Symptoms and Signs of Hand Injuries

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 7/15/2022

Doctor's Notes on Hand Injuries

Hand injuries are traumatic injury to any of the structures in the hand, such as bones, tendons, joints, nerves, or soft tissues. Hand injuries may arise due to numerous causes including falls, accidents, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, or repetitive use injury. Some types of hand injury include carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures of bone, joint damage, sprains, and strains.

Signs and symptoms of hand injuries depend upon the cause of the injury and its severity. Pain is typically present and may be mild to severe. Symptoms can include

  • deformity of the hand, 
  • bleeding,
  • bruising,
  • damage to the skin,
  • swelling,
  • redness, or
  • warmth.

Other associated symptoms can include

  • numbness,
  • tingling,
  • pain when moving the joints,
  • limited range of motion or immobility, or
  • inability to use the hand.

What is the treatment for hand injury?

Treatment for hand injuries depends both on the location and the severity of the injury, including whether other structures are also injured. Treatments may include:

  • Resting and elevating the affected area
  • Icing the area to reduce inflammation
  • Splinting or casting 
  • Reduction of bone fractures or dislocations
  • Surgery, in certain cases
  • Pain control medications
  • Antibiotics if infection is suspected (such as with an open wound)
  • Suturing to repair cuts or gashes
  • Drainage of abscesses or localized infections

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.