Athlete's Corner: Hand & Wrist Injuries and Youth Sports

Rough-and-tumble contact sports like football and lacrosse include an unavoidable reality: collisions.  Those collisions sometimes lead to broken bones, some of which may occur in the hand and wrist.

There are plenty of circumstances in which a broken finger necessitates proper diagnostics and professional care.  "There are a percentage of finger injuries that require very specific treatment, and timing is important.  If it's a fresh injury, we can initiate treatment immediately, and the healing is quick, effective and complete," says Dr. Matthew T. DesJardins, a board-certified, fellowship-trained Sports Medicine specialist with experience treating all athletes, from youth athletes to weekend warriors to Olympic-level competitors.  

Wrist injuries are equally common, notes Dr. DesJardins, particularly in sports that involve falls.  As athletes attempt to brace their fall using an extended hand against the turf, the wrist takes the brunt of the impact and is damaged.  The good news is that the vast majority of these injuries can be treated with casting and, in most cases, after a brief period of healing time, the athlete can safely return to the field, even while still in a cast.

"The thing I really stress to kids and parents is that not all fractures are the same.  This is why proper management and expert care is so important.  I think a simple office visit for an evaluation of an injury is really time well spent for an athlete," Dr. DesJardins says.