Hand Infections In Sports Injuries

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sports injuries and infections

We tend to focus on the big traumatic stuff when discussing about sports injury. Examples include fractures, broken bones, dislocations, torn ligaments or massive swellings. Players of physical contact sports then to brush off minor injuries. After all, isn’t discipline and perseverance part of the game?

As a result, we tend to overlook hand infections. This is particularly so for lacerations (cuts and grazes), and for contact sports, bite wounds are not uncommon.


Cuts and grazes to the hands and fingers are a common occurrence in sports. This is a result of accidental contact with equipment, playing surfaces, and between players or participants.

All cuts and grazes have the potential to become infected and should therefore be taken seriously.

Standard practice would be to wash and clean all cuts and grazes hygienically with antiseptic solution. Monitor it carefully for a number of days for any signs of infection.

If an infection develops the following signs symptoms may be present:

  • severe , throbbing pain
  • fever
  • movement of fingers reduced with pain
  • swelling and redness in the hand

If two or more of the above signs and symptoms are present, the risk of an infection is high and you should immediately report to the nearest doctor or hospital.

Bite Wounds

A particularly dangerous wound is the skin of the hand being broken by human teeth. Human saliva contains high levels of bacteria. Therefore, always presume that these injuries are contaminated. A punch to the mouth or a bite wound can cause skin to be torn.

A course of a broad spectrum anti-biotic should be administered by a doctor immediately if the wound is not covered over or closed.

Why Take Infections Seriously?

Due to the continuity of tendons of the hands into the wrist and forearms, infections can spread rapidly if not treated. Consequences can be highly destructive and hand infections frequently require hospital admissions for more specific anti-biotic therapy and or surgical intervention. In serious cases the tissue can become necrotic and die.

So please do take these sometimes rather innocuous and minor wounds seriously and seek medical treatment immediately if required.