Author Archives: The Hand Society

Arthroscopy Hand Hand Surgeon Hand Surgery

What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to look inside your joint by inserting a small tool (about the width of a pencil) into a small cut. You will be under general or regional anesthesia during this surgery. A fiberoptic camera will be inserted into the joint, and the video will be projected on a screen for the surgeon to view. The surgeon may make several small cuts around your elbow to see different areas.

Knee and shoulder arthroscopy are common procedures, but arthroscopy can also be used for both the elbow and wrist. The wrist is the third most common joint to undergo arthroscopy.

Wrist Arthroscopy

This procedure may be performed on the wrist if you are experiencing pain, a clicking noise or swelling. These symptoms usually arise from an injury and usually mean there is an internal problem with the wrist.

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Anatomy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Hand

Video: The Anatomy of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome
is a common condition affecting the hands. Patients typically say that they wake up at night with a feeling of pins and needles in their fingers, like their hand is asleep. They commonly shake their hands out to relive the symptoms. As the problem progresses, their hands will go numb when they drive, talk on the phone, or do their hair. As the problem becomes more severe, they will eventually report constant numbness in their fingers.

All of the nerves that go to the hand originate from the spinal cord at the neck level. The median nerve goes down the arm and crosses the wrist under a ligament called the transverse carpal ligament. This nerve then gives sensation to the thumb, index and long finger, as well as half the ring finger. Watch this 2-minute animation to learn more about how carpal tunnel affects your hand.

You can also read more about carpal tunnel on our website, www.HandCare.org.

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Hand Medication Opioids Pain

Random Fact: Opioids

Did you know? Opioids are a type of pain medication made from the poppy that is used to make opium and heroin. Learn more about how to use opioids safely.

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Bones Casts and Splints Hand

How to Take Care of a Cast

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Hand Hand Surgery Therapy Dog

Making the rounds: Therapy dogs team up with hand surgeon to comfort patients

from the Chicago Tribune

When Ceil Johnson fell on the ice and broke her wrist last month, she went to hand surgeon Leon Benson for treatment.

Benson had taken care of her before, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t nervous when the doctor, who practices in Wilmette and Glenview, removed the staples in her arm a few weeks later. But Johnson had a companion to help steady her as Benson carefully removed each staple: Benson’s Portuguese water dog, Cooper.

Cooper sat patiently on the exam table beside Johnson, letting her put her arms around him and bury her face in his glossy black side until the doctor’s work was completed.

Johnson, who has dogs herself, said she was glad Cooper had been there for her.

“I’m not a kid about stuff like this, but without Cooper there, it would have felt a lot worse,” she said.

Benson, who is affiliated with both the NorthShore Orthopaedic Institute and the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, is used to that kind of response to 7-year-old Cooper, and to Chelsea, Cooper’s 11-year-old Portuguese water dog colleague. That’s exactly the reason he brings one or both of them in to see patients.

Read the full story.

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Arthritis Hand Stiff Hands

5 Potential Causes of Stiff Hands

Stiff Hands

We use our hands for nearly everything. When stiff hands come about, it prevents us from doing daily activities that we take for granted. If a hand becomes stiff, it can be a variety of issues, some more serious than others. Here are five potential causes of stiff hands:

  1. Arthritis: There are many different types of arthritis that can affect the hands, including thumb arthritis, MP joint arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Fractures: A hand fracture is a medical term for a broken hand. Even if you can still move the hand, it may be broken.
  3. Dislocations: Any upper extremity dislocation can cause hands to feel stiff.
  4. Bad sprains: A thumb sprain is an example of an injury that could cause stiffness.
  5. Tendon and muscle injuries: Extensor tendon injuries can happen due to an injury or even a cut on the hand. Flexor tendon injuries can happen from a deep cut.
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Anatomy Arteries Hand

Anatomy 101: Arteries of the Hand

Arteries of the Hand

Arteries are multi-layered tubes that take blood from the heart to other places in the body. There are six arteries that travel into the hand. They are:

Deep Palmar Arch
Named for its shape of an arch, the deep palmar arch is small but important. This vessel sends off small branches to supply blood to the thumb and index finger.

Superficial Palmar Arch
Also named for its shape of an arch, this vessel communicates with the deep palmar arch and also gives off important branches that supply blood to the fingers.  These are called the common digital arteries.

Common Digital Arteries
The common digital arteries are small vessels that come from the palmar arches and supply blood to the fingers.  They are called “common” because when they split to become the proper digital arteries, most of these vessels provide blood to two different fingers.

Digital Arteries to the Thumb
The thumb receives its blood supply from the digital arteries.

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Hand Wrist Wrist Fracture

5 Signs of a Wrist Fracture

A wrist fracture is a medical term for a broken wrist. Breaking your wrist can involve any of the eight small bones that make up the wrist, which are connected to the forearm bones called the radius and the ulna. The radius is the most common bone to break in a wrist fracture. This injury typically happens from falling on an outstretched hand, but it can also result from traumatic events such as a car accident. While wrist fractures can vary in severity, here are five signs that you may have broken your wrist rather than simply spraining it:

  1. Pain and swelling in the wrist
  2. Inability or difficulty using the hand or wrist
  3. Deformed-looking wrist
  4. Pain with finger movement
  5. Numb or tingling fingers
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