Our hands are an essential part of our daily lives. They allow us to perform everyday tasks, from typing on a keyboard to cooking dinner. Unfortunately, there are a variety of orthopedic hand problems that can impact the functionality and comfort of your hands. Knowing what these conditions are and how they are treated is essential for maintaining good hand health.
Common Hand Conditions
Arthritis is a general term used to describe any joint inflammation. Two main types of arthritis affect the hand—osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—but other forms also exist. Symptoms can include swelling, stiffness, pain, and decreased range of motion in the affected area. Treatment options for arthritis include lifestyle changes (such as weight loss and exercise), medication, injections, or surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by pressure on the median nerve resulting in tingling, numbness, and pain in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and a portion of the ring finger. If left untreated, CTS can lead to permanent nerve damage. Treatment options include rest, splinting, or bracing the wrist/hand/fingers during activities that cause discomfort; physical therapy; medications; or surgery.
Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that occurs when the tendons in the finger become inflamed and cause the finger to become locked in a bent position. The tendons in the finger are responsible for moving the finger by pulling on the bones in the finger. When these tendons become inflamed, they can become thicker and have difficulty sliding through the sheath that surrounds them, leading to the finger becoming locked in a bent position.
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form near joints and tendons in the hand or wrist. These cysts usually don’t cause pain, but they may be unsightly or interfere with movement if they become large enough. Treatment includes resting the affected area, wearing a splint, or having the cyst surgically removed if it is causing significant discomfort or impairs function.
Tendons connect muscles to bones and help us move our wrists and fingers freely without pain. Tendon problems occur when those tendons become inflamed due to overuse or injury, resulting in tendonitis or tendon rupture, which can be very painful and limit movement significantly if not treated properly. Treatment for tendon problems includes rest; wrapping the affected area; medication; physical therapy; cortisone injections; splinting/bracing during activities that cause discomfort; ultrasound therapy; or surgery, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints, including the hands and fingers. RA is a systemic disease, which means it can affect the entire body, not just the joints. The cause of RA is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Fractures, also known as broken bones, can occur in the hand due to a variety of causes, including injury, falls, and other accidents. The hand is composed of many small bones, including the metacarpals, phalanges, and carpal bones, which can be easily broken or fractured.
When You Should See A Doctor
Hand problems can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that limits daily activities significantly, so it’s important to know what symptoms you should look out for and which treatment options are available if you develop one of these conditions yourself! The good news is there are many different treatments available depending on your condition, so it should be possible to find something that works for you! If your symptoms persist despite trying home remedies, consult with an orthopedic doctor who can help diagnose your condition correctly and recommend an appropriate course of action for long-term relief from your hand problem!
Don’t let hand pain control your life any longer; take the first step towards a pain-free life and make an appointment today. We are here, ready to assist you and answer any questions.