Tendon and Ligaments are made of largely the same stuff and differ only in their purpose, while tendons connect muscles to bones, ligaments connect bones to one another and work to create stability and support. Injuries in the hands and wrist can occur due to trauma, overuse, overexertion and repetitive strain. Damage to this type of tissue can result in pain, swelling and limited mobility.
Skier’s Thumb: Skier’s thumb is an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in the thumb, typically caused by a forceful outward movement of the thumb. This injury can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty gripping objects.
Wrist Sprain: A wrist sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the wrist, usually caused by a fall or impact to the wrist. This injury can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
Scapholunate Ligament Injury: The scapholunate ligament connects the scaphoid bone to the lunate bone in the wrist. Injuries to this ligament can cause wrist pain, swelling, and instability.
TFCC Injury: The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) is a group of ligaments and cartilage in the wrist that help to stabilize the joint. Injuries to the TFCC can cause pain, swelling, and limited wrist mobility.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition that affects the tendons in the thumb, usually caused by overuse. This injury can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the thumb and wrist.
Trigger Finger: Trigger finger is a condition that affects the tendons in the fingers, causing them to become inflamed and swollen. This injury can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the affected finger.
Tendinitis: Tendinitis is a condition that affects the tendons in the wrist, usually caused by overuse or repetitive strain. This injury can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
Extensor and Flexor Tendon Injuries: Trauma or laceration to the back of the hand cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving.
Tendon and ligament injury present with similar symptoms and can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury, some common symptoms include:
Pain: It may be sharp or dull, and can be localized to the affected area or radiate throughout.
Swelling: Swelling is a common symptom of a tendon or ligament injury. It may be accompanied by redness and warmth in the affected area.
Stiffness: Stiffness in the affected area can make it difficult to move the affected limb.
Weakness: Weakness in the affected limb can make it difficult to perform certain activities.
Instability: Instability in the affected joint or limb may be a symptom of a more severe tendon or ligament injury.
Popping or Snapping Sensation: Some people may experience a popping or snapping sensation at the time of injury, which may indicate a tear or rupture of the tendon or ligament.
Limited Range of Motion: Limited range of motion in the affected joint or limb can be a symptom of a tendon or ligament injury.
The treatment for a tendon or ligament injury depends on the severity and location of the injury. In general, the following treatments may be recommended:
Rest: Avoid any activities that cause pain or discomfort in the affected area.
Ice: Apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to reduce swelling and pain.
Compression: Wrap the affected area with an elastic bandage to reduce swelling.
Elevation: Elevate the affected area above heart level to reduce swelling.
Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can recommend exercises to improve range of motion and strength in the affected area.
Immobilization: In some cases, a brace or cast may be necessary to immobilize the affected area and allow it to heal.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the tendon.