Author Archives: The Hand Society

Elbow Hand Shoulder Sports Injury

The Biceps Brachii: A Common Cause of Shoulder and Elbow Pain in Athletes

Hand surgeon Benjamin R. Graves MD discusses the biceps brachii and the impact it has on the shoulders and elbows of athletes.

As an upper extremity surgeon, I see patients of all ages, sports, and skill levels for shoulder and elbow injuries on a daily basis.  These problems can be acute or chronic and vary from mild to severe.  Mild cases can often be treated with non-surgical measures, whereas more severe injuries may require surgery. 

One muscle in particular, the biceps brachii (pronounced bray-key-eye), is frequently injured during sports activity, and is one of the more common reasons a patient may come to see me for evaluation.  What makes this muscle unique is that it spans two joints, the shoulder and the elbow.  This means that an injury to the “biceps” can involve the elbow, the shoulder, or both.

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Boxing Hand Sports Injury

The Beginner’s Guide to Boxing Wraps

from Livestrong

Boxing a great cardiovascular workout — you can also burn up to 900 calories in just 30 minutes of intense boxing, turning you into a fat-burning, muscle-gaining machine. And it also happens to be a fantastic stress-relieving workout. There’s just something so therapeutic about punching something to release pent-up aggression.

Before you jump into the ring with just a set of boxing gloves, though, you first need to protect your hands with boxing wraps to prevent a serious injury.

Read the full story.

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Medication Opioids Pain

5 Side Effects of Opioids

Opioids are a type of pain medication that has been used for thousands of years to treat different types of pain. They are made from the poppy that is used to make opium and heroin, which make them highly addictive. Opioids can be used to treat pain involving skin, muscles and bones following an injury or surgery.

Some of the most common side effects of opioids include:

  1. Nausea
  2. Constipation
  3. Itching
  4. Drowsiness
  5. Decrease in breathing
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Arthritis Gout Joint Pain

Gout: Disease of the Kings

Hand surgeon John M. Erickson, MD answers your questions about the disease called Gout.

Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis typically presenting with a red, hot, swollen, extremely painful joint. Gout frequently affects joints in the big toe, ankle or knee but can happen elsewhere. Gout can also involve the fingers, wrist and elbow. A “gout attack” usually starts suddenly and the pain increases rapidly.  Because of the skin redness, warmth, and pain intensity, gout attacks can be difficult to distinguish from infection.

What is gout?

A gout attack is caused when uric acid normally circulating in the blood deposits in joints or soft tissues and forms crystals.  When the body reacts to the crystals it creates a painful inflammatory reaction. Uric acid is naturally produced in the body. It is a normal breakdown product of a chemical in many foods called purines. Our bodies remove uric acid through the urine. Gout occurs when there is either too much uric acid produced in the body or too little being removed by the kidneys. Gout attacks can cause joint damage over time. Bumps or nodules of uric acid can develop around the joints in long-term gout; these nodules are called tophi.

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Exercise Shoulder Pain Wrist Pain

Tips and stretches to reduce wrist and shoulder pain when working out

from NBC News

Whether it’s a shooting pain or a dull ache, wrist and shoulder discomfort is a common complaint among my clients.

Pain in these areas can present itself in a variety of ways: In a plank position, you may feel a pulling on your wrists or tightness in your shoulders. While lifting dumbbells, you may feel a tingling in your wrists, or hear a clicking or popping sound in your shoulders. Or maybe during a push-up you feel a twinge in your shoulder with every rep. These are just a few examples of the type of pain that can creep up when we are putting strain on the joints.

According to Dr. Stephen O’Connell, chairman at Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Surgery and director of Hand and Wrist Surgery, approximately 25 percent of all athletic injuries involve the wrist and hand. “The human hand consists of 29 bones, 29 joints, 123 ligaments, 34 muscles and 48 nerves. Combine this fact with an active lifestyle and it’s easy to understand why fractures of the wrist and hand bones are relatively common,” he says. Fractures make up a smaller percentage of athletic injuries; “more ubiquitous are problems we attribute to overuse, which typically involve tendons and ligaments,” Dr. O’Connell explains.

Read the full story.

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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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