Ortho Hand Exam

Hand injuries are the most common type of injury treated in an emergency department, and make up more than 12% of all trauma cases in the US (Maroukis et al). Having a good understanding of the anatomy and key landmarks is paramount for a medic, or any other medical provider, responsible for providing emergency care.

Despite the need to accurately describe hand injuries, many practitioners struggle in this skill. However, with a good understanding of some key terms, any medic could easily describe an injury to a medical provider over the phone or radio. In fact, a good grasp of this topic is so rare that I believe this video would also be good for a medical resident. I can count many times that even an Emergency Room physician described the wrong terms or landmarks for a hand injury to me over the phone (when I worked for an orthopedic trauma service). To be fair, I struggled also prior to working in orthopedics- this topic is just not taught much in medical programs. But this stuff isn’t that hard once you familiarize yourself with the topic. I tried to keep it informal and short in my 5 minute video below. Future videos may involve some teaching on some procedures that medics can learn and perform themselves in the field- stay tuned.


Check out the Orthobullets.com Hand Trauma dashboard for links to all sorts of hand injury information, if you are interested in learning more. This site was created by ortho residents- its a great resource. Check it out here.

Published by Medic Mentor

An Army PA seeking to share knowledge and skills to medics in order to better prepare them for the next fight, and to bridge the gap between future expectations and initial entry training. These posts are samples of similar training I share with my own medics, and are made available here to a wider audience. I am no expert. There are others more qualified, I'm sure. I am simply looking to contribute. Feel free to provide feedback and leave comments to help others.

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