6. Hand and Wrist
Another area that may be affected during a fall is the hand and wrist. This is usually the result of a fall onto an outstretched hand, or a falling mechanism involving twisting the hand and wrist around the ski pole.
There are a number of different injuries that may occur to this region, but the two most common ones are a fracture of the scaphoid and an injury to the Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC).
A scaphoid fracture will result in pain on the thumb side of the wrist, often with accompanying swelling and a loss of grip strength. Any injury resulting in pain in this region must be x-rayed asap, as this poor management can lead to failed healing, as well as other complications such as osteonecrosis (breakdown of the bone). If the x-ray is negative, MRI should be performed to assess for ligament damage.
Treatment for a stable scaphoid fracture involves 8 weeks in a cast. More complicated fractures require surgery.
The TFCC is complex of cartilage, meniscus, ligaments and a tendon sheath, and is prone to injury with excessive rotational forces through the wrist. A TFCC injury will present with pain on the pinky side of the wrist, and may be accompanied by clicking. An MRI is the gold standard for imaging this type of injury. Less severe TFCC injuries can be braced for pain relief, and a return to skiing with the brace on may be possible after 4-6 weeks, More severe TFCC injuries, particularly those involving the deeper fibers of the complex, will require surgical debridement, making an in-season return unlikely.
If you have suffered a hand or wrist injury on the slopes then contact us now and let us help guide you on the path to recovery.