Children are naturally very curious and adventurous, so they are always at great risk for bumps and bruises. Hand and wrist injuries are very common for children that play sports and are generally very active. If an injury occurs at the end of a long bone, the growth plate may be affected, and it needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
Common Hand And Wrist Injuries In Children
Fractures are prevalent in children and young teens. About 50% of boys and 25% of all girls break at least one bone before adulthood.
- Scaphoid fracture – By far, the most common wrist injury in children and adults is the scaphoid fracture. The scaphoid bone is located at the joint of the hand and wrist, and scaphoid injuries typically occur when you fall onto an outstretched hand.
From a young age, it’s your body’s instinct to reach out your hand as you fall. If your wrist bends backward due to your weight, you are at significant risk of a scaphoid injury or fracture. Severe scaphoid fractures may require wrist surgery and physical therapy.
- Metacarpal fracture – The metacarpals connect the fingers to the wrist, so a metacarpal fracture means breaking the back of your hand.
- Thumb ligament injury – The most common metacarpal injury occurs at the thumb because of its position in relation to the hand and the rest of the fingers. When the thumb ligament is stretched drastically, it can tear.
Treatment For Hand And Wrist Injuries
If your child’s hand or wrist has been injured, you can give them the best chance of recovery through proper first aid and immediate treatment. Children and adolescents can regain normal use after several weeks or months.
Every injury is different, but most of them can be treated with ice, rest, and immobilization. No matter how minor it seems, a doctor should examine any injury in the hand or wrist. Along with diagnostic x-rays, they will determine the proper treatment your child needs.
Average recovery periods for hand and wrist injuries are:
Dislocation – A dislocated finger should be buddy taped to a healthy finger for at least two weeks and then splinted for another two weeks.
Fracture – Simple fractures in the fingers will heal within six weeks. A fractured wrist can take up to 8 weeks. Recovery times are longer for fractures that need surgery.
Tendinitis – Stress injuries in the wrist will improve after two weeks of rest and occasional ice treatment.
Tendon rupture – The affected area should be in a cast for at least three weeks, and a standard rehabilitation program will last at least eight weeks.
Preventing Hand And Wrist Injuries In Children
Children need a lot of physical activity to remain happy, healthy, and engaged. Keeping them away from their favorite sport or insisting that they always stay still will not be good for them. This means that there is no real way to prevent your child from being injured.
As a parent, all you can do is be mindful of their safety as they play with their friends and train for sports. Buy them proper protective gear that fits them well, and make sure their bodies move naturally when training or playing. If your child is part of a sports league, make sure they play with and against similarly aged and sized children.
In the event of a hand and wrist injury, you should have the appropriate physician’s contact information on hand.
No matter what sport they play or their preferred after-school activity, active children are always a risk for injury. Their fingers and wrists are especially vulnerable because they can be used to brace a fall or come into contact with stray sports equipment. In the event of an emergency, it’s crucial to have a specialist’s contact information on hand.
If you are looking for an orthopedic hand specialist, North Florida Hand & Wrist Center is here for you. We have been providing the best hand and wrist care in the area since 1995. We offer same- or next-day care in the event of an emergency. If you or anyone in your household is experiencing pain in your hand, wrist, or elbow, one of our physicians can evaluate you. Contact us today!