Brent Carlson, MD Orthopedic Surgeon
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Hand & Wrist

The hand and wrist are more prone to injuries, some of the common hand and wrist injuries include:

Sprains and Strains: Sprains and strains are the two most common types of injuries affecting the hand and wrist.  A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament and a strain refers to a muscle injury. Sprains and strains occur due to excessive force applied during a stretching, twisting, or thrusting action.  Most sprains and strains will repair themselves with adequate rest, ice application, compression, and elevation. Surgery is occasionally required to repair the damage.

Fractures: A fracture is a break in the bone, occurs when more force than the bearable limit is applied against a bone. Crushing injuries to the hand or wrist occurring due to high degree of force or pressure may also cause fractures. A fracture may cause severe pain, swelling, bruising or bleeding, discoloration of the skin and limit the mobility of the limb. Fracture of a finger bone may be treated by using a cast or splint while the bone heals. Sometimes surgery may be needed where the plates, pins or screws may be placed to keep the stable.

Repetitive Trauma : Repetitive stress injury occurs as a result of repeated similar movements for longer periods of time. This often causes pressure on the joints resulting in inflammation, pain, and decreased function in the extremity. The condition is more likely to develop with repetitive, rapid, forceful and prolonged movements of the hand and wrist, or vibration or frequent pushing, pulling or carrying heavy objects. Carpal tunnel is one of these syndromes.

 

Normal Hand Anatomy :: Trigger Finger :: Dupuytren's Contracture
De Quervain's Tenosynovitis :: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Normal Hand Anatomy

The human hand is an intricate instrument that is both tough and delicate. Its functions of sensations and motion allow us to experience and control the world around us.

For more information about Hand Anatomy click on below tab.

Normal Hand Anatomy    

 

Trigger Finger

The tendons of the thumb and each of the fingers pass through a sheath on the palm side of the hand. Certain diseases and overuse activities can cause a thickening of this sheath. As the tendon passes through a thickened sheath, the tendon eventually becomes irritated and swells. Pain, catching and eventually locking of the finger will occur. Early treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medication or Cortisone injection. If these fail to provide relief, the sheath is opened surgically through a small incision at the base of the finger.

Trigger Finger    

 

Dupuytren's Contracture

This disorder is a thickening of a ligament in the palm, resulting in nodules on the ligament which, if severe enough, can cause an inability to fully straighten the fingers. The ring and small fingers are the fingers most commonly involved.

The cause of this disorder is unknown. It is seen more commonly in men and is usually found in individuals of northern European extraction.

If deformity is mild and there is no functional loss, no surgery is needed. If, however, there is significant contracture that interferes with full use of the hand, surgical removal of a portion of the ligament is the treatment of choice to improve function and to prevent further deformity.

Dupuytren's Contracture    

 

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

Tendonitis on the thumb side of the wrist can be a very painful and disabling condition. Simple pinching and twisting activities can be almost impossible. The tendons to the thumb become inflamed as they pass under a ligament and the slightest motion of the wrist can cause pain.

Treatment consists of rest, medication and occasionally the use of a steroid injection. If these treatments do not provide relief over time, the tendons can be surgically released.

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis    

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand problem resulting from pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Symptoms, which are often worse at night, consist of numbness and/or pain in the wrist and fingers. Eventually there is loss of strength, fine motor control and sensation.

Early treatment consists of splinting and anti-inflammatory medication. If symptoms do not improve, an outpatient surgical procedure to relieve the pressure on the nerve is suggested.

For more information about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome click on below tabs.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  

 

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