Arterial abnormalities of the hand in athletes

Gordon W. Nuber, Walter J. McCarthy, Michael F. Schafer, James S.T. Yao, Jacob R. Suker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Vascular lesions of the hand may be seen in athletes exposed to repetitive blunt trauma. Thirteen athletes seen from 1983 to 1988 experienced symptoms related to hand ischemia. Nine were professional baseball catchers. The majority of patients complained of chronic symptoms, including cold hypersensitivity (four pa tients), finger numbness (one), finger coolness (three), and finger blanching (three). Two patients had acute symptoms with sudden posttraumatic hand ischemia with finger and palmar pain. Diagnosis was established by history and physical examination and confirmed by noninvasive testing. Testing included use of Doppler examination and cold tolerance examination with thermistors. Two athletes required angiographic eval uation because of severe ischemia and continuous pain. All patients in this group were managed nonopera tively. Those with chronic complaints were counseled regarding cold avoidance and instructed to increase their glove padding. The two patients with acute symp toms required vasodilator (papaverine chloride) infu sion, followed by intravenous heparin and dextran. All baseball catchers returned to their sport with dissipa tion of symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-523
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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