What is a soft tissue injury?

In the Hand, Wrist and Elbow there are hard tissues namely the bones and joints, and soft tissues which includes all the other tissues namely skin, muscles and tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels i.e. arteries and veins. Injury to any of the tissues other than the bones and joints is called a soft tissue injury. Bone and joint injuries will almost inevitably have some soft tissue injury as well but the bone and joint injury is normally the greater and so the treatment is mainly directed there (see information sheets on specific bone and joint injuries).

Why do they occur?

There are many causes of soft tissue injuries. The commonest are falls where ligaments tend to be injured and cuts/crushes where skin, muscles and tendons, and nerves are injured. If the skin is broken (cut or crushed) the injuries are called open injuries. If the skin is intact they are called closed injuries. Surgery is more often required for open injuries. Each type of injury will be considered.

Please select from the information sheets listed on the left.