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Avoid Holiday Hand Injuries

The holiday season is often filled with a whirlwind of dinners, parties, gift exchanging, and celebrating with friends, family, and co-workers. While most people enjoy the extra time spent with loved ones, festivities can be ruined by painful accidents in the kitchen or around the dinner table. According to the University of Arizona College of Nursing, burns and cuts are among the top five reasons for hospital visits during the holiday season.

But the kitchen is not the only place where hand or wrist injuries are likely to occur. Lifting heavy suitcases, operating machinery like snow plows or shoveling a driveway (when you're visiting northern family ;)), or even unpacking boxes of holiday ornaments can lead to a mishap.

Practicing these basic safety tips can help you avoid some of the most common injuries to the upper extremities:

  • Avoid or moderate alcohol intake while performing activities like decorating, shoveling, or handling kitchen utensils, especially knives

  • Always use protective gloves when handling extremely hot objects or spending time outside in the cold

  • Make sure to use proper technique when handling knives, and avoid using dull kitchen utensils for carving

  • Be sure to warm up before any strenuous lifting or repetitive activities like stringing lights

  • Wear proper footwear to help prevent falling on wet or icy surfaces

Most Common Emergency Hand Injuries

In addition to typical cuts, scrapes, and burns that are common from carving a turkey or removing a pie from a hot oven, or slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk, Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice, a hand surgeon in Phoenix, treats a number of urgent hand injuries at the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute.

  • Mobility problems in the hands, wrists, or fingers

  • Ligament tears

  • Tendon injuries

  • Nerve injuries

  • Sprains and fractures

If you are experiencing pain in your hand or upper extremity, or have an injury that may require treatment from an orthopedic surgeon, call Dr. Sagini's office at (239) 337-2003.

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