14 December 2023

Updates & Communications
December 2023

  • What's New This Month:
  • Word from Jen
  • Dunking on a Basketball Ring: Understanding the Risk of Avulsion FDP Tendon Injuries
  • Preventive Measures


Jennifer Mathias
MHT Director
Senior Clinician

Our team are filling up fast with as we head into the Christmas period. While we will remain open through the Christmas period, appointments will be hard to come by, so don’t delay in booking.

A reminder about our modified opening hours over the New Year period
Monday 25th December - CLOSED
Tuesday 26th December - CLOSED

Wednesday 27th-Friday 29th - OPEN
Monday 1st January - CLOSED
Tuesday 2nd-Friday 5th January - OPEN and resuming normal staffing and operating hours!

  • What's New This Month:
  • Word from Jen
  • Dunking on a Basketball Ring: Understanding the Risk of Avulsion FDP Tendon Injuries
  • Preventive Measures

A big congratulations to three of our therapists who successfully passed one of the exams that forms part of their AHTA full hand therapy accreditation. This was the Closed Trauma course. Well done Lucy, Jaime and Morgan.

This month we farewell Lucy Barrett who has been with MHT over the previous two years. Lucy has decided to relocate back to her home town in Perth and we are sad to see her go.

I was motivated to write the following article as my son told me he was practicing his ability to dunk the basketball. All I could think of was him injuring his hand so I hope he reads this newsletter!

Dunking on a Basketball Ring:Understanding the Risk of Avulsion FDP Tendon Injuries

Dunking in basketball is a thrilling maneuver that showcases an individual's athleticism and vertical prowess. However, the dynamic nature of dunking comes with risks, particularly the potential for avulsion injuries to the Flexor Digitorum Profundus (FDP) tendon in the fingers.

The hand is a complex structure comprised of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The FDP tendon is a critical component responsible for flexing the distal interphalangeal joints (DIP joints), allowing individuals to make intricate finger movements. This tendon runs along the palmar side of the hand, connecting the forearm muscles to the bones in the fingers.

The FDP tendon plays a crucial role in finger flexion (bending), enabling individuals to perform activities that require a strong grip, such as grasping objects, holding onto a basketball, or rockclimbing. Any damage to this tendon can significantly impact a person's ability to control and manipulate their fingers.

There are risks of Dunking on a Basketball Ring....there is the forceful impact and hyperextension particularly if the player hangs on the rim which can lead to hyperextension of the DIP joints, putting stress on the FDP tendon. There is the abrupt deceleration which occurs as the players descend from a dunk placing additional strain on the fingers and tendons. This sudden change in motion, especially when coupled with the weight of the body, increases the risk of avulsion injuries to the FDP tendon - which is where the tendon is pulled away from the bone at its attachment taking a small chunk of bone with it.

There is also the incorrect grip technique such as using only a few fingers or not distributing the force evenly, which can concentrate stress on specific areas of the hand. This concentration of force may contribute to the tearing or avulsion of the FDP tendon.

Lastly overuse and repetitive stress which is particularly an issue without adequate rest and recovery, and can subject the FDP tendon to repetitive stress.

Preventive Measures

  • Hand and Finger Strengthening Exercises
  • Proper Grip Technique Training
  • Gradual Progression which allows players to build strength and adapt to the physical demands over time
  • Warm-up and Stretching

For more information and specific advice please make an appointment with one of our senior therapists.

For those of you celebrating Hanukkah, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah. For those of you celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas. For everyone, Happy New Year! May 2024 bring you all peace and health.

What patients are saying

“Great prompt service. Jaime is an excellent OT Hand Therapist. Reception also very good service.”

“Going to Hand Therapy was a great experience for me as the therapist was ever so kind and understanding of my pain in my arm and came up with a solution straight away. She also assured me I could go back any time if my arm was still hurting.”
Judith S

“Friendly, I love Jana , her hands liked magic, my hand feel so good, the works that she does for my hands very helpful, She is very professional ❤️❤️”
Grace O

“Alison was attentive and explained how to undertake exercises and use hand splint very well.”
Adrian S

“Extremely helpful hand therapist Jana. Had 3 visits and pain is subsiding.”
Jennifer A

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