Category : Hand

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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Arthritis Gout Hand Pseudogout

6 Signs of Gout or Pseudogout

Gout and Pseudogout are two types of arthritis than can appear suddenly and cause sore joints in the hands and sometimes in other parts of the body. This condition can be common in the elbow, wrist, finger, knee and big toe joints.

Here are 6 signs that you may have gout or pseudogout:

  1. Hot joints
  2. Swollen joints
  3. Red joints
  4. Painful joints
  5. Infected-looking joints
  6. Tophi (white bumps) under the skin
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de Quervain's Tenosynovitis Hand Mommy's Wrist

What is Mommy’s Wrist?

Hand surgeon John M. Erickson, MD explains the phenomenon called “mommy’s wrist.”

“Mommy’s wrist” or “mommy’s thumb” is a condition that is officially called de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (or tendonitis). This is a type of tendonitis in the wrist whose nickname comes from the fact that the condition is common in caregivers of young children. The tendonitis causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist and is worse with movement of the thumb. Activities such as opening jars, turning door knobs, and lifting children can be difficult.

Symptoms arise from de Quervain’s tendonitis when there is irritation of the tendons that extend the thumb in their surrounding sheath at the wrist. Instead of gliding smoothly through the sheath, the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) tendons can be swollen, irritated and painful.  Certain movements of the thumb and wrist can be excruciating. People may feel a tender cyst or bump and notice swelling in this part of the wrist near the base of the thumb. Lifting objects, gripping, or pinching with the thumb often increases symptoms. Occasionally, a popping sensation is a problem.

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Hand Hand Therapy Wrist Wrist Pain

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Exercising With(out) Wrist Pain

We all know the health benefits of regular exercise. Many fitness workouts involve putting pressure on your wrists. You may have noticed some discomfort while lifting weights or during yoga poses that require you to put weight on your hands. Here are some tips to make sure you are not straining your wrists while staying active.

  • Tip #1: Keep your wrists flexible. Tight wrists put extra strain on surrounding ligaments, muscles, and joints. Make sure your wrists can move comfortably in all the motions you will use during your workout. If an exercise requires the wrist to bend 90 degrees (as in a push-up, see photo above), gently stretch your wrists back so they can move into the position with ease before adding your body weight.
  • Tip #2: Maintain your strength. Strong wrists are more stable during weight lifting and weight-bearing activities.  A strong grip allows you to hold weights more securely during intense exercises. Stress balls and spring grippers can be used to strengthen your grip. To help prevent wrist injuries and wrist pain, strengthen the muscles in your forearms using light resistance bands or small weights to resist wrist motions.
  • Tip #3: Use your wrists in the most stable position. Keep your hand and forearm in a straight alignment during exercises.  Improper wrist position puts strain on the small ligaments. If your exercise program requires putting weight through an outstretched hand (as in a plank pose), add stability at the base of your wrist by slightly arching your hand.
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Hand Hand Safety Knife Safety Turkey Carving

How to Avoid a Turkey Carving Injury

Turkey carving injuries are unfortunately common around Thanksgiving time. 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, which means a lot of carving! Carving isn’t something that most people do regularly, so be sure to read our safety tips below to avoid an injury this holiday season.

  1. Never cut toward yourself. Your free hand should be placed opposite the side you are carving toward.
  2. Don’t place your hand underneath the blade to catch the slice of meat. This is dangerous and unnecessary.
  3. Keep everything dry. This includes your knife handles, the cutting board and the cutting area. This will help you avoid slips.
  4. Only use a sharp knife. A dull knife will require the use of force to cut your turkey, which is dangerous and could cause slips. Your knife should be sharp enough as to not require any force when cutting the turkey. Use an electric knife if possible.
  5. Don’t use a knife to tackle the bones. Use kitchen shears in this situation. They cut bones more easily, and it’s less likely that your knife will slip.
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Bones Fracture Hand Pediatrics

How to Know if Your Child Has a Broken Bone

It can be difficult to know if your child has a broken bone (also called a “fracture”), if they need emergency care or if they simply need at-home care. To complicate matters further, children need special care when they do break a bone because their bones are still growing and have a different consistency and quality than adult bones.

Children can break bones in a number of ways due to their constant activity and curiosity. They can fall, crush a finger in a door, touch dangerous machinery that they shouldn’t, get hit by a ball, etc.

Here are some important things to note if your child has an injury:

  • Bring your child to the emergency room if the finger, wrist, or arm is not in normal alignment or if there is a skin wound leading to the fracture.
  • Ice the injury if the injured body part looks normal and is movable, but keep an eye on your child’s symptoms.
  • If there is significant bruising or swelling, bring your child to see a hand surgeon as soon as possible. The finger, wrist or arm may be broken, but an x-ray is the only way to tell.
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Bones Fracture Hand Hand Therapy Radial Head Fracture

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Radial Head Fractures

The ability to move our elbows is required for using our arms during daily activities. We would not be able to reach our face to eat or our feet to put on shoes without our elbows.

Three bones make up the elbow: the long bone closer to your shoulder is the humerus, and the two forearm bones are the radius and ulna.  See the image above to get an idea of the location of these bones.

The radius and ulna are involved in bending and straightening the elbow as well as turning the palm up and down.  Radial head fractures affect all of these motions, especially the ability to rotate the forearm and hand.

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