Common Finger Injuries in Netball

Netball, being one of the most popular organised sports in Victoria, is unfortunately the culprit for a significant number of finger injuries seen by us at Peninsula Hand Therapy.

Have you ever thought “It’s just a jarred finger, it’ll be okay” and 6 weeks later it is still sore?

We very often hear this from our sporty clients after a ball injury. It is important to know that delayed  treatment of a sporting injury often can result in chronic instability & pain, deformity and even early arthritis.

What to look for after a finger injury in netball:

  • Can you move the joints?
  • Is it sore to touch?
  • Is it swollen?
  • Does the joint look out of place?
  • Does the finger look rotated?

A good indication as to whether you have a fracture is swelling, bruising & pain that does not subside within 2-3 days. Fractures or ‘breaks’ in bones are not always painful. So, pain is not a reliable indication of a bone injury. Even if your x-ray shows no fracture this doesn’t mean you don’t have an injury.

Finger injuries in netball are most often a result of an impact from a ball onto the finger, however injuries also occur from a collision with another player in a contest or getting your finger caught in their bib!

Some common finger injuries include: 

  • Volar plate injury: Which is often a result from your middle finger joint being bent backwards or ‘hyperextended’. 
  • Mallet finger: This often occurs when the ball hits the top of your finger, rupturing the tendon that straightens the end joint, resulting in an inability to straighten the end of your finger.
  • Finger fractures. 
  • Joint dislocations. Dislocations are the most ‘ignored’ injury in ball sports. The injury can be compounded by an inexperienced person attempting to reduce the joint (put back into position) making the injury worse. These typically can take many months to settle down and require treatment to assess for tendon or ligament rupture and swelling can be permanent if not treated appropriately 

If you are concerned regarding your finger after having an injury at netball or any sport, we are here to help at Peninsula Hand Therapy in Mornington. We also have a secondary Hand Therapy clinic at The Sports Injury Clinic in Frankston for additional sports related concerns. 

This Blog is written by Romy Crellin one of our Hand Therapists and keen lifelong netball player.

Please call or email us, and any one of our Hand Therapists can give you advice.