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Hand & Wrist

  • Hand & Wrist injuries: With so many bones, ligaments, tendons and joints keeping hands and wrists working, there is ample opportunity for injury. In fact, injuries to the hand and wrists are some of the most common ailments facing athletes. If managed properly, however, most athletes can expect their injury to heal without any significant long-term disability.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: a common neurological disorder that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from your forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and weakness in your hand.

  • Swan neck deformity: typically caused by rheumatoid arthritis when the tissues and tendons around the joints are weakened. In the finger, it is when the middle joint hyperextends and the fingertip joint bends downward.

  • De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: results in pain and tenderness on the thumb side of the wrist, or pain when gripping the hand. It’s common in new mothers, gardeners or as the result of an injury.

  • Dupuytren’s Disease: is the thickening of the tissue and cords in the hand, which can cause the fingers to curl and not be able to fully straighten.

  • Trigger Finger: also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, most commonly affects the ring finger and is when the finger clicks, catches or becomes stuck when flexed.

  • Ganglion Cyst: is a fluid-filled sac that are believed to result from weak spots in the joint capsule of the hand, and are most commonly found at the center of the back of the wrist.

  • Stiff Hands: A variety of problems can cause stiff hands, limiting the use and function that we often take for granted. Stiffness can occur when there are problems within and around the structures of a joint, including ligaments and muscles. Some of these problems may include:

    • Arthritis

    • Fractures

    • Dislocations

    • Bad sprains

    • Tendon and muscle injuries

  • Thumb Arthritis: A joint is formed when two bones meet and articulate, which allows movement. Joints are lined with smooth cartilage that allows for the easy movement of one bone relative to another. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is a process that occurs with aging and describes the deterioration of the joint cartilage.

  • Thumb Sprains: Thumb sprains are common in sports and falls when the thumb is either jammed into another player, the ground or a ball, or when the thumb is bent into an extreme position. One or more ligaments can tear.

  • Fingertip Injuries: Fingertip injuries can be caused by many things. They can be crushed, closed in a door, or hit by a hammer. A heavy object can be dropped onto the finger. They can also be cut by a kitchen knife, power tool or another sharp object. A fingertip injury can result in damage to the skin, bone, nail bed, tendons and the pulp, the padded area of the fingertip. You can also damage the nerve endings in the fingertips.

  • Hand Infections: When seen early, some types of infection can be treated with antibiotics and local rest and soaking.  However, many infections begin to cause severe problems, after a day or two, if not treated with antibiotics, surgical drainage, and removal of infected tissues.

  • Extensor Tendon Injuries:  Extensor tendons are just under the skin. They lie next to the bone on the back of the hands and fingers and straighten the wrist, fingers and thumb. They can be injured by a minor cut or jamming a finger, which may cause the thin tendons to rip from their attachment to bone. If not treated, it may be hard to straighten one or more joints.

    • Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger):  In a mallet finger, the fingertip droops: it cannot straighten on its own power. The finger may be painful, swollen and bruised, especially if there is an associated fracture, but often the only finding is the inability to straighten the tip. Occasionally, blood collects beneath the nail. The nail can even become detached from beneath the skin fold at the base of the nail.

    • Boutonnière Deformity: A Boutonnière deformity can happen for several reasons. It can happen from a cut of the tendon on the back of the finger or the thumb. It can also be due to tearing or weakening of the same tendon due to an injury or from a disease like rheumatoid arthritis. This results in the bent position of the joint. This bent position causes the small tendons on the side of the finger to slide toward the palm side. This worsens the bent position of the finger’s middle joint. There can then be more pull on the end joint of the finger. This causes the small joint to bend further back.

  • Flexor Tendon Injuries: Deep cuts can injure the tendons and nearby nerves and blood vessels. An injury that looks simple on the outside can be much more complex on the inside.

  • Jammed Finger: Jammed fingers occur when the tip of the finger is compressed towards the hand. As the finger is compressed, the ligaments supporting the joints are stretched or “sprained.”  Ligaments are soft tissues that hold bone to bone. The greater the force, the more severe the sprain.  If the force is strong enough, the ligaments can tear completely.

  • Broken Hand: The bones of the hand serve as a framework. This framework supports the muscles that make the wrist and fingers move.  When one of these hand bones is broken (fractured), it can prevent you from using the hand, wrist and fingers. Many people think that a fracture is different from a break, but they are the same (see Figure 1). There can be different variations of a fracture, including:

    • Stable fracture, when the bone pieces are aligned

    • Unstable fracture, when there are bone fragments that have shifted

    • Comminuted fracture, when the bone is shattered into many pieces

    • Open (compound) fracture, when a bone fragment breaks through the skin. This causes risk of infection.

  • Broken Wrist: A wrist fracture occurs from an injury such as falling down onto an outstretched hand. Severe trauma such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents or falls from a ladder cause more severe injuries. Weak bones (for example, in osteoporosis) tend to break more easily.

  • Wrist Sprain: A sprain is a partial injury to a ligament. Ligaments form the connections between the different bones in the wrist. Ligament sprains range from mild stretches to partial tears.

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