Courtesy of Michelle Fontaine, MD, Orange Regional Medical Center
MIDDLETOWN – Cold weather is behind us and our hands have emerged from their mittens into a world with hazards.
During the summer, the emergency room typically sees an increase in traumatic hand and finger injuries. And, it’s not surprising that the surge comes as yard work begins, since lawnmowers are a common cause of hand injuries.
To ensure you cut your lawn and nothing else, taking a few simple precautions can help. Always wear gloves as a first line of defense when operating a mower or other trimming tools. Keep your hands away from blades and the chute at all times. If your mower is clogged, use extreme caution when cleaning it out. Never touch mower blades with your hands, even if the engine is off. Once an obstruction is cleared, the blades may unexpectedly turn and cause serious bodily damage.
Grilling is another culprit. We see slicing injuries not just from basic food prep – which is a year-round issue – but from people using knives improperly. For example, we see people separate frozen burger patties or slice buns in their hands rather than on a table top.
Did you know that the American Society for Surgery of the Hand provides online information on 20 different hand and upper extremity conditions in Spanish? Here are some of our most popular conditions in Spanish:
- Artritis de la base del pulgar (thumb arthritis): La artritis en la base del pulgar es una predisposición genética: al igual que las canas y el afinamiento del pelo, aparece con la edad y surge más temprano en algunas familias. A diferencia del afinamiento del cabello, las mujeres tienden a padecer artritis del pulgar antes que los hombres.
- Dedo en gatillo (trigger finger): La tendosinovitis estenosante, comúnmente conocida como “dedo en gatillo” o “pulgar en gatillo”, afecta los tendones y poleas de la mano que flexionan los dedos.
- Quistes sinoviales (ganglion cysts): Los quistes sinoviales (o “gangliones”) son bultos muy comunes en la mano y la muñeca que aparecen junto a articulaciones o tendones. Los lugares más comunes son la parte de arriba de la muñeca, el lado de la palma de la muñeca, la base de los dedos del lado de la palma y la parte superior de la articulación que está más cerca de la punta de los dedos.
- Síndrome del túnel carpiano (carpal tunnel syndrome): El síndrome del túnel carpiano (STC) es una afección que surge debido al aumento de la presión sobre el nervio medo en la muñeca. En efecto, es un nervio pellizcado en la muñeca.
- Epicondilitis lateral (tennis elbow): La epicondilitis lateral, en general conocida como codo de tenista, es una afección dolorosa de los tendones que se unen al hueso en la parte externa (lateral) del codo.
For additional topics in Spanish, visit www.HandCare.org.
The wrist muscles and forearm muscles do so much more than give you strength in your arm and wrist. These muscles also play a part in helping you move your hand and fingers. There are 18 different muscles!
Here’s a preview of these muscles:
- Flexor pollicis longus: Helps you bend the tip of your thumb.
- Flexor digitorum profundus: Helps you bend your index, middle, ring and small fingers.
- Flexor digitorum superficialis: Helps you bend the middle joint of each finger, except for the thumb, which allows you to do things such as eating with chopsticks.
- Flexor carpi ulnaris: Helps you move your wrist away from the thumb, which is helpful in playing darts.
- Brachioradialis: Helps you twist your forearm so your palm is either facing up or down.
- Flexor carpi radialis: Helps you bend the wrist and move it toward the thumb.
- Palmaris longus: Helps you bend the wrist.
- Extensor pollicis brevis: Helps you straighten the thumb.
from The New York Times
Avocados may seem harmless, but if you’ve ever peeled and cut one, you know they can be more than a little troublesome. They’re slippery, they’re oddly shaped, and they have that annoying pit in the middle that rarely slips out as easily as you’d like.
These characteristics have earned the avocado a reputation as one of the most dangerous foods to cut. Just recently, the wife of a colleague here at The New York Times was slicing an avocado when she suffered a cut so deep she had to be taken to the emergency room.
Medical professionals and hospitals in the United States don’t track kitchen injuries by ingredient, but anecdotally, doctors say they see a number of avocado-related cooking injuries annually — enough to notice.
A carpometacarpal boss, also known as a CMC boss or “bossing,” is a lump that appears on the back of the hand. It is typically in line with the pointer or middle finger. The exact cause of it is unknown, although sometimes they can arise from a traumatic injury or repetitive wrist motion that can happen during things like golf.
Here are some signs that you have a CMC boss:
- You notice a lump on the back of your hand
- It appeared between the ages of 20 and 40
- You feel pain when moving the wrist up or down
- You feel a snapping sensation when moving the wrist
Shoulder pain can be caused by a wide variety of issues. This is because the shoulder is comprised of several key structures, including tendons, cartilage and bone. The shoulder itself is a ball-and-socket joint, which allows a wide range of movement.
Shoulder pain can range from pain simply with moving the shoulder to the inability to lift the arm overhead or feeling weak. Here are five potential causes of such shoulder pain:
- Shoulder Arthritis: This can be caused by everyday wear and tear.
- Frozen Shoulder: If you have frozen shoulder, the inner lining of your shoulder has become inflamed and tight, preventing you from having full motion and also causing pain.
- Shoulder Dislocation: A dislocation is when the ball slides out of the socket. This is most commonly caused by an athletic injury or fall.
- Shoulder Fractures: A shoulder fracture is another word for a broken shoulder. It can be a break of the ball, socket or scapula.
- Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is where the four tendons that encompass the ball of the shoulder meet. Injuries to the rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain.