hand care

If you have a Hand or Wrist problem, nothing quite compares! It makes most any activity more difficult. You might have arthritis, an overuse tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome

On this page you will find "Popular Topics" relevant to the Hand, Wrist and Finger/Thumb. Under each topic, popular questions will be raised, and answered. Further, you will have the opportunity to add your reply/question as part of a dynamic, informative "Forum". We encourage you to participate in Forums on this site so that you become comfortable with what your condition might be, and where to turn next.

Additionally, you may access abundant content via links to two websites: the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. 

Lastly, you will find informative videos regarding many conditions and procedures, including: Carpal tunnel syndrome, thumb basal joint arthritis, wrist and hand fractures.

conditions

  • Basal Joint Osteoarthritis

    Basal Joint Osteoarthritis

    This condition is a degeneration of cartilage in the joints at the base of the thumb, collectively called the basal joint.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as CTS, is a painful irritation of the median nerve in the hand and the wrist. CTS develops over time because of repetitive hand motions. The condition can cause pain, numbness or tingling in the hand and fingers.

  • De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    This condition, also called stenosing tenosynovitis of the first dorsal compartment of the wrist, is an inflammation of the sheath that wraps around the tendons at the thumb side of the wrist.

  • Digital Mucous Cysts

    Digital Mucous Cysts

    A mucous cyst is a small, fluid-filled sac that forms on the back of the finger near the base of the fingernail. It is a form of ganglion cyst that erupts from the capsule of the joint at the end of the finger, called the DIP joint. The cyst is attached to the joint capsule by a stalk that allows fluid to move into the cyst from the joint.

  • Distal Radius Fracture (Broken Wrist)

    Distal Radius Fracture (Broken Wrist)

    This condition is a break of the radius bone at the wrist. The radius is the larger of the two bones that connect the wrist to the elbow. The other bone is called the ulna. The radius supports the majority of forces at the wrist joint with its large joint surface. A fracture of the distal end of the radius, the end nearest the wrist, is one of the most common types of fractures. It may be part of a complex injury that involves other tissues, nerves and bones of the wrist.

  • Dupuytren's Disease

    Dupuytren's Disease

    This condition is a thickening of the fascia on the palm of the hand. The fascia is a connective tissue located just beneath the skin of the palm and fingers. This thickened fascia can form lumps or nodules under the skin, or long thick cords of tissue that extend from the palm to the fingers. Often, this thickened tissue contracts, causing one or more fingers to curve toward the palm. This is called a flexion contracture.

  • Fingertip Injuries

    Fingertip Injuries

    Whether at home, on the job, or at play, our fingers are frequently placed in harm's way, and accidents that damage the fingertips are quite common.

  • Flexor Tendon Injuries

    Flexor Tendon Injuries

    The flexor tendons of the hand are responsible for flexion of the fingers and thumb toward the palm. These long structures are connected to the flexor muscles in the forearm. An injury to one of these tendons can cause pain and inability to flex the finger and grasp with the hand. Common flexor tendon injuries include lacerations, ruptures and inflammation.

  • Fractures of the Finger

    Fractures of the Finger

    This common condition is a fracture or break of one or more of the bones of the finger called a phalanx, or phalanges. A finger fracture may be nondisplaced, in which the bones remain aligned, or displaced, in which the fractured ends shift out of alignment. Improper finger alignment can affect normal hand function.

  • Fractures of the Hand

    Fractures of the Hand

    This condition is a fracture, or break, of one or more of the metacarpal bones of the hand. The fracture may be nondisplaced, in which the bones remain aligned, or displaced, in which the fractured ends shift out of alignment. Without proper treatment, the bones may not heal correctly. This can result in improper alignment of the fingers, leading to poor hand function.

  • Ganglion Cysts of the Hand

    Ganglion Cysts of the Hand

    A ganglion cyst is a fluid-filled sack that forms as a herniation from a joint capsule or tendon sheath. The sack is attached to the joint or tendon sheath by a stalk that allows fluid to move into the pouch from the joint or sheath. The stalk functions as a valve and often limits fluid drainage out of the cyst, allowing the cyst to increase but not decrease in size. In some cases the stalk functions as a two-way valve, allowing fluid to travel in both directions. This can enable the cyst to increase and decrease in size based on activities.

  • Kienbock's Disease

    Kienbock's Disease

    Kienbock's disease is the death and deterioration of the lunate, one of the small bones in the wrist. It usually occurs in young adults and causes wrist pain, weakness, and loss of motion.

  • Mallet Finger

    Mallet Finger

    This condition is an injury to the end of the extensor tendon that straightens the finger's end joint, called the DIP joint. It results in drooping of the fingertip, and prevents the finger from being straightened.

  • Nerve Injuries of the Hand

    Nerve Injuries of the Hand

    The hand is one of the most complex structures of the body, designed to perform fine motor movements and to manipulate and experience the environment. The hand is woven with an intricate network of fragile nerves. Damage to any of these nerves can interrupt the normal functions of the hand and cause numbness and pain.

  • Osteoarthritis of the Hand

    Osteoarthritis of the Hand

    Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, is a degenerative condition that commonly affects the small joints of the fingers and the base of the thumb. Common in both men and women, it can cause the joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. It often leads to joint enlargement, interfering with normal hand function and significantly impacting a person's quality of life.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of the Hand

    Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) of the Hand

    Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that can attack joints throughout the body, commonly affects the joints and surrounding tendons of the wrist and fingers. It can cause the joints to become swollen, painful and possibly deformed.

  • Scaphoid Fractures

    Scaphoid Fractures

    A scaphoid fracture, one of the most common types of wrist fractures, is a break in the scaphoid bone. The scaphoid, one of the most important bones in the wrist, has a limited blood supply. An improperly treated scaphoid fracture can result in significant wrist pain, arthritis, and loss of motion.

  • Thumb Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

    Thumb Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury

    This condition, also called skier's thumb, is an acute sprain or tear of the ulnar coliateralligament (UCL) on the ulnar side of the metacarpal-phalangeal (MCP) joint of the thumb. A related condition, called gamekeeper's thumb, is a chronic injury that develops over time from repeated stretching of the UCL.

  • Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Tears

    Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Tears

    This condition is a degenerative or traumatic tear of one or more parts of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC), which stabilizes the ulna. The TFCC is composed of a group of ligaments that form connections between the radius, ulna and the carpal bones of the hand. At the center of these ligaments lies the most commonly injured structure, the triangular fibrocartilage disc, which is connected between the radius and the base of the ulnar styloid.

  • Trigger Digit

    Trigger Digit

    This condition may be caused by overuse or repetitive use of the hand. Normally, as a finger is bent and extended, the finger's flexor tendons glide smoothly through a series of fibrous tunnels in the finger and hand. Trigger digit results from a narrowing of the fibrous tunnel in the palm called the first annular (or A1) pulley.

  • Wrist Sprain

    Wrist Sprain

    Wrist sprains are common injuries that result when the wrist is forcefully bent or twisted beyond its normal range of motion, causing pain and instability in the joint.

procedures

  • Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger

    Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger

    This procedure, performed under regional or local anesthesia, replaces a diseased or damaged finger joint with an implant made of silicone rubber or hard metal, ceramic or pyrocarbon. This technique can be used to replace the middle joint of the finger (called the PIP joint) or the joint at the base of the finger

  • Basal Joint Surgery

    Basal Joint Surgery

    Pain in the basal joint caused by arthritis makes it difficult for patients to grip and hold or twist objects between the thumb and fingers. This surgical procedure removes and rebuilds the basal joint.

  • De Quervain's Release

    De Quervain's Release

    This outpatient procedure relieves the symptoms of De Quervain's tenosynovitis by releasing the tendon sheath that wraps around the tendons at the base of the thumb.

  • Digital Mucous Cyst Excision

    Digital Mucous Cyst Excision

    This outpatient procedure is used to remove a mucous cyst, a small, fluid-filled sac that forms on back of the finger near the base of the fingernail.

  • Digital Nerve Repair

    Digital Nerve Repair

    This microsurgical procedure is used to reconnect the severed ends of a nerve in the hand to allow the nerve to heal and to reduce the possibility that a neuroma will form.

  • Finger Fracture Fixation

    Finger Fracture Fixation

    This procedure uses pins, screws or metal plates to repair broken bones in the fingers. The actual fixation method will depend on the locations and pattern of the break.

  • Limited Palmar Fasciectomy for Dupuytren's Contracture

    Limited Palmar Fasciectomy for Dupuytren's Contracture

    This surgical procedure is performed to treat fingers that have become flexed because of Dupuytren's contracture. In this procedure, the thickened and contracted part of the fascia, the layer of tissue just beneath the skin, is removed. There are many variations of this surgery based on the severity of the condition.

  • Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

    Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

    This procedure is performed to relieve pressure on the median nerve, alleviating the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome and restoring normal sensation to the hand and fingers. The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

  • Tendon Repair

    Tendon Repair

    This procedure, performed under general anesthesia, is used to repair a ruptured or severed tendon in the finger or thumb.

  • Trigger Digit Release

    Trigger Digit Release

    During this minimally-invasive procedure, the surgeon opens a narrowed tendon pulley at the base of the finger or thumb affected by trigger digit. Opening the pulley prevents the nodule from catching, allowing the affected digit to flex and extend normally with no triggering or pain.

  • Wrist Arthroscopy

    Wrist Arthroscopy

    This minimally invasive outpatient procedure allows the surgeon to evaluate and treat injuries and disorders of the ligaments, cartilage, and bones of the wrist.

  • Wrist Fusion

    Wrist Fusion

    This surgical procedure relieves pain and corrects deformities of the wrist caused by injury, trauma, arthritis, or genetic defect. The procedure fuses the radius, the carpal and metacarpal bones.