Both highly-trained athletes and weekend warriors have the potential to injure themselves while engaged in conditioning and sports. Even experienced athletes can have a difficult time knowing the extent of an injury due to many symptoms overlapping in a variety of conditions. For this reason, it is vital to see an experienced sports medicine hand surgeon like Dr. Mark Pruzanksy or Dr. Jason Pruzansky.
Located in Manhattan, HandSport Surgery Institute is a New York-based practice. Dr. Mark Pruzansky and Dr. Jason Pruzansky are pioneers of hand, wrist, and elbow surgery. Our surgeons specialize in sports injuries to the hand, wrist, and elbow as one of the country’s leading practices for minimally invasive surgery. Choose the leading hand and wrist surgery group in New York City and see the difference it can make for you.
Sports Injuries Treated at HandSport Surgery Institute
Most sports injuries are a direct result of overuse or direct impact by a greater force than the extremity can structurally withstand. Other times, sports injuries occur due to poor training practices, or improper body mechanics. Faulty, or inadequate gear, can also contribute to an athlete’s injury.
There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic. An injury that occurs suddenly is known as an acute injury. Chronic injuries are caused by way of repeated injury and overuse of the muscle groups or joints. Poor technique or improper gear can also contribute to the development of acute and chronic injuries.
Mallet Finger, commonly known as Baseball Finger, is a deformity to the finger caused by damage to the tendon that straightens the finger. This commonly occurs when an object, such as a ball, strikes the tip of the finger.
A Boxer’s Fracture involves a break of the 5th metacarpal bones near the knuckle of the hand. It may also involve the 4th metacarpal of the hand. Symptoms often include pain and a depression in the affected knuckle.
Boxer’s Knuckle is an injury to the first knuckle of the finger, which is also known as the metacarpophalangeal joint. This may involve the skin, extensor tendon, ligaments, joint cartilage, and the metacarpal head. It is usually experienced by boxer’s when they mishit an object with excessive force.
Jersey Finger is an injury to the tendon that may occur in athletes when grabbing the jersey of another player, usually the ring finger. Prompt treatment may reduce the loss of flexion at the end of the finger.
Tennis Elbow is a common term for an overuse injury to the outer elbow which relates to excessive extension of the wrist.
Little Leaguer’s Elbow
Little Leaguer’s Elbow is an injury to the growth plate of the inner aspect of the humerus by the elbow. This is caused by repetitive overload stress, which leads to inflammation and injury of this growth plate.
A tendon rupture is a condition where the tendon partially or completely separates from the bone it is connected to. Some of the most commonly treated types of this condition are: biceps tendon ruptures, distal biceps tendon ruptures, triceps tendon ruptures, and finger flexor tendon ruptures. A tendon rupture is a serious condition that causes pain, bruising, inability to move the affected area, and possible deformity of the area.
Whenever someone is physically active or plays a sport, they are at risk for a common injury known as a laceration. Any open wound is considered a laceration, but the depth and severity of lacerations can vary. Deep lacerations can cut through not only the top layers of the skin, but also the muscle, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and bones underneath. Some of the most common causes of lacerations include injury from contact with a sharp object, impact injuries from blunt objects, impact injuries from force, falls, and contact with equipment, like ice skates. Since lacerations can seriously affect your fingers, hand, wrist, and elbow, it is important to schedule an examination with an expert to maximize your outcome.
While many people focus on injuries like fractures and lacerations when they think of sports injuries, nerve conditions can also develop as a result of playing a sport. While playing a sport, factors like pressure, stretching, and even other injuries like fractures can cause a nerve injury to develop. While some nerve injuries may improve with conservative treatment, some nerve injuries may require surgery. Some of the most common sports-related nerve injuries include:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition caused by swollen finger flexor tendons. Most cases are due to congenital predisposition. Trauma may inflame the tendons as well. This condition develops when the median nerve gets compressed at the wrist, which is common for many athletes. In baseball, the wrist is put under a lot of pressure during catching. Gymnasts can develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of weight-bearing, extension, and repeated stress put upon this joint. Athletes who develop carpal tunnel will notice the same symptoms as other individuals who develop this condition, including tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain. While many athletes can treat this condition with rest, NSAIDs, steroid injections, and physical therapy, some may need surgery.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is another common nerve injury that athletes may develop. This condition occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed or irritated. Since the ulnar nerve passes through a groove behind the elbow’s inner part, the nerve can move out of its groove and become irritated. Like other nerve injuries, symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and muscle mass loss. At Handsport Surgery Institute, surgery is not our first choice whenever possible. Conservative treatments like splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and physical therapy may help. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to decompress the nerve.
Bike and Electric Scooter Injuries
Dr. Mark Pruzansky and Dr. Jason Pruzansky treat a high volume of patients who have experienced an injury from riding their bike or electric scooter. Even with protective equipment, it is still possible to take a bad fall or get into an accident that causes injury to the fingers, hand, wrist, and elbow. Whether you ride a vespa, trike, motorbike, electric two-wheeler, full-sized or compact electric bikes, mountain bike, fixed gear bike, cruiser, electric or kick scooter, you may be at risk for hand fractures and the following injuries:
Distal Radioulnar Joint (DRUJ) Injuries
A synovial joint between the outer ends of the radius and ulna bones, this joint provides movement and stability in the wrist, making it prone to sports injuries. Dislocations and fractures of this joint are commonly caused by direct trauma or falling on an outstretched hand (FOOSH), such as in sports like biking, skiing, gymnastics, baseball, or football. Depending on the severity of the injury, the radius and ulna bones may also have fractured. Though a dislocation is more uncommon than a distal radioulnar joint dislocation, it is essential to work with an expert wrist surgeon to diagnose the injury and create an appropriate treatment plan.
When riding a bike or scooter, riders are at risk for injuring their fingers should they fall or get caught in the mechanics of their equipment. The most common finger injuries associated with riding bikes and scooters of any sort are fractures, dislocations, and lacerations. Sprains are another common finger injury that can occur as a result of a biking or scooter accident. Sprains occur when the ligaments that connect and support the finger bones are injured. Finger sprains are associated with pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Since many of the symptoms of finger injuries are similar, people with finger injuries may not realize their condition’s severity. It is important to work with an expert to determine if the finger is broken, dislocated, or if the laceration needs stitches.
Metacarpal and Metacarpal Phalangeal Joint Injuries
The metacarpals are the five bones of your hand, between your fingers and wrist. Metacarpal fractures comprise between 18-44% of all hand fractures, making it important to work with an expert hand surgeon. Maximizing your outcome should be top-of-mind. Inadequately treated metacarpal injuries could cause lasting pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion. Metacarpal phalangeal joint injuries, like skier’s thumb, can also develop as a result of a biking or scooter accident. Falling off a bike or scooter and trying to catch yourself with your hands (FOOSH) can cause severe injuries to the metacarpals, which can be fractured when the hand meets a great deal of force.
Scaphoid Fractures and Wrist Ligament Injuries
Riding a bike or scooter can predispose you to injuring your wrist, especially the scaphoid. Your wrist consists of eight small bones, known as the carpal bones. The scaphoid plays an important function in stabilizing the wrist and connecting the two “rows” of the carpal bones. Overextending your wrist, such as when you fall on an outstretched hand, can injure the wrist and scaphoid. In many cases, a scaphoid or other carpal fracture is associated with pain and swelling. This causes some athletes to misinterpret the severity of their injury and delay treatment. It is important to get an examination from an expert wrist surgeon to determine the type of wrist injury you have and which treatments are most appropriate to maximize your outcome.
Wrist sprains are also common for bike and scooter riders. If a fracture is avoided, it is important to work with an expert wrist surgeon to look for triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tears. TFCC tears destabilize the radius and ulna, making the individual more prone to other injuries. Injuries to the ligaments can be especially troublesome. The scapholunate interosseous ligaments, which connect the scaphoid and lunate bones of the wrist, are commonly injured as well. As the scapholunate interosseous ligament is essential to supporting the wrist, it is essential for riders to seek treatment as soon as possible after a wrist injury.
The elbow is a hardy joint, but that doesn’t mean that it is impervious to injury from biking and riding a scooter. In fact, injuries like golfers or tennis elbow can develop from bike riding. At first, bikers may notice joint or tendon stiffness, severe soreness, or tense muscles affecting their elbow. While these symptoms can improve on their own, it is important to work with an expert to determine if physical therapy, rest, or adjustments to your riding style are needed.
Many elbow injuries from biking and riding scooters are overuse injuries, as the elbows are used to stabilize the rider and keep their equipment running on the right course. Fractures and dislocations may also occur as a result of bicycle and scooter accidents affecting the elbow. While surgery is not a first-line of treatment when possible, only an expert elbow surgeon can determine the best treatment option on a case-by-case basis.
If You Believe You Have a Sports Injury, Contact HandSport Surgery Institute
Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. People experiencing basketball injuries should be evaluated to optimize performance to reduce the possibility of further injury and mobility issues.
If you have been injured, it’s important to be evaluated by a highly skilled professional. Call Dr. Mark Pruzansky and Dr. Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment, obtain an accurate diagnosis, and begin recovery after your hand, wrist, or elbow injury.