Hand Dislocation


 

What is hand dislocation?

Hand dislocations occur when a force causes the bones in the fingers or wrist to move out of position. Sports, falls, job-related injuries, and motor vehicle crashes are the most common causes of hand dislocations.

What are the symptoms of a hand dislocation?

Symptoms can include deformity, extreme pain, loss of motion, and loss of sensation.  The bones may spontaneously return to position, or they may need realignment by a doctor with or without surgery.


What causes hand dislocation?

Hand dislocations cause the bones in the hand to move out of their normal position.  The bones may spontaneously return to position or they may need realignment by a doctor.  A hand dislocation may also injure the ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues.


What are the risk factors for a hand dislocation?

Hand dislocations are most commonly caused by injuries during sports, such as football, basketball, and baseball.  IP joint dislocations occur most frequently during sports. Falls on an outstretched hand are most likely to cause MCP and CMC joint dislocations.  Job-related injuries and motor vehicle crashes can also cause hand dislocations.


What are the symptoms of a hand dislocation?

A hand dislocation causes pain at the time of injury.  Your hand will be extremely painful when you attempt to move it.  You may not be able to or may have difficulty moving your hand. Your hand may bruise, swell, or feel numb.  Displaced bones may cause your hand to look odd or crooked.

How is hand dislocation diagnosed?

Your doctor can identify a hand dislocation by reviewing your medical history and examining your hand.  You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how your injury occurred. X-rays can show the dislocation and possible associated fractures.


What is the treatment for hand dislocation?

Some joint dislocations may correct themselves spontaneously.  Other joints may need to be moved back in place by a doctor in a procedure called a closed reduction.  The procedure is termed “closed” because the skin on the hand does not need to be surgically opened to realign the joints.


When is Surgery needed for hand dislocation?

Open reduction surgery is used for joints that cannot be realigned with closed reduction methods.  In many cases, ligaments or tendons are trapped in the joint and obstruct closed reduction attempts.  Open reduction surgery is used to remove the trapped tissues and realign the joints.

What is recovery like after a hand dislocation?

Splinting and hand therapy usually will follow closed or open reduction of hand dislocations.  The recovery process is different for everyone and depends on many factors including the location of your dislocation and the type of treatment you received.  Recovery can take many weeks. Your doctor will let you know what to expect.

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