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80-percent of patients with finger injuries will not need surgery according to Dr. Rowena McBeath, a hand surgeon at St. Mary Health in Langhorne. She says many of the injuries will improve with time and physical therapy. You should watch for finger, wrist and hand injuries this time of year, they are much more common now as we head out to play ball, work in the yard or simply enjoy the warmer weather and all the available activities.

Dr. McBeath urges patients to look at their bodies and listen to them when deciding if an injury requires medical attention. An injured finger, hand or wrist will swell and there will be pain. Normally, both can be handled with ice, splints and anti-inflammatory medications. But, if the pain and swelling are worse than expected, last longer, or the pain is more intense than you would expect, see a doctor. If the finger or wrist is pointed at an odd angle or in the wrong direction, Dr. McBeath says you should see a doctor immediately.

(Credit: St. Mary) Many patients will be given exercises to do at home and may need to visit a physical therapist. She says those exercises will help improve strength, mobility and fine motor skills, while reducing stiffness in the joint. Once the joint is healed, it won’t automatically be susceptible to future injuries, but could be plagued by arthritis years from now.