Hand and wrist injuries in combat sports.
The purpose of the following article is to review the most common injury patterns relating to the wrist and hand district in the context of Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and combat sports in general mainly due to the use of non-protective (gloves) adequate that neglect the studies related to the protection and the protective capacity of the same towards the sportsman who uses them.
It is a research that is also useful for those approaching the world of combat sports for the first time, in order to better understand the dynamics of these injuries and the strategies for their prevention. In fact we will see how there are important differences between professionals and amateurs.
Research on this SPORTS discipline has never investigated sufficiently the specific stresses that impacts cause to the human body nor on possible injuries, which include ligament injuries (injuries of the triangular fibro-cartilage complex, rupture of the scapholunate ligament, volar plate tears and capsular lesions) and skeletal injuries (metacarpal fractures or scaphoid fractures).
Using a glove adequately designed for the quality of the padding, for the correct positioning of the hand with an adequate closure for the protection of the wrist and the application of a protective bandage, following a correct warm-up phase, is the only way to prevent damage and injury to those who use it.
Focusing on injuries related to the practice of combat sports, the first important distinction must be made between ligament and skeletal injuries, not only for their anatomical difference but mainly for their etiology. In fact, while bone structures are more involved in high-level athletes, ligament structures are more involved in beginners.
This statement comes from our experience evaluating fighters practicing Boxing, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai and MMA
Below is the origin of the main injuries and the description of the role of the PRIMO glove as a preventive intervention:
- Lesion of the triangular fibrocartilage complex: this structure is a ligamentous apparatus whose role is to give stability to the distal radioulnar joint during rotational movements of the wrist (the so-called pronation and supination). During a hook or uppercut the forces of pronation and supination combined with wrist flexion could cause wrist injury.
- Scapholunate ligament injury: This injury represents the most serious ligament injury for a fighter. This ligament is one of the most important in maintaining wrist strength and stability. It connects the scaphoid and lunate which, together with the second carpal row, allows for flexion and extension of the wrist, as well as radial and ulnar deviation, and also supports all forces during the execution of a punch.
The PRIMO glove, following numerous studies on the dynamics of the injury, is equipped with double corrective splints and double band closure positioned on the wrist which prevent this type of injury.
- Lesion of the volar plate: the volar plate is a strong elastic structure located at the level of the interphalangeal joints, on the volar side, which has the function of limiting the excessive extension of the aforementioned joints. His injury is quite rare but can happen during training, especially with the use of pads. A lesion of the volar plate may be isolated or associated with a fracture of its insertion.
The PRIMO glove, thanks to the development of a foam complex, is structured with an intelligent seven-layer padding with different densities, allows to cushion the blows by dispersing kinetic energy following the impact, so that the force of the same does not reach the hand preventing this type of injury.
- Metacarpal fracture: The fracture mainly affects the metacarpal bones and among them the fifth or fourth. The fracture site most involved or just proximal to the metacarpal head. Fractures can mainly occur from direct trauma (either by punching or protecting yourself from a punch or kick) but torsion forces applied by intrinsic muscles also play an important role in the dynamics of the injury. The force required to cause a fracture is important, this is why it is easier to cause a bone fracture during a match or sparring.
- Scaphoid fractures : Another bone that can be involved is the scaphoid. This bone is extremely important as it accounts for 60% of the radiocarpal joint through a higher load bearing area during punch impact. Due to its peculiar characteristics (80% of the bone is covered by cartilage with poor vascularization) a fracture is sometimes difficult to detect at the first radiological evaluation.
The PRIMO glove, with its already mentioned internal splints for the wrist, creates an additional protective barrier from shocks such as blows and kicks, which can create fractures to the bone structures in the wrist area.