Author Archives: The Hand Society

Avocado Hand Hand Safety Knife Safety

The dangers of avocado: how to safely slice this summer

from the Daily Herald

As the temperatures rise and minds wander to poolside guacamole and fresh avocado toast, it’s important to be aware of the trending condition sending many avo-lovers to the hospital — avocado hand.

Dr. Leon Benson, a hand surgeon at NorthShore University HealthSystem and Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, has treated a number of patients for serious injuries sustained while cutting and removing the pit of an avocado; including torn tendons and hands that have been impaled by sharp knives.

If you’re an avo-lover, take warning. Even celebrities like Joy Behar and Meryl Streep have fallen victim to avocado hand. It’s important to know how to properly hold and cut an avocado so you don’t get injured by this supermarket booby trap. Below, Dr. Benson outlines his top tips for how to safely slice avocados.

Read the full story.

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Hand Hand Surgery Opioids Pain

6 Ways to Reduce Pain Without Opioids

After surgery, you may be feeling pain. While your doctor may have prescribed medication to lessen the pain, there are many other things you can do to make yourself more comfortable post-surgery. Here are six ways to reduce pain without opioids:

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Anatomy Extensor Tendons Hand Tendons

Anatomy 101: The Extensor Tendon

Tendons are cord-like extensions that connect muscles to bones. Extensor tendons are thin tendons located on the back of the hand, just under the skin. These particular tendons allow you to straighten your fingers and thumb and can be injured by a simple cut or jammed finger. These injuries can cause the tendons to rip from their attachment to the bone, making it hard to straighten your fingers or thumb as you usually do.

Here are two common conditions that result from an injured extensor tendon:

  1. Mallet Fingers are common in baseball players and are typically caused when a ball hits the tip of the finger or thumb. It causes the finger or thumb to droop at the tip.
  2. Boutonnière Deformities are when the middle part of the finger is bent downward.
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Hand Hand Surgeon Tendon Injuries Tendons

Ask a Doctor: Tendon Injuries

Hand surgeon David J. Bozentka, MD answers your questions about tendon injuries.

What is a tendon?

A tendon is a cord-like structure that attaches a muscle to a bone.  The muscles that allow you to bend and straighten your fingers start in the forearm, and the tendons attach the muscles to your fingers and wrist.  The tendons on the palm side of the hand that bend the fingers and wrist are called flexor tendons.  The tendons on the back side of the hand and wrist are termed extensor tendons.

How do I know that I have a tendon injury?  

Difficulty in fully bending or straightening your finger or wrist after an injury may be related to damage to a tendon.  Lacerations (cuts) to the hand, wrist or forearm are some of the more common reasons you can injure a tendon.  In addition, an injury without an open wound can cause a tendon to pull away from a bone called an avulsion injury.  A Jersey Finger is a term used for a flexor tendon avulsion injury most commonly occurring in the ring finger.  A player that grabs another player’s jersey that is pulled away can avulse a flexor tendon, causing inability to bend the tip joint of the finger.  Alternatively, a Mallet Finger involves an avulsion injury of the extensor tendon leading to a droop of the tip joint of the involved digit.

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Elbow Hand Hand Pain Hand Surgeon Wrist

Pain in Your Hand, Wrist or Elbow? When to Seek Help

from the Cleveland Clinic

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. But it doesn’t always tell you if you need medical treatment. So when pain develops in your hand, wrist or elbow, how do you know whether to treat it at home or see a doctor?

Orthopedic surgeon William Seitz, Jr., MD, who specializes in upper extremity problems, says if something is seriously wrong, you’ll know it.

A wrist fracture, for instance, will cause pain you can’t ignore. “When the pain is so bad you can’t move past it, call your doctor or head to the emergency department,” he says. If you don’t have that level of pain, then listen to your body. Take a moment to consider why you might be feeling pain and what it can tell you.

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Bones Elbow Olecranon Bursitis

How to Know if You Have Olecranon Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is a condition in which painful swelling develops at the back of the elbow. Here are signs that you may have this condition:

  • Swollen elbow (sometimes looking like a golf ball at the tip)
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Warmth around the elbow
  • Fever
  • Draining pus

Most times, you feel no pain with olecranon bursitis. The swelling can either be gradual or happen at once. Sometimes, it can be painful if the bursa is infected.

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Hand Hand Care Skin

Random Fact: Old Hands

Did you know? Our hands look older with time because they lose fat and elasticity. Learn more from the Cleveland Clinic about how to take care of your hands to prevent them from looking older.

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Arthritis Hand Psoriatic Arthritis Skin

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis in which the lining of the joint gets inflamed and swollen, causing the joint to become loose or crooked. Psoriatic arthritis is not the same as psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes skin to become dry, red, and flaky on any part of the body. However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, so there is a link between the two.

Psoriatic arthritis, which is common in the hands, may cause your bones to lose their shape due to the smooth ends of the bones wearing out. This condition affects men and women equally. Some symptoms may include:

  • Red and swollen joints
  • Joints that sometimes feel warm
  • Decreased joint motion and stiff-feeling joints
  • Pitting, ridging or crumbling fingernails
  • Deformed end of finger
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