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Multiple Complications from a Finger Fracture
in a Basketball Player

A Case Study with Implications for the Sports Medicine Practitioner

By Stephen Hajdas | Mentor: Kristen Schellhase

Abstract

Minor finger and hand problems resulting from NCAA Division-1 Basketball competition are fairly common. True injuries— those requiring removal from participation— are rare, as suggested by injury surveillance and epidemiological data. The objective of this study is to present the case of multiple complications resulting from an original finger dislocation and fracture. Improper fracture healing led to tendon imbalances, causing finger angulation. The extended period of time the finger was deformed further resulted in osteoarthritis (progressive wearing down of the cartilage and bones that comprise a joint). Severe complications stemming from the original injury occur infrequently in the general population and are virtually unheard of in the athletic population. Seemingly routine or inconsequential finger injuries may produce serious, permanent, and uncorrectable damage. Sports medicine practitioners should be familiar with the effects of injury on surrounding small and large tissue structures to provide optimal intervention and patient understanding. This knowledge will increase treatment compliance, preventing severe complications or permanent dysfunction.

Introduction