Arthritis Hand Thumb Thumb Arthritis

Losing Your Grip? How to Treat Your Thumb Arthritis

from the Cleveland Clinic

Imagine how frustrating it would be to try to open a jar or button a shirt without your thumb. This feeling is all too common for those with one of the most common types of hand osteoarthritis.

Hand osteoarthritis is second in prevalence only to knee arthritis in the United States. Osteoarthritis in the thumb joint nearest the palm — the carpometacarpal (CMC) or basal joint — is the type that most commonly causes patients to seek the care of a hand or orthopaedic surgeon. The CMC joint, which is between the thumb metacarpal and a small bone called the trapezium, allows the swiveling, pivoting and pinching needed to grip things in your hand.

Patients older than age 40 are at risk for thumb arthritis, with women affected five to 10 times more frequently than men, says orthopaedic surgeon David Shapiro, MD.

“While men and women can get basal joint arthritis, women seem to have more joint laxity, which leads to malalignment of the joint, cartilage wear, arthritis and pain, “ Dr. Shapiro says.

Read the full blog post.

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Hand Hand Surgery Smoking

How Smoking Can Affect Your Hands

Due to the chemical nicotine – which is present in cigarettes, cigars and pipes – smoking can affect many parts of the body other than the lungs. This includes the hands and upper extremities. First, nicotine can make existing hand conditions worse. Two examples of this are:

  • Broken bones: A broken bone (fracture) can have more trouble healing in people who smoke. If you break your hand, wrist or arm, the fracture may not even heal.
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: This is a common condition that causes fingers to permanently bend into the palm, making it impossible to straighten the fingers. It may be more common in smokers.
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Finger Hand Trigger Finger

5 Signs You Have Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a condition that can cause discomfort at the base of the finger or thumb, right where the finger joins the palm. Officially known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger can also be referred to as “trigger thumb.” This condition involves the tendons that bend the fingers. These tendons normally glide easily with the help of pulleys, which hold the tendons close to the bone. In individuals with trigger finger, the pulley becomes too thick, making it difficult for the tendon to glide.

Here are five signs that you may have trigger finger:

  1. Pain/discomfort at the base of the finger or thumb
  2. Popping-sound when you move your finger
  3. Catching feeling
  4. Limited finger movement
  5. Lump at the base of the finger or thumb
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Hand Hand Surgeon Hand Surgery

Best Hand Surgeons in the U.S.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) includes a membership of more than 3,800 prestigious hand surgeons in the United States and around the world. Hand surgeon members of ASSH are required to meet rigorous standards. They are required to:

  • Pass the Certification in the Subspecialty of Surgery of the Hand, a difficult exam that tests their hand surgery knowledge
  • Be certified in general, orthopaedic or plastic surgery by their Board
  • Be of high moral, ethical and professional standing
  • Have made worthwhile contributions in areas of hand surgery
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Arthritis Hand Lumps and Bumps Warts

Random Fact: Warts

Did you know? Warts on the hands can sometimes be confused with cysts or bone spurs from arthritis. If you aren’t sure about a lump on your hand, visit a hand surgeon. Learn more about warts.

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Bones Elbow Elbow Fracture Hand

Ask a Doctor: Elbow Fractures

Elbow Fractures

Hand surgeon Benjamin R. Graves, MD answers your questions about elbow fractures.

Of all the joints in the body, the elbow is one of the most complex.  This complexity comes from the fact that the “elbow joint” is made up of three separate joints that form where the humerus, radius, and ulna bones meet.  Under normal circumstances, these three joints work together seamlessly to allow the flexion, extension, and forearm rotation we need to brush our hair and teeth, feed ourselves, turn a door handle, serve a tennis ball, and perform a multitude of other daily tasks.

Fractures involving the elbow can range in severity, from relatively minor injuries that heal on their own, to more severe injuries that require surgery.  Elbow fractures can also lead to a lot of questions for patients and their families.  I have compiled a list of five questions that I am frequently asked regarding elbow fractures.

I hurt my elbow. How do I know if I have an elbow fracture?

Elbow fractures can occur in a variety of ways.  Low-energy injuries, such as falls from standing or bumping the elbow onto a hard object can lead to small, stable fractures that can easily be mistaken for a sprain or strain.  They don’t always cause deformity or instability, and might only cause limited swelling and hurt-to-the-touch in a specific location.  These injuries may hurt for days or weeks and then stop hurting on their own.

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Hand Hand Safety Hand Therapy Snowblower Safety

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Preventing Injuries During Snow Removal

The winter months can be a festive and fun time of year; however, they can also bring many hazards that can lead to hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. Snow shoveling and removal are strenuous and sometimes risky activities that are necessary in these snowy months, and should be addressed with some simple safety measures to protect yourself from potential injury.

Common safety steps to take when addressing snow removal include:

  • Warm up before tackling snow removal – Doing a short amount of light exercise to warm your body prior to shoveling snow can assist in reducing your risk of injury.
  • Wearing gloves with skid resistant material – One simple strategy to combat the snow is to be sure your gloves and/or mittens have a skid resistant material on the palm and fingers. This will allow you to have adequate grip on your shovel to prevent unnecessary slipping of your equipment.
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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Hand Nerves

3 Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that involves the ulnar nerve, also known as the “funny bone” nerve, which runs on the inner side of the elbow. This condition can cause numbness or tingling in the ring finger and small finger (sometimes referred to as “pins and needles”), pain in the forearm, loss of sensation and/or weakness in the hand.

Here are three potential causes of this condition:

  1. Pressure: The ulnar nerve has little padding over it, so direct pressure (like leaning your arm on an arm rest) can cause the arm and hand — especially the ring and small fingers — to “fall asleep.”
  2. Stretching: Keeping the elbow bent for a long time can stretch the ulnar nerve.  This can happen while you sleep or if you are holding a phone for a long period of time, for example.
  3. Anatomy: Sometimes, the ulnar nerve simply does not stay in its place. It will snap back and forth over a bony bump as you move your elbow, which can irritate the nerve.
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