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HAND & WRIST INJURIES

 

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.
One in three industrial or home accidents involves injury to the hand. The restoration of hand function after injury or disease is a gratifying experience for the hand surgeon.
Many routine hand conditions are treated in our practice.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Dupuytren’s Contracture.

Trigger Finger.

There are numerous other conditions that relate to the injury, disease and deformity of the wrist and hand. We are pleased to share with you our experience in the field of Hand Surgery and to provide state-of-the-art care in this area.

Upper Extremity Problems:

The upper extremity is frequently injured at work, at play, and sometimes as simply the result of adding another year to your life. The common problems that are seen in the upper extremity include tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis about the wrist, DuPuytren’s contracture of the fingers, trigger finger, ganglion cysts, and various types of arthritis in the wrist, hand or fingers.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is probably the most common condition seen. Symptoms of CTS include numbness in the index and middle fingers, usually at night, but sometimes when at work, driving or writing. People with CTS frequently drop things and have difficulty picking up small objects, such as buttons or pins. The usual treatment for CTS includes splint immobilization, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, and discontinuance of repetitive activities. If these procedures fail, surgical division of the transverse volar carpal ligament is usually successful in symptomatic relief.

Tendinitis of the wrist:

Tendinitis of the wrist is frequently seen in people who use word processors throughout the day. This is a reaction of the body to repetitive use and is frequently called overuse syndrome. Treatment of anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, and splinting is usually successful in relieving the complaints, particularly if you are able to modify the work conditions by adding a wrist rest for the keyboard, or perhaps varying the height of your work station or work chair. Rarely surgery is required.

Ganglion Cysts:

Ganglion Cysts about the wrist are extremely common. They are sometimes the results of a single traumatic event, but more commonly, simply appear without any known cause. If these ganglion cysts are painful, cortisone injections are often effective in relieving the problem. For recurrent symptomatic ganglion cysts, surgical excision is sometimes required.

Trigger Fingers:

Ganglion Cysts about the wrist are extremely common. They are sometimes the results of a single traumatic event, but more commonly, simply appear without any known cause. If these ganglion cysts are painful, cortisone injections are often effective in relieving the problem. For recurrent symptomatic ganglion cysts, surgical excision is sometimes required.

Tennis Elbow:

Tennis Elbow is not restricted to tennis players but can develop in anyone who uses the arm for heavy activities. It can also be related to a sudden injury to the arm. The cause for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is thought to be partial tearing of the extensor muscles as they hook into the prominent bone on the outside of your elbow. Treatment is directed to that point and consists of immobilization, anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, and rarely, surgical release.

DuPuytren’s Contracture:

DuPuytren’s Contracture is an uncommon condition which causes the fourth and fifth fingers to draw down into the palm so you are unable to straighten the fingers completely. This condition tends to run in families and its only correction is surgical release.

Arthritis of the Arm:

Arthritis of the arm, wrist, hand and fingers is an ongoing problem that we are forced to deal with on a regular basis. Most of the arthritis seen is secondary to chronic wear and tear and is called osteoarthritis. A less prominent form, unrelated to use, is rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment may vary, depending on the type of arthritis. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the first line of defense against arthritic conditions and are usually very effective. Cortisone shots sometimes play a role. Surgical correction is frequently necessary and might involve an artificial joint implant into the elbow, wrist or fingers, or might involve stiffening the joint (fusion), if necessary.

Fractures of the Upper Extremity:

Fractures of the upper extremity are treated somewhat differently than those of the weight bearing bones. Sometimes cast immobilization is all that is needed but frequently surgery is required for proper alignment. Immobilization is generally shorter for upper extremity fractures than for lower extremity fractures.