Soft tissue injuries to the hand are common.

Your therapist will explain the details of your specific injury with you.

Ligament injuries take 6-8 weeks to heal. It can take up to three months to return fully to all your normal activities, hobbies and sports.

The early days and weeks are a ‘window of opportunity’ to influence the healing process and optimise your recovery following the injury.

Your therapist will guide you through each phase of the healing process to optimise your recovery.

Failure to follow the advice may result in prolonged pain, stiffness and functional limitations.

  • In the early phase (day 0 – 5) it is important to allow the soft tissues to settle by following the advice below.
  • As the pain, swelling and bruising start to reduce, finger movement should gradually start to improve, this will continue to improve as you continue your exercises.
  • Once the injury has healed (6-8 weeks) you can start to increase your activities as pain allows and commence graded strengthening exercises
  • If you have any concerns about your progress after the injury please call the Therapy Department on (01935) 384358 Mon-Friday 08:30 – 4pm

Swelling

  • It is normal after an injury to have swelling
  • To reduce swelling, it is important to keep your hand elevated and avoid lowering your hand below your heart
  • As the swelling reduces it will become easier to move your finger
  • If swelling persists your finger may become stiff

To reduce swelling your therapist will select from the following list:

  • Cold therapy
  • Cohesive bandage
  • ‘Shoulder pumping’ exercises
  • Other

Protection

  • It is important to protect the injured tissues as they heal
  • Dependant on your injury neoprene ‘buddy straps’ or suitable splint may be provided. Your therapist will discuss this with you and explain how long to use them for

Exercises

  • Your therapist will advise you on which exercises to do and how often
  • It is extremely important to perform these exercise to enable your hand to heal with maximum movement
  • It is also very important to keep the rest of your arm moving

Active exercises, your therapist will select from the following list as appropriate:

  • Isolated bending and straightening of the individual finger joints
  • Hook fist, followed by straightening fingers
  • Full fist, followed by straightening fingers
  • Flat fist, followed by straightening fingers
  • From 6-8 weeks progress to add graded strengthening exercise using a sponge to resist the movements as pain allows

Activity

  • Gradually start to use your hand for light activities as it improves, avoiding sports, heavy lifting, strong gripping, pushing and pulling for at least 6 weeks.
  • Your therapist will advise you further regarding work, hobbies and sports

Wound

  • Keep wounds clean and dry. Monitor for any signs or symptoms of infection.

Ref: 16/21/126
Review: 11/23