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Common Issues for Your Wrist and Hands

Posted on in Pain, Surgery

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Most people don’t realize just how vital their wrists and hands are to their daily lives until they suffer an injury or condition that compromises their use.

You don’t have to be a concert pianist or baseball player to have your life severely impacted by hand or wrist problems. At Southwest Orthopedics, we have orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the intricate surgery needed to correct these problems and patients return to normal daily functions.

There are a number of wrist and hand issues that afflict many people of all ages. One is a break in the bones around the wrist. We’re going to take a look at a few of the most common ones.

Arthritis

As people get older or if they have suffered injuries to their hands, fingers or wrists, the protective tissue at the ends of the bones can be reduced or lost. This causes the bones within the joint to rub together. It can cause pain, swelling and stiffness. Steroid injections can provide temporary relief. It’s best to see a hand and wrist specialist to find out how best to manage the condition in order to prevent it from interfering with your normal activities.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has become increasingly prevalent as we spend more and more time on our computers and doing other repetitive or prolonged hand motions. With CTS, the median nerve near the base of the palm is compressed. It enters the hand through the carpal tunnel – thus the name. Symptoms can include pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the hand. There are a number of non-surgical remedies for CTS. Sometimes surgery is warranted, but it can usually be done as an out-patient procedure.

Finger Sprains and Dislocations

Sports medicine physicians will tell you that these are common in everyone from “weekend warriors” to professional athletes. Sometimes, however, a simple fall by anyone can cause this injury if someone braces themselves using their hands, as many people naturally do. In these injuries, the proximal interphalangeal joint is forcibly hyperextended. While some people realign the joint on their own, it’s always best to have the injury x-rayed and evaluated by a medical professional to improve the healing process.

Ganglion Cysts

If you’ve never had one of these, it can be frightening when a lump appears on a tendon or joint. Many people fear that they are tumors. In fact, they are caused by an increase in the fluid surrounding the joint or tendon. They are particularly common on the wrists and are often associated with arthritis. They may go away on their own if you reduce your wrist activity. There are a number of relatively non-invasive methods for removing them.

These cysts are also known as “Bible bumps” or “Bible cysts” because an old-fashioned method for removing them was to hit them with a heavy book like the Bible. Don’t do that! If you have a bump that appears anywhere, it’s always recommended that you see a physician.

Sprained Wrists

Our wrists are made up of bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. When any of these is damaged by a fall or other injury, it can be painful and cause a loss of function. Often when people fall, the natural reaction is to stretch out their hands. This can cause a break in the small (carpal) bones, damage to the cartilage or the straining or tearing of tendons.

At Southeast Orthopedics, our Florida orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists treat a wide range of orthopedic issues at our five state-of the-art Jacksonville locations. There’s no reason to live with chronic pain if you don’t have to. Call us or contact us online to see how we can help you.

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