Monthly Archives: Feb 2016

Hand Hand Therapy Wrist Fracture

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist on FOOSH – Hoverboards & Beyond

Close up of hoverboard from front top view with one of the riders feet on top and the other on wooden floor

My neighbor recently had a FOOSH walking on an icy sidewalk, and when she told me she broke her wrist, I was curious about the acronym. Exactly what does a FOOSH mean, and what type of injury occurred?

A FOOSH means a “fall on the outstretched hand,” and the most common injury is a distal radius fracture. This type of fracture involves the end of one of the two long bones in the forearm (see photo). These injuries are more common in females in old age (over 65) due to the higher incidence of osteoporosis.FOOSH 1

The advent of the hoverboard has rapidly increased the incidence of wrist fractures in a young person. In fact, hoverboard injuries have increased so rapidly, that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning to users about fall risks. Please watch this brief video to learn more about these injuries and to be aware of precautions if you’re planning to attempt use of these products.

Read More
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Hand Nerves

Ask a Doctor: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

ask a doctor_cubital tunnel

Dr. Douglas E. Pittner answers your questions about Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

My doctor said I have cubital tunnel syndrome.  What does that mean?
The cubital tunnel is the name for a space, like a tunnel, at the inside of the elbow.  It is where your ulnar nerve (the “funny bone” nerve) travels around the elbow and into your forearm.  Sometimes problems develop in this area.  It is possible for this tunnel to be too tight, causing pressure on the ulnar nerve.  The nerve can also be stretched as it travels around the elbow.  Cubital tunnel syndrome refers to the pain, numbness, or weakness that is caused by these problems around the elbow.

Why do my fingers to go numb?
The ulnar nerve travels from your elbow to your hand and provides sensation to your fingers as well as connections to important muscles in your hand.  The nerve acts like an electrical wire that sends signals to and from the hand.  When this nerve is stretched or compressed at the elbow, the electrical signals can be slow.  Your body interprets this as numbness or tingling, usually in the small and ring fingers.  You may experience pain in the elbow or forearm.  Weakness can also develop in the hand muscles which can cause decreased strength with gripping or pinching.

Read More
Arm Hand Steroid Injection

5 facts about steroid injections

Doctor holding medical injection syringe and stethoscope

Steroid injections can be used to treat pain in the hand and arm. Here are five things you should know about steroid injections:

  1. They can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including carpal tunnel, arthritis, tennis elbow and more.
  2. The injections typically contain a steroid called cortisone, which is different from steroids used by some athletes.
  3. Benefits of an injection may last for several weeks.
  4. Several injections may be needed to solve your problem.
  5. The injection site may be painful for two days after the injection.

The results of steroid injections can be different for everyone. Some may find success, and some may experience one of the many possible side effects, including a “flare,” thinning of skin, weakening of tendons, or an infection. Talk to your hand surgeon about whether a steroid injection is right for you. Find a hand surgeon at www.HandCare.org.

Read More
Hand Hand Surgeon Ski and Snowboard Injury Sports Injury

Q&A on winter sports injuries with Dr. James Monica

Man Clearing Snow From Path With Shovel

from My Central Jersey

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 1 million Americans are injured and 17,000 people die as a result of slip and fall injuries every year.

These injuries increase significantly during the winter season. In fact, about 450,000 people are treated annually for winter sports-related injuries. What’s more, snowboarding tops the list of accident-related winter activities.

Dr. James Monica, a board certified orthopaedist and member of University Orthopaedic Associates (UOA), knows this firsthand. He deals with winter injuries and treats a substantial number of fractures from sports and accidents.

Read the full story.

Read More
Anatomy Hand Nerves

Anatomy 101: Nerves of the Upper Extremity

Nerves-Peripheral-Musculo cropped

Nerves are essential to everything that you do. The nervous system carries messages to and from the brain. Nerves control your movements and actions, the sensations you feel on your skin (including pleasure or pain), and even your heart rate and blood pressure. In the upper extremity, the nerves are:

  • Ulnar nerve: This nerve provides sensation to the hand, especially the small and ring fingers, and contributes to the muscles that bend the wrist. It travels around the inside of the elbow and across the wrist.
  • Radial nerve: This nerve contributes to muscles that bend the wrist, fingers and elbow. It also provides sensation on the back of the hand and thumb.
  • Median nerve: This nerve provides sensation to the hand. It travels down the middle of the forearm and crosses the wrist through the carpal tunnel.
  • Musculocutaneous nerve: This nerve contributes to muscles that bend the elbow and provides sensation to the forearm.
  • Axillary  nerve: This nerve provides signals to muscles that help raise the arm. It travels deep around the shoulder.

Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Learn more about the signs of a nerve injury and how it can be treated. Brush up on your anatomy knowledge at www.HandCare.org.

Read More
Finger Hand Hand Safety

How to safely use a snowblower

Snow being removed during winter storm using snow blower.

Hand surgeon Jay S. Talsania, MD discusses the dangers of using a snowblower in this new video. Snowblowers can cause serious injuries, most commonly sliced fingers! Learn how to avoid an injury and how to safely clean out a clogged snowblower with these tips from Dr. Talsania.

Watch the full video.

Read more about snowblower safety at www.HandCare.org.

Read More