5 Injuries that should be seen by a Hand Doctor
by Kalen Kress
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, hand injuries send more than one million workers to the emergency room each year.
Here are 5 common injuries that should be seen by a hand doctor:
Carpal tunnel syndrome or CTS, is one of the most common problems hand surgeons see in their practice. It is caused by a compressed nerve at the medial area of the wrist. Some symptoms may include:
- Numbness in the fingers (pins and needles)
- Pain and/or numbness at night
- Burning sensation in the index, and middle fingers, and thumb. Also pain can move up your arm to your elbow
- Weakness of the hand
Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition in which one of your fingers get stuck in a bent position. The fingers can straighten with a “snapping” or “popping” motion, almost like a trigger being pulled and released. Trigger finger occurs when inflammation tightens the space that surrounds the tendon. If inflammation gets severe the finger may get locked in a fixed position. People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are at higher risk of developing trigger finger.
Thumb carpometacarpal, or “CMC” arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. The pain is localized at the bottom or base of the thumb where it connects with the wrist. It is mainly caused by genetics and cartilage wear over time that deteriorates around the joint. This allows the bones to rub up against each other, resulting in pain, weakness, and even bones spurs.
Distal radius fracture
The radius is a bone in your forearm. A distal radius fracture is a break in the bone at your wrist. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be need to align the broken bone. Types fractures that may require surgery include:
- Comminuted fracture – when a bone is broken into more than two pieces
- Intra-articular fracture – fracture that extends into the wrist joint
- Extra-articular fracture – fracture that does not extend into the joint
- Open fracture – when a fractured bone breaks the skin. These types of fractures require immediate medical attention due to the risk for infection.
Flexor Tendon injuries
A torn or cut tendon in the forearm, wrist, palm, or along the fingers can make it impossible to bend one or more joints in a finger. Since the flexor tendons are close to the skins surface, a cut will most likely hit a flexor tendon causing it to tear. These tendons resemble rubber bands. If a tendon is torn or cut, the ends of the tendon will pull far apart, making it impossible for the tendon to heal on its own. Occasionally, flexor tendons may be partially cut or torn. In a partial tendon tear, it may still be possible to bend at your finger, making these types of tears can be difficult to diagnose.
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