Sports Injuries

Posted by: Grant | 2016/06/14


Hand injury - suspected interossei bruising or strain

I was throwing a frisbee for my dog when it jumped up as I was about to release the frisbee, and my hand collided with the side of my dog's head. Although my dog felt no ill effects, my hand now hurts months after the incident. It only hurts under certain circumstances. When someone shakes my hand it is very uncomfortable, and when I play a forehand (in tennis) it is rather painful. Pronating my hand while holding a racket hurts between the knuckle of my index and middle finger. From what I can find online, I would guess it was a strain or bruising to my interossei muscles. Would you agree? I can't find any suggested treatment. I've rested my hand for 3 weeks which helped a bit, but not as much as I had hoped.

Expert's Reply


Sports Injuries Expert
- 2016/06/19

Hi Grant,

The most concerning issue about a traumatic hand/wrist injury is ruling out a potential fracture/dislocation, and whether or not there is intra-articular involvement (if a joint has been injured). Often, small bones in the hand can break or simply crack, and can take a long time to heal if not identified and treated correctly. For persistent hand pain, particularly after trauma, the first investigation would be to do an X-ray. If you had X-rays immediately after the incident, they may have been reported as normal as there was likely nothing to see. This is because the cracks are often too small to see at the time, and it can take several weeks for the healing process to become visible radiologically. That is why repeat X-rays are also done in the case of ongoing pain with previously normal scans. An interosseous muscle strain is a possibility as one can never rule out soft tissue injuries, but if it has been persisting for months, then it's unlikely to be the problem. 

The hand is a complex and necessary appendage, it's advised you see a hand specialist for a thorough examination, particularly if the pain is not responding, and there is nothing obvious found on X-rays.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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