Man tears tendon after playing 'Candy Crush' for weeks
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A California man tore a tendon in his thumb after playing a puzzle game on his smartphone too much, according to a case.

The case is interesting because such injuries are usually quite painful, but the man appeared to not notice any pain while he played, according to the doctors who treated him. The case shows that, in a sense, video games may numb people's pain and contribute to video game addiction, they said.

"We need to be aware that certain video games can act like digital painkillers," said Dr. Andrew Doan, a co-author of the case report and head of addictions research at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. "We have to be very cognizant that that can be abused," Doan said.

The 29-year-old went to the doctor because his left thumb hurt and he was having trouble moving it. He told doctors that he had played the puzzle game "Candy Crush Saga" on his smartphone all day for six to eight weeks. The man had played the game with his left hand while he used his right hand for other things, the report said.

"Playing was a kind of secondary thing, but it was constantly on," the man was quoted as saying in the case report.

After examining the man and performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on his hand, doctors determined that the man had ruptured a tendon involved in moving the thumb, and they said he needed surgery to repair the tendon.

"Typically, when people rupture this tendon, the tear occurs at the point where the tendon is thinnest, or where it attaches to the bone. But in this man's case, the rupture occurred at the point where the tendon was thickest, which would usually cause pain prior to the rupture", Doan said.

In this particular case, the man was not addicted to "Candy Crush." Rather, he was playing the game as a way to pass time, Doan said. (The man had recently left the military and was between jobs.) But video game addictions can occur, and they sometimes cause problems in people's relationships, finances and work, Doan said.

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