Monthly Archives: May 2016

Hand Thumb Thumb Sprain

Ask a Doctor: Thumb Sprains

ask a doctor_thumb sprain

Hand surgeon Mark Yuhas, MD answers your questions about thumb sprains.

I have a painful thumb joint after an injury. Could this be a sprained thumb?

Yes. A thumb sprain refers to an injury or tear of the thumb joint ligaments. A ligament attaches to bones around a joint to keep it stable. The most common thumb ligament injury is the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL, side of thumb closest to the fingers). The radial collateral ligament (RCL, outside part of thumb) or volar plate (palm side) of the thumb may also be injured. The metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP, joint where the thumb connects to the hand) is most often involved in a thumb sprain.

How do thumb sprains usually occur?

An abnormal bending of the thumb joint typically causes a thumb sprain. The forceful bending can be from the side (classically as in holding a ski pole during a fall) or by a hyperextension (bending back) of the thumb. A fall onto an outstretched hand or a “jammed” thumb, such as during contact from a ball or during sports can result in a thumb sprain.

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Arthritis Hand Joints

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Protecting Your Joints

Closeup on young housewife opening jar of pickled cucumbers

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month! What better time to revisit and elaborate on a topic we started back in August 2015: Living with(out) thumb pain. In that post, we briefly discussed something called “joint protection,” and specifically discussed ways to protect your thumb and fingers when opening jars. For this edition, we’ll answer a few more questions and offer a few more tips.

The joints in my fingers are achy and feel swollen and stiff. I especially notice this after I’ve been working in the yard or doing household chores like vacuuming. My doctor says it is osteoarthritis. Is there anything I can do to make them feel better?

If your doctor has said you have osteoarthritis, you should consider this an early warning alarm.  You have a degenerative process happening within the joints. You need to do something to keep that from getting worse. This is where joint protection comes into play.

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Arthritis Hand Wrist

5 causes of wrist pain

Closeup on business woman with wrist pain

Hand surgeon Avery Arora, MD talks about common causes of wrist pain.

Even though the wrist is a relatively small part of the body, it has eight bones, as well as ligaments, tendons and tissue. The wrist also happens to be easy to damage, which could cause not only pain but also limited use of the wrist and hand. A wide range of things can affect the wrist.

1. Repetitive Motion

One of the most common reasons that people develop pain in their wrists is due to repetitive motion. Motions that cause your hands to do the same things, even simply staying in the same position for a long period can have terrible effects on the wrist. Driving for too long, typing and more can cause irritation in the joints, as well as stress fractures in some cases. This can lead to chronic pain for many patients.

2. Physical Impacts

Physical impacts, such as falling on your wrist or having something hit your wrist is a cause of injury and pain as well. An impact can cause a fracture, as well as a strain or a sprain. Even if the impact does not break a bone, it can harm the nerves, and cause tissue damage and swelling.

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Finger Hand Joint Replacement Joints

What is a finger joint replacement?

a man rubs the pain in his finger

from The Baltimore Sun

Dr. Ryan M. Zimmerman, MD discusses what causes finger joints to wear out and when a joint replacement is necessary.

The tiniest joints of the fingers can break down over time and, in some people, need to be replaced. The wear and tear can cause unbearable pain and stiffness. Dr. Ryan M. Zimmerman, a hand, shoulder and elbow surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, said replacement can provide much-needed relief for patients.

What causes finger joints to wear out?

Finger joints can wear out for a number of reasons. Osteoarthritis, which is primary wear and tear, is the most common. Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are also common. Finally, after trauma, joints can have residual irregularities that cause them to wear out more rapidly. Contrary to popular belief, repetitive activities such as typing have not been linked to arthritis.

Can all joints in the hand be replaced?

Many joints in the hand are candidates for joint replacement, but others are best treated with different kinds of surgery. The metacarpophalangeal joints, what people think of as their “knuckles,” that connect the finger to the palm and the joints just past those, are the best candidates for replacement. The joint at the base of the thumb, by far the most common place for people to develop arthritis, is best treated with a different kind of joint replacement surgery for patients who don’t get adequate relief from splints or injections. Also, the joints at the fingertips are best treated with a different type of surgery because they are too small for formal replacements.

Read the full story.

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Finger Hand Warts

5 things to know about warts

warts_cropped

Warts are bumps on the skin that may feel rough to the touch.  They stem from a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV), for which there is no cure. Here are 5 things to know about these pesky warts on your hands:

  1. Warts can be very itchy and uncomfortable, and they can bleed if irritated.
  2. Despite these symptoms, warts are usually not cancerous.
  3. Treatment options for warts may include duct tape, a pumice stone, freezing the bump or surgery.
  4. Most people fight off this virus within 2-3 years.
  5. Treating warts takes time, so be patient!

Learn more about warts on www.HandCare.org.

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Dupuytren's Contracture Finger Hand

Dupuytren’s Contracture: Symptoms and Treatment Options


Dupuytren’s contracture, sometimes known as Dupuytren’s disease, is a condition that causes bumps and thick cords to develop in the palm and fingers. It is more common in people over the age of 40. Sometimes, this condition causes the fingers to bend into the palm, which can make it difficult to place the hand on a flat surface.

The lumps can be uncomfortable in some people, but Dupuytren’s contracture is not typically painful. Sometimes, no treatment is necessary for this condition. For more severe cases, treatment options may include injections, medicine or hand therapy.

Watch this short video to learn more. Read about Dupuytren’s contracture on www.HandCare.org.

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Finger Hand Hand Safety

Random Fact: Stuck Ring

woman is taking off the wedding ring

Did you know? A stuck ring can be the result of joint arthritis, which can happen as your body changes over the years. Learn more about how to remove a stuck ring safely.

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