Football season has begun and it’s time to get in on the fun! While most of us are aware of and take precautions against serious injuries that can occur on the football field, hand injuries are often overlooked. Did you know that 48% of football injuries involve fingers? Here are the most common football hand injuries that could put you on the side lines
Mallet finger: A tendon injury that prevents active straightening of the finger. If the tendon is partially injured, the condition may improve with splinting. Surgical repair may be required if the tendon is completed severed from the fingertip. Either way, this type of injury should be medically evaluated as soon as possible.
Jersey finger: A tendon injury that prevents active bending of the finger. It is caused by deep cuts that injure the tendon as well as surrounding blood vessels and nerves. Surgical repair and physical therapy is usually required to regain motion in the finger.
Jammed finger: An injury that occurs to the middle joint of your finger which is caused by direct force on the tip of the finger. Hand tendons, ligaments, and bones may be injured. Early diagnosis and treatment by your doctor is important to prevent any permanent deformity.
Boxer’s fracture: A fracture near the small finger area of your fist, usually caused by punching a hard surface (probably in frustration). Any time a fracture is suspected, you must consult a doctor as soon as possible.
In a retrospective study of injuries that occurred during 10 football seasons between 1996 and 2005, a total of 1385 hand injuries were documented. Of these injuries, 48% involved the fingers, 30% involved the first ray (thumb and 1st metacarpal bone), and 22% involved the hand. The study showed that offensive and defensive linesman were most likely to sustain hand injuries. Injuries of the thumb and 1st metacarpal occurred in those playing defensive secondary positions. Finger injuries were sustained most often by wide receivers and secondary defensive players.
Depending on the type of position you play, these statistics give you an idea of what kind of hand injuries you need to watch out for. Stay safe and have a great game!