Most common hand conditions and injuries may be treated with simple non surgical care. Critical to treatment is establishing the correct diagnosis done by evaluation and appropriate diagnostic studies. When non surgical care fails hand surgery may be required. Some of the more common hand and wrist conditions and treatments we see are:
Trigger finger is a condition that involves one of the fingers becoming stuck in a bent position and then rapidly straightened like the trigger of a gun. This condition is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendons in the finger, and is common in people who perform repetitive gripping actions. It is also more common in women and people with diabetes. Trigger finger causes stiffness, pain and may eventually lead to an inability to completely straighten the finger.
Mild cases of trigger finger can often be treated through conservative methods such as rest, anti inflammatory medications, finger exercises and avoiding repetitive movements. Persistent symptoms will benefit from a cortisone injection and on occasion with failure of treatment minor surgery may be required.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition involving numbness, pain, tingling in the wrist, hand and fingers. It occurs when pressure is put on a nerve in the wrist called the median nerve, which controls motor function in the wrist and hand. This pressure is due to constriction of the nerve in the tight carpal tunnel that passes along the wrist associated with repetitive use or injury, it may also be caused by bone spurs, rheumatoid arthritis, and fractures.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed with tests such as an electromyogram or a nerve conduction study. It can often be effectively treated with nonsurgical therapies such as wrist splints, anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In cases where pain and numbness persist, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve.
DeQuervain’s Tendonitis or Tenosynovitis
Wrist tendonitis (also called deQuervain’s tendonitis or tenosynovitis) is an inflammation of the tendons that cross the wrist and attach to the thumb. If you have deQuervain’s tendonitis, it hurts to bend, extend or turn your wrist or form a fist with the thumb tucked inside. Activities such as writing, knitting and gripping something with your hand become uncomfortable. Pain is usually located in the front of the wrist and worsens with activity. Other symptoms include sensitivity to touch, limited mobility, and wrist weakness.
If detected early, tendonitis can be successfully treated with rest, bracing, anti-inflammatory medications and occasionally a cortisone injection. Advanced cases may require minor out-patient surgery.