injuries would be a permanent tightening of the joints, continued pain, swelling and loss of joint function.

To confirm these ligament injuries, an MRI scan can be carried out. A Partial ligament tear can be successfully treated with immobilization in a splint for 3 weeks.

Full ligament tears resulting in instability will require surgical repair and the contracture of the finger joint can be straightened at the same time.

Some of the sports injuries involving the fingers are illustrated here.

Unstable PIPJ due to complete tear of the radial collateral ligament

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)