Author Archives: The Hand Society

Congenital Hand Differences Hand Pediatrics

3 Common Congenital Hand Differences

con·gen·i·tal
(adjective)
(especially of a disease or physical abnormality) present from birth

A congenital hand difference is a hand that is abnormal at birth. During fetal development, the upper limbs are formed between four and eight weeks of pregnancy.  During this time, many steps are needed to form a normal arm and hand.  If any of these steps fail, then a congenital hand difference can result. It is not uncommon for a child to be born with a hand difference. In fact, 1 in 20 babies are born with one.

Some congenital hand differences can be major, and some can be minor. Here are 3 common differences:

  1. Syndactyly: This is when parts of the hand are webbed or fused together (failure of separation).
  2. Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra small finger (duplication).
  3. Radial Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra thumb (duplication).
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Hand Muscles Rotator Cuff Shoulder

Anatomy 101: The Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons provide stability in the shoulder, attaching around the head of the humerus bone, encircling it like a cuff. These four muscles include:

  • Infraspinatous: This muscle is positioned more behind the shoulder joint. It helps to externally rotate the arm, for example, when you are throwing a ball.
  • Supraspinatous: This muscle forms the upper border of the rotator cuff. It helps you bring your arm away from your body.
  • Subscapularis: This is the only rotator cuff muscle that is actually in front of the shoulder. It helps rotate the arm toward the body, such as when you touch your stomach.
  • Teres Minor: This muscle primarily helps externally rotate the shoulder, but it also helps pull the arm into the body.
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Joint Replacement Surgery Technology

Random Fact: Joint Replacement Surgery

Did you know? With advanced technology, custom implants for a joint replacement now match your exact anatomy. Read about joint replacement surgery and learn more about why this procedure is so accurate.

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Hand Ulnar-Sided Wrist Pain Wrist Wrist Pain

Ask a Doctor: Ulnar-Sided Wrist Pain


Hand surgeon Mark Yuhas, MD answers your questions about ulnar-sided wrist pain.

What does it mean to have “ulnar-sided” wrist pain?

Pain on the ulnar side of the wrist refers to pain in the region of the wrist on the “pinky side” of the wrist joint. The structures on the pinky side of the wrist make a complex interaction with bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.  They allow us to grip, twist the forearm and wrist, and move the wrist forward (flexion) and backward (extension).  In the wrist, injury or wearing down of these structures may lead to pain or instability.

What are some causes of ulnar-sided wrist pain?

In a relatively small area on the ulnar side of the wrist, there are many different structures. The main structures that cause pain in this part of the wrist are ligaments (soft tissue that connects bone to bone), tendons (soft tissue that connects bone to muscle), bone, or cartilage (allow joints to move smoothly).  Also on this side of the wrist is the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) which is a group of soft tissue structures that work together.

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Gardening Hand Hand Safety Hand Therapy

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: The Joys of Gardening Without the Risk of Injury

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to not just feed the body but the soul” – Alfred Austin

Gardening is a meaningful activity for people across the lifespan. It can add beauty and nutrition as well as be an outlet for stress relief and a means of exercise. While it has many benefits, it can also be hard work for the muscles and joints of your hands and arms. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you reduce your risk for pain and increase your joy and productivity in the garden.

Tools

Good gardening tools can be especially helpful to reduce risk and pain associated with repetitive use injuries.

  • Tools with built up handles can reduce the grip strength required to perform activities and protect your joints. Wide handled or ergonomic tools may also be available on the internet or in local shops.
  • To build up the handles of your own tools, pipe insulation can be purchased at your local hardware store.
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Flexor Tendons Hand Injury Muscles Nerves

What is a Flexor Tendon Injury?

An injury to a flexor tendon is basically an injury to your muscle. The flexor muscles are the muscles that allow you to bend your fingers. These muscles are able to move your fingers through tendons, which are cord-like extensions that connect your muscle to your bone. The flexor muscles start at the elbow and forearm and turn into tendons just past the middle of the forearm. They then attach to the bones of the fingers.

These tendons can be injured, for example, by a deep cut. If you severely cut yourself, the cut could also damage surrounding structures such as nerves and vessels. Many times, an injury that looks simple on the outside, like a cut, can be very complicated on the inside. A severe cut that injures the tendons will mean that you won’t be able to bend your finger, as the flexor muscles allow this movement.

There are 5 different flexor muscles in the wrist and forearm, including:

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Hand Hand Surgery

When Is Surgery the Answer for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

from U.S. News & World Report

LAST SUMMER, ANNA LEA Matysek of Sarasota, Florida, and her husband Jim set to work sprucing up their property. Some of the hardscaping that had been installed two decades prior had sunk into the soft, Gulf Coast soil, and it was time to break up that old concrete and elevate the flower beds. “We excavated these giant concrete pieces and then filled the trenches with rock and laid the pieces back down so that they’re now at surface level again,” Matysek says. The job took about two weeks and involved “a lot of digging, moving pieces of concrete and shoveling rocks.” By the end of the project, the property looked great, but Matysek was suffering from a classic case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports CTS “occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel – a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand – houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve provides feeling to the palm side of the thumb and to the index, middle and part of the ring fingers (although not the little finger). It also controls some small muscles at the base of the thumb.”

Read the full story.

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Elbow Hand Hand Surgery Hand Therapy Stiff Elbow

How to Treat a Stiff Elbow

A stiff elbow can be caused by a couple different things. It could be the result of a injury, such as a fall, and it could also result from a certain condition such as arthritis. Having a stiff elbow likely means that you are unable to move the elbow as you normally would. It makes it difficult to perform simple, everyday tasks. You likely cannot bend or straighten the elbow to pick up objects or rotate your palms to do things like wash your hands.

Here are different methods that your surgeon may recommend for treating a stiff elbow:

  • Exercises/stretching
  • Splinting
  • Surgery
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