Author Archives: The Hand Society

Hand Shoulder Shoulder Arthritis

How to treat shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is a condition that can cause pain in the shoulder that typically worsens with activity. This can include something as simple as reaching the arm over the head. The pain can be in the back of the shoulder (as with arthritis of the G-H joint) or the top of the shoulder (as with A-C arthritis). Shoulder arthritis can also cause loss of motion or a grinding feeling when you move.

How can this be treated? Shoulder arthritis is treated similarly to other arthritis conditions. Options may include:

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Hand Hand Surgery Opioids Pain Surgery

Ask a Doctor: What to Expect After Surgery

Dr. Ekkehard Bonatz answers your questions about what to expect after you’ve had hand surgery.

Q: I’ve been told I will have a cast, splint, or brace. What does that mean?

A: Many surgeries require a short time of protection to allow your body to start its recovery from your procedure.  Leaving surgery, your hand, wrist, or forearm may be wrapped with a bulky dressing. Surgeons will frequently include a splint as a part of the dressing. It is a rigid part of the dressing that is intended to protect the surgical repair and add to comfort.  A splint typically covers only part of the surgical area, leaving some room for swelling.  Depending on what is needed for your particular surgery, your surgeon may recommend that you return to the office after a few days for a dressing change or a change to a full cast

A cast is applied by wrapping fiberglass tape or plaster around your hand, wrist, or arm. The cast hardens and forms a rigid hollow tube around your extremity. It holds the surgical area still during the healing process. It may need to be changed over time to account for swelling, wound care, suture removal, or to take x-rays.  Some surgeries require a brace during the healing process. 

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Arthritis Hand Hand Pain

Getting a Grip on Arthritis-Related Hand Pain

Man holding his hand – pain concept

from U.S. News & World Report

ESPECIALLY AS A PERSON ages, it’s common to experience pain in the hands that’s caused by arthritis. It’s most often the result of a loss of cartilage that can leave bone rubbing on bone, or what’s called osteoarthritis. Inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis (resulting from the skin disease psoriasis) that leads to swollen fingers and toes can also be to blame.

While some are able to handle a mild degree of discomfort, arthritis in the hands is frequently more than a fleeting annoyance, and it can even lead to hand deformity if left untreated. As pain becomes more regular and severe, it can affect a person’s ability to do everything from activities they enjoy – like golf or other forms of recreation – to those things they need to do just to get through the day, from buttoning a shirt to gripping a cup of coffee in the morning.

Fortunately, there are ways you can ease arthritis-related hand pain. Read the full story.

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Hand Pain Hand Surgeon Numbness

Why Are My Hands Numb?

There can be many different causes for numb hands. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is a condition involving a pinched nerve in the wrist, is one of the most common reasons. Typically, with this condition, you’ll feel numbness or tingling in thumb, index, middle and ring fingers.

Here are five other reasons your hands may be numb:

  1. Compression Neuropathy: This means there is pressure on a nerve, which can happen from an injury or other medical condition. In addition to numbness, it can cause weak or twitchy muscles. The location of the compressed nerve can vary, resulting in a variety of different symptoms. Learn more.
  2. Peripheral Neuropathy: This condition can commonly occur in people with diabetes, alcoholics, older individuals or individuals who were poisoned from metals or industrial compounds. It typically causes constant numbness in a general area.
  3. Fibromyalgia: This is a disorder that causes pain all over the body. People with this condition can be more likely than others to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which in turn may cause numb hands.
  4. Myofascial Pain Syndrome: This condition can be similar to Fibromyalgia. While the symptoms of pain are typically in the neck and shoulder, it can also cause numb hands and forearms.
  5. Medications: Cancer treatment drugs are an example of medication that can cause numbness and tingling in the hands.
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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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