Category: MI Hand & Wrist

Causes of Hand & Wrist Pain

Our hands and wrists are often an afterthought when it comes to self-care. Many people are not proactive in protecting their extremities from damage despite the fact that they are vital to a number of daily activities. Fine motor functions wouldn’t be possible without our hand-eye coordination; thus, pain in the area can easily affect your overall quality of life. Read on to discover some common culprits of hand and wrist pain and how to manage them.

Arthritis: osteoarthritis is when cartilage (cushions for your bones) deteriorates over time. It is typically uncommon in the wrist, though it may occur in those who have suffered injuries in the past. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the tissues. The wrists are commonly susceptible and both are usually involved. Basal (thumb) arthritis is recognized by pain at the thumb base and can be treated with splints, injections, and reconstructive surgery.

Tendonitis: an inflammation of the tendons, which connects muscle to bone. It is caused by repetitive use or sudden injury. Symptoms consist of pain in the tendon area, swelling, and loss of motion. Treatments include ice, rest, immobilization, and anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid injections are also sometimes recommended.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: affecting almost eight million people in America, this syndrome is marked by a numbness and tingling in the hand/arm, which is caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Symptoms include hand numbness, pin-and-needles sensation, wrist pain, and cramping. Splints are recommended in order to give the wrists a break, but anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery can be treatments as well.

Trigger finger: recognized when the tendons in the fingers or thumb become stuck in a bent position. Pain, popping sensation when using specific fingers, and stiffness are common symptoms. Treatment consists of immobilization, anti-inflammatory medication, restricting activities, and steroid injections.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: numb or tingling sensations in the ring and small fingers, forearm, and/or weakness in the hand are signs of this syndrome. Avoiding actions that cause the syndrome can help reduce symptoms. Wrapping a pillow or towel loosely around the elbow can help, as can wearing a splint at night while sleeping. Surgery is sometimes recommended in severe cases.

Ganglion Cyst: commonly found on the underside of wrists. Usually benign, they can quickly grow and change in size. Bigger cysts can be painful or limit wrist movement. Repetitive movements can cause the cysts to grow, while rest can help them subside. In severe cases, immobilization or non-surgical draining of the fluid is recommended. If the cyst returns, minor surgery for a full removal is sometimes required.

Repetitive Strain Injury: muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments are affected, caused by improper technique or overuse of the fingers, hands, and wrists. More than three million cases per year are reported in America. Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy are most commonly prescribed.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: marked pain on the thumb side of your wrist, swelling near the base of the thumb, inability to make a fist, strenuous to grasp objects, or difficulty moving the thumb. Treated with over-the-counter medications or steroids to reduce swelling, the exact cause hasn’t been proven.

For proper diagnosis of any of the above syndromes or diseases, contact the specialists at Michigan Hand & Wrist today. We not only diagnose, but we can also help you manage your symptoms and live pain-free.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ultrasound Guidance Following Carpal Tunnel Surgery Leads to Quicker Relief

Faster and longer-term relief from carpal tunnel can be achieved by using ultrasound-guided release. This treatment makes carpal tunnel release surgery safer and less-invasive than conventional open or endoscopic surgeries. Improvements in hand function and comfortability are also possible with ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release (UGCTR.)

Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital investigated the long-term implications of UGCTR. They found patients had sustained improvements due to the smaller incisions and faster recovery up to one-year post-surgery.

Sarah I. Kamel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology, said, “Our study demonstrates that ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release can be performed safely, with high patient satisfaction and significant long-term relief. The rapid post-operative recovery and longstanding relief of symptoms suggest that ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release may be advantageous to traditional surgical methods of transverse carpal ligament transection.”

Patients were required to fill out three questionnaires designed to assess their hand’s pain and function levels. Researchers used this data as a tool to measure and judge the outcomes. The patients provided answers pre-procedure, two-weeks post-procedure, and 1.7 years later. 

While two patients required follow-up surgery within eight to ten days following the first procedure, no patients experienced immediate complications. The team made two adjustments to avoid these outcomes in the future. They now include more extensive pre-procedural cleaning that extends around the forearm prior to draping. They perform two passes of the ligament transection to potentially decrease the risk of remnant tissue that may contribute to incomplete release.

These results point to the UGCTR procedure’s efficacy, but future investigations into follow-up and cost analysis are necessary. “Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release quickly improves hand function and reduces hand discomfort, with persistent improvement at one year. Ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release may be a safe, effective, and less-invasive alternative to traditional open or endoscopic surgery, particularly in patients for whom traditional surgery may be high-risk or contraindicated,” said the team.

For more information on ultrasound guidance following carpal tunnel surgery, read the full journal report by the American Journal of Roentgenology. For carpal tunnel guidance, contact the professionals at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.