Hook of the Hamate- Why Does My Palm Hurt?
So, you keep on hitting your golf ball fat, and you can’t get your hand discomfort to settle down. You are tender on the palm side of your hand, opposite from your bigger thumb muscle. Any time you try to grip something tightly, you just can’t. What gives? Well, you could have a broken bone in your hand!
The hook of the hamate is a bony process off of the hamate bone- one of the wrist bones. Things like direct blows to the hand, falls onto an outstretched hand, checking a baseball bat, and yes, hitting your golf ball fat can all cause a hook of the hamate fracture.
This type of fracture is pretty rare, only 2% of all carpal fractures are hook of the hamate fractures.
Sometimes your doctor can diagnose this with a digital x-ray, using the tunnel view of the wrist. A CT or MRI scan may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Most hamate hook fractures do not heal, remain tender, and can irritate or damage the nerves or tendons rubbing on it. Due to its poor healing, the fractured fragment is usually removed which resolves the symptoms. There can be some scar tenderness after surgery for several months.
Most people will return to all of their desired activities following this injury. After the incision is healed, you can start to increase activities as tolerated. Sometimes scar tenderness limits golf, batting (softball/baseball), racquet sports, and heavy weight lifting for a while, but this improves over several weeks.
Riki Duncan, MA.Ed, ATC, LAT