Man Ruptures Tendon After Weeks of 'Candy Crush'

Too much smartphone use is to blame for range of repetitive stress injuries
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2015 8:18 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2015 10:21 AM CDT

Excessive smartphone use can, in rare cases, lead to repetitive stress injuries. There's even a phrase for what happens when a tendon in the thumb constricts from too much texting—"texting thumb." But one California man took it to a whole new level: The 29-year-old visited an orthopedic surgeon's office with a torn tendon that was ascribed to overindulging his love of "Candy Crush Saga" on his phone, reports U-T San Diego. What does it take to actually rupture one's tendon messing around on a phone? Reporting this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the doctors say he played "Candy Crush Saga" on his smartphone "all day for 6 to 8 weeks" with his left hand, while relying on his right hand for other tasks.

The doctors report that the man was experiencing "chronic left thumb pain and loss of active motion" as a result, though one of the doctors involved tells LiveScience the man didn't experience pain while playing. The patient ultimately underwent surgery to repair one of the two tendons that extend his index finger, at which point the rupture of what's called the "extensor pollicis longus" tendon became clearly visible to the surgeons. They even went so far as to conclude that "the potential for video games to reduce pain perception raises clinical and social considerations about excessive use, abuse, and addiction." They're encouraging future research into pain reduction and its role in excessive gaming and addiction. (At least no one hired an assassin to confront the man about his gaming.)

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