I'm a professional pianist and have been playing for eight years now. I recently noticed a problem in my left hand: if we enumerate the fingers consecutively, 1 beeing the thumb, my fourth finger is very weak compared to the fourth finger of my right hand, and if I position my left hand completely open and try to bend only the third and fourth fingers, I can't manage to keep them together while doing this. Could I have injured myself from practicing too hard?

I'm especially worried, since when I was little I used to bend my fingers backwards really hard, to the point that some of my knuckles got bigger and stayed this way even after I stopped. What kind of injuries could this cause, and what type of doctor should I visit to get my hand checked?

  • Welcome to health SE :-). We can't really answer whether you injured yourself, a doctor can answer that after a physical examination and possibly some form of imaging. This is why your question has been marked as off topic. We can however answer what type of doctor is most likely to help you (and you have already got a great answer on that). If you would like your question to remain open, please edit out the parts asking for personal medical advice. P.S. It is absolutely possible to sustain an injury due to repetitive movements, do see a doctor ASAP.
    – Lucky
    Feb 25, 2017 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


Go see an orthopedic surgeon; it's not exactly the most classical story but you might have some form of carpal tunnel syndrome. In most cases in can be effectively treated with rest, painkillers and stretching/exercise (so you don't get unnecessarily scared about the "surgeon" part); either way, considering it's your profession, I definitely think it is justified to be evaluated by a professional.


  • 2
    I agree, but make sure you ask for a hand specialist. Orthopedic surgeons sometimes end up becoming focused on different areas. I say this both from personal experience and from working with ortho colleagues. You could have injured one of the ligaments/tendons. They can guide treatment, which as Gregorio stated, isn't necessarily surgery just because they're surgeons.
    – DoctorWhom
    Feb 25, 2017 at 2:42
  • That's definitely a good point. If you can't get a hand specialist, a general orthopedic surgeon will probably do as well; just, make sure not to get somebody specialized in a different body area. Feb 25, 2017 at 4:09
  • Thank you! But isn't carpal tunnel syndrome usually painful? In my case nothing ever hurts, only that finger is weaker than the others, gets tired easier and feels like I lose control of it if I put excesive strain on it while playing. Feb 25, 2017 at 9:57
  • It usually hurts, which is why I said it's not the most classical presentation, but the underlying cause is a nerve being compressed. I am a physician, but not a specialist. I'm just giving what I'd try to rule out first based on frequency. Whether it is or not, an orthopedic surgeon is most likely the most appropriate specialist to evaluate it. Feb 25, 2017 at 15:06

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