The hands are a magnificent piece of work. Its intricate design and functional form follow the hand. However, any injury to the underlying structures of the hand can overlap with other injuries/conditions. Even the smallest hand injuries require a proper medical examination. The objective is a quick and accurate initial evaluation along with treatment. Early treatment is done quickly to minimize short and long-term effects.
The hand consists of 27 bones that include 8 bones in the wrist. If the associated structures:
The most common cause of injury/s is blunt trauma, followed by injury from a sharp object. Hand injuries are divided into categories:
Other hand injuries include:
Symptoms vary depending on the type of injury, how the injury occurred/mechanism, the depth, severity, and location. Common symptoms:
Anyone with a hand injury is recommended to call a doctor or seek medical attention. When medical attention is delayed, the possibility of worsening or creating further injuries increases. Even the smallest cut or what looks like a minor injury could require advanced treatment to prevent infection or loss of function. Any cut or laceration that requires stitches to repair should also have a medical evaluation to make sure the musculoskeletal system of the hands is functioning properly. Injuries causing the following symptoms require emergency medical attention at an emergency clinic.
A medical examination can include a medical history and physical examination.
A doctor will order X-rays after the history and physical exam if necessary. Certain injuries will require imaging to identify fractures/dislocations or to rule out foreign bodies. Many types of injuries can lead to compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is a condition in which there is swelling and an increase in pressure within a limited space or a compartment that presses on and compromises blood vessels, nerves, and/or tendons that run through that particular area. Once the immediate injury is addressed, a personalized treatment plan can be developed .to rehabilitate the hand/s to optimal function quickly
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Banting, Joshua, and Tony Meriano. “Hand Injuries.” Journal of special operations medicine: a peer-reviewed journal for SOF medical professionals vol. 17,4 (2017): 93-96.
Fuhrer, Reto et al. “Tipps und Tricks in der Behandlung offener Handverletzungen in der Notfallpraxis” [Treatment of acute injuries of the hand]. Therapeutische Umschau. Revue therapeutique vol. 77,5 (2020): 199-206. doi:10.1024/0040-5930/a001177
Harrison, BP, and M W Hilliard. “Emergency department evaluation and treatment of hand injuries.” Emergency medicine clinics of North America vol. 17,4 (1999): 793-822, v. doi:10.1016/s0733-8627(05)70098-5
MedscapeReference.com. High-Pressure Hand Injury.
MedscapeReference.com. Soft Tissue Hand Injury Differential Diagnoses.
Siotos, C et al. “Hand injuries in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of existing literature and call for greater attention.” Public health vol. 162 (2018): 135-146. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2018.05.016
WebMD.com. Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries.
The information herein on "The Hands: Injuries, Symptoms, Causes, Medical Care" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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