Summer is here which means more time enjoying the outdoors and working to maintain landscaping. This may mean mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or cutting down those hanging tree limbs. These activities may require the use of equipment that has very sharp edges. In the summer, hand therapists see many injuries related to these activities. One of those being tendon injuries, which can mean a cut of the tendon(s) in the forearm or hand that help open and close the hand. Tendon injuries can be very serious injuries, especially if not correctly addressed with surgery and rehabilitation. If you cut yourself and find a lack of ability to move a finger, thumb or wrist with your own power, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Typically, a tendon injury will require surgical repair. Hand therapy then becomes a large part of the recovery. You can find a local certified hand therapist through the American Society of Hand Therapists at www.asht.org/find-a-therapist.
from USA Today
Americans now spend more than five hours a day hunched over, reading emails, sending texts or checking social media sites, according to analytics firm Flurry— and it’s turning into a real pain in the neck. No really, there’s actually a condition called “tech neck,” and there’s a good chance you — or someone in your family — have it.
ImagineMD, a direct primary care medical company based in Chicago, gathered Google search trend data to rank tech pains by the number of times people searched for them. “Tech neck” is one of the most frequently Googled tech-related conditions in the U.S. these days, right behind “texting thumb” and “cell phone elbow.”
And while the terms might sound funny, these tech-related conditions can be serious and painful. Here are the top three — and what to do about them.
Gamer’s thumb, aka texting thumb
Thumb pain is the No. 1 most-searched-for technology-related injury, with nearly 100,000 monthly searches, according to that ImagineMD report. It’s a repetitive stress injury, caused by too much gripping, tapping and swiping, either on a video game controller or a smartphone screen, says Robert Wysocki, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
(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:
- Syndactyly: This is when parts of the hand are webbed or fused together (failure of separation).
- Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra small finger (duplication).
- Radial Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra thumb (duplication).
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.
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.
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: