Candy Crush Bender Causes Man to Rupture Tendon in Thumb

The 29-year-old man didn't even notice the injury during play, doctor said.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
April 16, 2015, 12:57 PM
PHOTO: A user plays "Candy Crush Saga" on a phone in London, Feb. 18, 2014.
A user plays "Candy Crush Saga" on a phone in London, Feb. 18, 2014.
Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

— -- The joy felt when playing Candy Crush helped mask the serious injury a California man sustained from countless hours of playing the game.

A former sailor, who is 29-years-old, played Candy Crush all day during a six to eight week stretch, suffering a ruptured tendon in his left thumb due to excessive game play, according to a case study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

"His tendon was getting inflamed and worn down and he didn't feel pain," Dr. Andrew Doan of the Naval Medical Center San Diego and one of the authors of the study, told ABC News.

Tendons run over the bone in the thumb, so the swiping motion a person repetitively makes can cause tendons to become inflamed, Doan said, ultimately limiting movement.

Playing the addictive game all day with his left hand, the man, who is not identified in the study, said he used his dominant right hand for other tasks.

"Playing was kind of a secondary thing, but it was constantly on," the man said, according to the study.

Doan said the fact that the man did not report any pain shows how video games could act as a sort of digital pain killer.

"The problem is when we play video games it can stimulate the mind and body to release natural chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, Doan said. "We believe also endorphins, which are natural painkillers, are released."

Doan also cited two studies that show playing video games could be helpful in dulling the pain of pediatric patients and burn victims, who are able to play while nurses scrub their wounds.

After his sweet streak playing the game, the Californian ultimately ended up on the operating table where he underwent surgery to repair the tendon. King, the maker of Candy Crush, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

While the case is interesting because the man said he couldn't feel pain, Doan said it should serve as a cautionary tale for gamers who find themselves addicted.

He recommends limiting smartphone games to one hour per day.

"Everything in life is in moderation," he said.

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