Jersey Finger, also called a flexor digitorum profundus tendon injury, is one of many common injuries to the flexor tendons of the hand. The flexor tendons are located on the palm side of the hand and control the hand’s bending of the thumb and fingers. Jersey finger typically occurs in athletes who play tackling sports such as football, rugby or wrestling. Even rock climbers can suffer this condition. Commonly the injury occurs when one player’s finger catches on another player’s jersey and the tendon gets pulled from the bone. Almost 75 percent of jersey finger injuries occur in the ring finger, the weakest finger. While athletes are likely to suffer jersey finger, many patients have the condition and have no memory of the traumatic event that caused their jersey finger. This is because the flexor tendons can become weakened due to certain health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Dr. Urbanosky will perform a thorough physical examination of the hand when diagnosing jersey finger. Some of the signs and symptoms she will look for include:
In addition to checking for the ability to bend the injured finger, Dr. Urbanosky will likely test to determine whether there have been injuries to blood vessels or nerves in the hand. She may also request an X-ray to look for bone damage.
Patients with flexor tendon injuries, such as jersey finger, should seek immediate treatment from a skilled hand injury surgeon such as Dr. Urbanosky. Time truly is of the essence, as misdiagnosed or delayed treatment for jersey finger can cause deformity and long-term dysfunction. Tendons completely separated from the bone typically cannot be healed through splinting. Surgery is required. The sooner the out-patient surgery is performed, the better the result. Typically, Dr. Urbanosky will perform the surgery within 7 to 10 days of the injury. In cases where blood flow is being stemmed, she will schedule surgery immediately.
If you think that you may be experiencing Jersey Finger, contact Dr. Leah Urbanosky for a consultation: (815) 462-3474.
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