Here we take a look at how to prevent common injuries associated with playing netball, such as an injury to the volar plate ligament.

For a non-contact sport we see a lot of netball-related finger injuries! This is most commonly caused by the ball hitting the end of the finger, which forces the finger into hyperextension, sustaining an injury to the volar plate ligament at the front of the middle joint.

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The finger is a perfectly balanced anatomic structure. There are many important factors at play which ensure normal finger movement and correct positioning. When something disturbs this balance, the finger’s normal alignment and function may also be disturbed. This can result in what is called a ‘swan neck’ deformity where the finger becomes crooked due to a collapse in the equilibrium of structures supporting the finger.

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The Volar Plate is a thick ligament which joins together two bones in the finger and prevents hyperextension. It is located on the palm side of the finger in the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints where they reinforce the joint capsules and enhance joint stability. It is most commonly injured at the proximal phalanx interpahalangeal (PIP) joint which is anatomically more unstable to it’s surrounding joints.

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