Author Archives: The Hand Society

Arthritis Gout Hand Pseudogout

6 Signs of Gout or Pseudogout

Gout and Pseudogout are two types of arthritis than can appear suddenly and cause sore joints in the hands and sometimes in other parts of the body. This condition can be common in the elbow, wrist, finger, knee and big toe joints.

Here are 6 signs that you may have gout or pseudogout:

  1. Hot joints
  2. Swollen joints
  3. Red joints
  4. Painful joints
  5. Infected-looking joints
  6. Tophi (white bumps) under the skin
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de Quervain's Tenosynovitis Hand Mommy's Wrist

What is Mommy’s Wrist?

Hand surgeon John M. Erickson, MD explains the phenomenon called “mommy’s wrist.”

“Mommy’s wrist” or “mommy’s thumb” is a condition that is officially called de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (or tendonitis). This is a type of tendonitis in the wrist whose nickname comes from the fact that the condition is common in caregivers of young children. The tendonitis causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist and is worse with movement of the thumb. Activities such as opening jars, turning door knobs, and lifting children can be difficult.

Symptoms arise from de Quervain’s tendonitis when there is irritation of the tendons that extend the thumb in their surrounding sheath at the wrist. Instead of gliding smoothly through the sheath, the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) tendons can be swollen, irritated and painful.  Certain movements of the thumb and wrist can be excruciating. People may feel a tender cyst or bump and notice swelling in this part of the wrist near the base of the thumb. Lifting objects, gripping, or pinching with the thumb often increases symptoms. Occasionally, a popping sensation is a problem.

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Bones Brachydactyly Type D Thumb

What Are Toe Thumbs—And Are They Normal?

from Women’s Health Magazine

Yes, you can get dragged on the internet for pretty much anything these days. Take Megan Fox, for example, who, just a few years ago, was the victim of online trolls because of—get this—her thumbs.

Turns out, Megan’s thumbs are, well, kind of shaped like toes—toe thumbs, if you will. She even opened up about said toe thumbs on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno back in 2012, saying “they’re weird and they’re really fat.” So there you have it…toe thumbs.

So toe thumbs actually have a medical name: brachydactyly type D, according to Alejandro Badia, M.D., a board-certified hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon with Florida-based Badia Hand to Shoulder Center.

Basically, toe thumbs occur when the last bone on the thumb—or the distal phalanx—is congenitally shortened, says Badia. “This means you are simply born with a short thumb at the tip which does imply there will be a cosmetic issue with the nail plate, of course,” he says, adding that brachydactlyly simply means “short digit,” leading most surgeons to call it “stub thumb.”

Read the full story.

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Broken Bone Shoulder Shoulder Fracture

3 Types of Shoulder Fractures

A shoulder fracture is another word for a broken shoulder. The shoulder is a complex joint that connects the arm to the body. It has many different parts, including the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade bone) and the clavicle (collarbone). The upper end of the humerus has a ball-like shape that connects with the socket of the scapula, called the glenoid, creating the “ball and socket”.

Here are three different types of shoulder fractures:

  • Clavicle Fracture: A broken collarbone is the most common type shoulder fracture. It usually results from a fall.
  • Proximal Humerus Fracture: This is a fracture of the upper part of the arm. Sometimes, proximal humerus fractures just involve cracks in the bone rather than the bone moving far out of its position. This type of broken bone is more common in people 65 years of age or older.
  • Scapula Fractures: A fracture of the scapula bone is rare. It usually results from a traumatic event such as a car accident or a long fall.
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Hand Hand Safety Knife Safety Turkey Carving

How to Avoid a Turkey Carving Injury

Turkey carving injuries are unfortunately common around Thanksgiving time. 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, which means a lot of carving! Carving isn’t something that most people do regularly, so be sure to read our safety tips below to avoid an injury this holiday season.

  1. Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward.
  2. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat. This is dangerous and unnecessary.
  3. Keep everything dry. This includes your knife handles, the cutting board and the cutting area. This will help you avoid slips.
  4. Only use a sharp knife. A dull knife will require the use of force to cut your turkey, which is dangerous and could cause slips. Your knife should be sharp enough as to not require any force when cutting the turkey. Use an electric knife if possible.
  5. Don’t use a knife to tackle the bones. Use kitchen shears in this situation. They cut bones more easily, and it’s less likely that your knife will slip.
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Bones Fracture Hand Pediatrics

How to Know if Your Child Has a Broken Bone

It can be difficult to know if your child has a broken bone (also called a “fracture”), if they need emergency care or if they simply need at-home care. To complicate matters further, children need special care when they do break a bone because their bones are still growing and have a different consistency and quality than adult bones.

Children can break bones in a number of ways due to their constant activity and curiosity. They can fall, crush a finger in a door, touch dangerous machinery that they shouldn’t, get hit by a ball, etc.

Here are some important things to note if your child has an injury:

  • Bring your child to the emergency room if the finger, wrist, or arm is not in normal alignment or if there is a skin wound leading to the fracture.
  • Ice the injury if the injured body part looks normal and is movable, but keep an eye on your child’s symptoms.
  • If there is significant bruising or swelling, bring your child to see a hand surgeon as soon as possible. The finger, wrist or arm may be broken, but an x-ray is the only way to tell.
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Elbow Hand Surgeon Lumps and Bumps Olecranon Bursitis

Ask a Doctor: Olecranon Bursitis

Hand surgeon Steven H. Goldberg, MD explains olecranon bursitis:

Olecranon bursitis is a common problem that causes pain and swelling near the point of the elbow.  There are several causes of olecranon bursitis.  In some people we never know what causes this problem.  In other people it can begin with trauma or injury to the area. Blood can fill the area, inflammation can occur, or infection can cause the problem. Infections can be either sudden or can slowly grow and become very long lasting. Depending on the cause of the bursitis, the treatment may vary considerably and may just include observation or could require surgery to clean the area.

The olecranon is the pointy part of your elbow. The olecranon bursa is one of many bursas in your body.  A bursa is a type of tissue below the skin that produces fluid and helps the skin or deeper tissues move across areas where a lot of motion occurs. The olecranon bursa, for example, helps the skin slide over the olecranon as you bend or straighten the elbow.  Other areas where there are bursae include the subacromial and subdeltoid (shoulder) bursa, the greater trochanteric (hip) bursa, and the prepatellar (knee) bursa.  Bursitis can occur at any of these areas.

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Arthroscopy Elbow Hand Surgeon Surgery

What is Elbow Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that can be used for the elbow and other parts of the body, commonly the knee and shoulder. The procedure involves a very small incision (cut). The surgeon uses a small instrument the size of a pencil (a fiberoptic camera) to look inside the joint. The camera will project onto a screen, allowing the hand surgeon to see the different structures in your elbow. Sometimes, multiple incisions will be made so the surgeon can place the camera in multiple positions.

Elbow arthroscopy can be used for many different conditions, including:

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