Category : Bones

Bones Broken Hand Hand Fracture Hand Surgery

Ask a Doctor – Hand Fractures

Hand surgeon Brian P. Kelley, MD, answers your questions about a broken hand.

How do I know if I broke a bone in my hand?

Breaking a bone, or fracturing a bone as a doctor may refer to it, is a common injury that can occur at any age.  In fact, fractures of the bones of the hand represent one of the most common reasons for a visit to the emergency department in the United States (about 1.5% of all emergency visits). Also, fractures of the fingers represent about 10% of all types of fractures.

Fractures often occur after physical trauma, such as during sports, work, or falls. However, it’s important to remember that not all hand injuries involve a fracture of the bone.  Other injuries, such as sprains or dislocations, may occur around the bones, but may not actually involve a break. In these cases, the soft tissues that hold bones together may be injured (such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, or cartilage).

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Bones Elbow Elbow Fracture Hand

Ask a Doctor: Elbow Fractures

Elbow Fractures

Hand surgeon Benjamin R. Graves, MD answers your questions about elbow fractures.


Of all the joints in the body, the elbow is one of the most complex.  This complexity comes from the fact that the “elbow joint” is made up of three separate joints that form where the humerus, radius, and ulna bones meet.  Under normal circumstances, these three joints work together seamlessly to allow the flexion, extension, and forearm rotation we need to brush our hair and teeth, feed ourselves, turn a door handle, serve a tennis ball, and perform a multitude of other daily tasks.

Fractures involving the elbow can range in severity, from relatively minor injuries that heal on their own, to more severe injuries that require surgery.  Elbow fractures can also lead to a lot of questions for patients and their families.  I have compiled a list of five questions that I am frequently asked regarding elbow fractures.

I hurt my elbow. How do I know if I have an elbow fracture?

Elbow fractures can occur in a variety of ways.  Low-energy injuries, such as falls from standing or bumping the elbow onto a hard object can lead to small, stable fractures that can easily be mistaken for a sprain or strain.  They don’t always cause deformity or instability, and might only cause limited swelling and hurt-to-the-touch in a specific location.  These injuries may hurt for days or weeks and then stop hurting on their own.

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Bones Kienbock's Disease Wrist Wrist Pain

Ask a Doctor: Kienbock’s Disease

kienbocks

Dr. Mark Yuhas answers your questions about Kienbock’s Disease:

What is Kienbock’s Disease?

Kienbock’s Disease, also known as avascular necrosis of the lunate, is a disease that can result in pain and stiffness in the wrist. The lunate is one of eight small bones in the wrist that give the wrist its complex and unique motion.  “Avascular necrosis” is a lack of blood supply to the bone, which results in bone death. Blood supply is important to all bones to grow, heal, and provide structure and support to the body. Without blood supply, the lunate may not provide the same support and structure needed for proper wrist function.

What is the cause of Kienbock’s Disease? Can it be prevented?

There are several theories about the cause of Kienbock’s Disease, but a single cause has not been identified. Multiple variables are thought to be involved, including a history of wrist trauma. Other contributing factors include variations in anatomy such as the position of the forearm bones at the wrist, the shape of the lunate, and the pattern of blood supply to the lunate. Most of these factors are not able to be controlled by the patient.

There is no way that we know to prevent Kienbock’s Disease. However, it is important to identify this problem as soon as possible in order to prevent progression of the disease which can lead to wrist arthritis. This ultimately can cause pain, stiffness, and decreased function in the wrist.

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Anatomy Bones Shoulder

Anatomy 101: Shoulder Bones

There are five major bones in the shoulder. The shoulder bones can easily be affected by falls or accidents, in addition to arthritis. Here is an overview of the shoulder bones:

  1. Scapula: Another name for this bone is the shoulder blade. There are 17 muscles that attach to the scapula! Much of your shoulder motion is between the scapula and the chest. The scapula is part of the “shoulder girdle” which also includes muscle and ligament that allow your shoulder to move.
  2. Clavicle: This bone is also referred to as the collar bone. The clavicle connects the arm to the chest. It has joints on both ends, which can become arthritic.
  3. Acromion: This bone is a flat projection of the scapula that gives the shoulder its square shape.
  4. Coracoid Process: This bone is also a projection of the scapula. It points outward toward the front of the body. This bone is important because its muscles and ligaments help support the clavicle, shoulder joint and humerus.
  5. Glenoid Cavity: This is the socket portion of the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder. Any abnormalities in the cavity can cause joint instability, which can lead to a condition called “frozen shoulder.”

Learn more about the shoulder bones and the anatomy of the upper extremity (including the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder) at www.HandCare.org/hand-arm-anatomy.

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Anatomy Bones Joints Wrist

Anatomy 101: Wrist Joints

The wrist joints lie between the many different bones in the wrist and forearm. Many wrist injuries (such as fractures, also known as a broken bone) involve the joint surface. There are three joints in the wrist:

  1. Radiocarpal joint: This joint is where the radius, one of the forearm bones, joins with the first row of wrist bones (scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum).
  2. Ulnocarpal joint: This joint is where the ulna, one of the forearm bones, joins with the lunate and triquetrum wrist bones. This joint is commonly injured when you sprain your wrist. Some people are born with (or develop) an ulna that is longer than the radius, which can cause stress and pain on the joint, known as ulnocarpal abutment (impaction) syndrome.
  3. Distal radioulnar joint: This joint is where the two forearm bones connect. Pain with this joint can sometimes be a challenging problem to treat.

Learn more about the joints of the wrist and also the bones of the wrist in our Anatomy section. You can also visit www.HandCare.org for information on conditions and injuries of the hand, wrist, arm and shoulder.

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Bones Casts and Splints Hand

How to Take Care of a Cast

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Bones Broken Arm Elbow Fracture Fracture Hand Fracture Shoulder Fracture

Random Fact: Broken Bone

Close-up of a young woman's hand in plaster.

Did you know? Just because you can move a body part doesn’t mean a bone isn’t broken. Learn more about the signs of a broken bone in the hand, arm, elbow and shoulder.

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Bones Dislocated Elbow Elbow Hand

Taking care of a dislocated elbow

a man holds his painful, aching elbow ** Note: Shallow depth of field

Guest post by Avery Arora, MD

When the bones in the forearm are moved out of place with the bones in the upper part of the arm, the result is usually a dislocated elbow. All of the bones in the arm meet at the elbow joint, and dislocating the joint is a very serious injury.

What causes a dislocated elbow?

The dislocation of an elbow generally stems from some type of traumatic force that causes the bones to push apart from one another. This can happen during many types of sports, as well as in auto accidents. It can also occur when someone falls onto his or her outstretched arms and tries to stop the fall.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Those who have dislocated their elbow will generally experience an enormous amount of pain when the injury occurs. They will no longer be able to continue with whatever activity they were doing, as the pain will be too bad and they will have limited movement. The greatest amount of pain is generally felt at the elbow, but pain can also be in the rest of the arm, the hand, and the fingers.

It’s often possible to feel the elbow “pop” out of place when the injury occurs. The area around the elbow will also begin to swell. In the most serious cases, it can cause damage to the blood vessels, which will result in a loss of pulse in the arm. This is very serious and requires immediate medical care.

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