You don’t think about how many tasks you complete with your hands until you have a problem with them. Perhaps the problem has come on gradually. At first, you felt twinges, and now, every time you move them, it’s painful.
It’s hard to accomplish daily tasks with pain in your fingers or hands. Typing on a keyboard, buttoning a shirt, grasping a toothbrush, washing a frying pan — everything may become more difficult.
Our expert board-certified orthopedic surgeons with Coastal Empire Orthopedics treat many patients with various hand conditions. We promptly diagnose your condition and help you regain the use of your hands. Following are just some of the common hand conditions we treat.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Your median nerve runs from your forearm through your wrist into your hand. When it moves into your hand through your wrist, it has to go through a narrow channel: the carpal tunnel. When the nerve is compressed, your fingers or hand may become numb, painful, or weak.
If you’re in a lot of pain at the appointment, we can give you a steroid injection to calm the inflammation and a prescription-strength pain reliever for temporary use. We may fit you with a splint to wear during the day or night to rest the hand and reduce pressure on the nerve. If conservative treatment doesn’t work, we can perform a simple surgery to release pressure on the nerve.
De Quervain’s disease
If your hand is swollen and painful around the lower part of your thumb, you likely have de Quervain’s syndrome. Your tendons are inflamed and swollen.
Treatment is similar to that for carpal tunnel syndrome. We can provide a steroid injection if you’re in severe pain and pain medication.
In addition, you’ll wear a special splint day and night for four to six weeks that protect your thumb and wrist and lets them rest. Once the initial inflammation has calmed, you’re in physical therapy to help rebuild your strength. We can perform a simple surgical procedure to help your tendon move properly if conservative treatments don’t work.
Trigger finger or thumb
If you have a trigger finger or thumb, you may not be able to flex it into a straight position. The tendons there are very swollen, preventing movement. The same treatments are applicable as in de Quervain’s syndrome.
Treatment for arthritis depends on many factors: the number of joints affected and the stage of the disease are two significant considerations. As with the conditions above, if you’re in intense pain at the appointment, we can give you a steroid injection to calm the inflammation and pain. That may work for several months. At the same time, we provide a splint for the times when your hand is in use.
There are many types of surgery for arthritis in the hand if conservative treatments don’t work. We try to preserve the joint if that’s possible. If it’s not, joint fusion or joint replacement are the options. We explain which is the appropriate course of action in your case.
Lifestyle and ergonomic changes
Repetitive motions may exacerbate the conditions above over the years. For example, farmers and musicians who frequently grip tools or instruments may get trigger fingers. If you work on a keyboard, you may experience carpal tunnel syndrome. Teenagers and young adults who game are more at risk for de Quervain’s syndrome due to repetitive hand and wrist movement. Mothers can get it from lifting their babies.
We advise you on lifestyle and ergonomic changes that help relieve your hand condition. For example, investing in an ergonomic chair and a curved keyboard may help prevent future instances of carpal tunnel syndrome. If repetitive motion occurs in your job, learn to take breaks and rest your hands. Learning and performing specific finger and hand exercises also helps avoid future attacks.
Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment online for hand or finger pain and all of your orthopedic needs.