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Hand injuries from surfing tend to be severe and require medical attention. Follow-up of a surfing injury is difficult because many patients are visiting and go home after treatment. We report a case of a surfing hand injury sustained abroad, which was treated upon the patient's return, allowing for follow-up. The mechanism of injury was traction and torsion from the surfboard leash while surfing. The patient was initially treated for nailbed injury but presented later back home after persistent pain, for which an unstable distal phalanx fracture in their right ring finger was found by x-ray. This was surgically reduced with K-wire insertion and nailbed repair. Postoperatively, the injured finger was kept in a splint, and the patient had physiotherapy. Pain was significantly reduced, and the patient regained sufficient function. Considering a fracture as a differential for finger injury caused by the surfboard leash may prevent management delays. Injury may be prevented through education and redesign of the surfboard leash.

Original publication




Journal article


Wilderness environ med

Publication Date





74 - 77


biomechanics, fracture, hand injuries, sports injuries, water sports, wave surfing, Humans, Sports, Fractures, Bone, Athletic Injuries, Finger Injuries, Pain