The definition of an amputation is “the action of surgically cutting off a limb,” however, an amputation can also happen by accident. Many times, an amputation of the hand, finger or arm is the result of a tragic accident, but amputations can also be planned surgeries to prevent the spread of a disease. Sometimes, fingers that were amputated in an accident can be reattached by a hand surgeon, but this isn’t always possible.
Hand surgeon Thomas R. Boyce, MD discusses why your fingers may be stiff and how to treat them.
Stiff fingers can be very troublesome. Your hands and fingers are vital tools with which you interact with the world. Without normal use of your hands and fingers, activities including household tasks, work, hobbies, and sports all can become more difficult.
A “jersey finger” gets its name from, you guessed it, a sports jersey! Jersey fingers are a casual name for the disruption of a tendon in the finger, often times caused by gripping someone’s jersey with a clenched hand during a game while that person runs in the opposite direction. The force can cause your fingertip to abruptly extend, resulting in your tendon being pulled and sometimes even a chipped bone. This typically happens with the ring finger, but it can technically happen with any finger.
Lauren B. Grossman, MD answers your questions about physician assistants, also known as PAs.
What is a PA?
A PA is a physician assistant, a health care professional who is credentialed to practice medicine with physician supervision. There are more than 123,000 PAs who practice in every medical setting in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Until our hands begin to become painful we rarely think about the activities they perform. The joints of your hands are smaller than your knees or shoulders, allowing us to reach into tight spaces, pinch, and manipulate objects. Your joints are supported by ligaments which connect bone to bone and stop the joints from moving into directions they shouldn’t go. They provide support for the joint, allowing the muscle to move the joint correctly. Throughout our lifetime joints can be stressed during activities like carrying a grocery bag, wringing out a washcloth, or twisting off a bottle cap. These activities can stretch ligaments and wear out cartilage in your joints resulting in inflammation and pain. There are simple strategies you can use to protect your joints which will reduce pain during daily tasks.
If you’ve suffered an injury, are recovering from surgery or are living with a condition that affects your hands, chances are you’ve seen a hand therapist or have received instructions to do so by your hand surgeon. Hand therapists are essential to helping patients recover from injuries or surgeries and can help those in pain get back to living a normal life. Hand therapists and hand surgeons often work closely together to determine the best outcome for their patients.
by John M. Erickson, MD
The majority of snakes in the United States are non-venomous. These snakes are not dangerous to humans. The two main families of venomous snakes include the Viperidea and Elapidae families. The Copperhead, Cottonmouth (often called “water moccasins”) and rattlesnakes are examples of pit vipers in the Viperidea Family. Pit Vipers make up approximately 98% of the venomous snake bites in the United States. The coral snake is the only snake in the Elapidae Family native to the United States, and it is much less common than pit vipers.
Swollen fingers can develop for a variety of reasons, including a medical condition such as arthritis, an injury such as a broken bone, or even a hot day. It’s the body’s natural healing response to extra fluid and blood in the fingers and can cause you to feel uncomfortable and/or unable to completely move your fingers. While it can sometimes be painful, swollen fingers are common and can be treated right at home.
Try these methods for reducing swelling in your fingers: