Professional Physical Therapy’s Certified Hand Therapist, Kara Ghedina, OT, CHT weighs in on the CBS Boston article “Did LeBron James Really Play With Broken Hand? A Photographic Investigation”
Ghedina confirms that a hand injury, specifically one to a dominant hand, could greatly impact someone’s performance in any sport, but even more so in basketball. Every time a player passes, catches, or dribbles the ball, there is a force sustained by the hand. Certain injuries, such as sprains of the hand or fingers might be more acceptable to play through, and there are different types of splints and taping that can be done to ease the return to play process. However, with fractures, the force on the hand would be quite painful and could negatively impact the fracture healing process, depending on the severity and type of fracture. If athletes are playing with severe pain, chances are they’re putting themselves at risk for doing further damage, or at the very least, compromising their level of performance. A physician should always be consulted when there is severe pain or potential injury, and the athlete should be cleared by a physician before returning to play.