Dr. Mark E. Pruzansky
Dr. Jason S. Pruzansky
975 Park Avenue New York, NY 10028

Zen Do Kai

What are Zen Do Kai Injuries?

Zen Do Kai is a freestyle martial art that originated in Australia. This sport utilizes elements of self-defense, kata, and strike work. Zen Do Kai places an emphasis on grabs and holds in close physical combat with ground fighting techniques. It has a high potential for injury.

Types of Zen Do Kai Injuries

Contact sports injuries are common in Zen Do Kai due to the emphasis on grabs, holds, and other techniques that involve close physical quarters. Injuries to the hand, wrist, and elbow are common due to the degree and nature of physical contact. These injuries include:

  • Bennett’s Fracture: fracture of the intra articular base of the first metacarpal bone.
  • Boxer’s Fracture: a break in the neck of the metacarpal, usually the fifth.
  • Carpal Instability: loss of normal alignment of the carpal bones due to ligament injury.
  • Extensor carpi ulnaris tendinitis: inflammation of the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon on the pinky side of the wrist.
  • Scapho-Lunate Dissociation and Perilunate dislocation:  Severe ligamentous disruptions with significant consequences to wrist and hand function.
  • Sagittal band and extensor aponeurosis injuries: traumatic extensor tendon sublimation or dislocation.
  • Elbow fracture: damage to the olecranon.
  • Interphalangeal joint dislocation: dislocation of the phalanges of the fingers.
  • Phalangeal fracture: finger fractures/dislocations.
  • Triangular Fibrocartilage Tear: Instability of the distal radioulnar joint

Characteristics and Clinical Presentation of Zen Do Kai Injuries

Pain, swelling, and bruising are common in the affected area. Additional pain is reported when lifting, twisting, or otherwise gripping with the affected arm. A prompt physical examination to diagnose the extent of the injury is recommended.

Symptoms may include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Bruising
  • Decreased range of motion

Causes of Zen Do Kai Injuries Injuries

Due to the high contact nature of the sport, injuries occur due to improper body mechanics combined with sudden and forceful physical impact.

Injuries involving the arm are common, especially during movements requiring moderate to high physical force. Twisting and hyperextension injuries may involve bones, ligaments, and tendons. Joints are particularly vulnerable.

Getting a Diagnosis for Zen Do Kai Injuries

Most injuries show their presence with swelling, deformity at the region, bruising, stiffness or diminished feeling and weakness. X-rays help to determine the severity of injury to bones or ligaments.

Patients may believe an injury has resolved itself if pain is intermittent. Prompt medical evaluation by a skilled hand surgeon generally leads to a more favorable recovery.

Treatment Options for Zen Do Kai Injuries

Fractures that have moved out of place may sometimes be pushed back to where they belong  (reduced) and held in place with a splint or cast as well. Unstable fractures or cases involving joint disruption sometimes require surgery to optimize recovery and minimize future pain and arthritis.  

Surgery in some instances involves examining the joint through an arthroscope (a small video camera) that allows direct visualization of the joint surface to assist with accurate reduction of the fracture, and assessment and treatment of ligament injuries.

Conservative Treatments

Conservative treatment techniques treatments include occupational and physical therapy, or immobilizing the wrist or fingers for ligament healing. Rest and icing the affected region may be beneficial in reducing pain and discomfort. Older and more complex injuries may require arthroscopic or minimally invasive surgery to optimize recovery.

Surgical Treatments

Common Zen Do Kai injuries include fractures and dislocations of the carpometacarpal joints.  Extensor tendons and their supporting ligaments – the sagittal bands – are often torn as well, necessitating splinting and sometimes surgical repair.

If you suspect a fracture or dislocation, you should seek immediate medical intervention from a skilled hand surgeon for optimal recovery.

Preventing an Injury while Zen Do Kai

Many injuries can be prevented with proper body mechanics, technique, and form. Practice and knowing one’s limits are essential. Patients with previous injuries may be more susceptible to sustaining future injuries in the same region

Prognosis for Zen Do Kai Injuries

Most injuries heal quickly with basic techniques including rest, taping, and splinting. Occupational and physical therapy often follow. Complex bony and ligamentous injuries may require surgical repair followed by physical therapy.

Prompt medical intervention for injuries sustained in Zen Do Kai is best not only in acute injuries but also in cases of lingering injuries.

If You Believe You Have a Zen Do Kai Injury Contact HandSport Surgery Institute

Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. People who have Zen Do Kai injuries should be evaluated for treatment and 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 Drs. Mark and Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment and obtain an accurate diagnosis.