Acute hand and wrist injuries in the athlete constitute a unique orthopaedic challenge. Because of the particular demands on the athlete (e.g., financial implications, coaching and administration pressures, self-esteem issues), a specialized management approach is often necessary. Common sites of injury include the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb metacarpophalangeal joint, proximal interphalangeal joint, metacarpals and phalanges, scaphoid, hamate, and distal radius. Treatment of these injuries varies depending on the patient's age, sport, position played, and level of competition, but departures from standard practice as regards surgery, rehabilitation, and return to competition should never compromise care.

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