Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by swelling in the carpal tunnel, which puts pressure on the nerve. This pressure can happen due to joint dislocations, fractures, arthritis, and many other causes. Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, a weak grip and clumsiness. Learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome at www.handcare.org.
The wrist bones and hand bones give you the support and flexibility needed to move your hand in all different ways and control objects of all shapes and sizes. There are eight bones in the wrist:
The scaphoid bone is the most commonly injured wrist bone, typically resulting in a scaphoid fracture.
Learn more about the bones of the wrist with the interactive anatomy tool from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
Arthritis is a common hand condition that can affect anyone. Learn about the different types of arthritis below.
- MP Joint Arthritis: This type of arthritis is a result of loss of cartilage at a joint, which can result from regular wear and tear, an injury or a medical condition. With MP Joint Arthritis, a common symptom is a shift in the fingers toward the pinky side. Other symptoms include pain, loss of motion, swelling and swollen-looking joints. Learn more.
- Osteoarthritis: This arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that also involves loss of cartilage at the joints. It may cause bony nodules at the middle joint of the finger or at the end of the finger, as well as swelling, aching and bumps. It may be more difficult to open a jar or turn a key. Learn more.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriasis is a skin disease in which patients have dry, red and scaly skin rashes on the body. Some patients may develop psoriatic arthritis as a result. Symptoms may include swollen fingers, fingernail deformities, deformity at the end of the finger, and skin rashes. Learn more.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: This condition is most common in the wrist and knuckles and typically occurs in both hands. Symptoms may include a soft lump on the back of the hand, a bent middle finger, firm nodules along the fingers or elbow, and the inability to straighten or bend a finger. You may feel numbness or tingling in your hand due to the swelling of the tendons. Learn more.
- Shoulder Arthritis: The likelihood of shoulder arthritis increases with age. It is most common in people over the age of 50; however, younger people can get it after suffering from a fracture or dislocation. The most common symptom of this condition is pain, which worsens with activity. Loss of motion is also a symptom of shoulder arthritis. Learn more.
- Thumb Arthritis: This type of arthritis comes with age. You may feel pain and weakness with pinching and grasping. Opening jars, turning doorknobs or keys, and writing are often painful activities. Learn more.
Visit www.handcare.org to browse articles, images and videos related to arthritis.
Follow these steps to find one of more than 3,500 surgeon members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand:
- Visit the Find a Hand Surgeon tool.
- Search by city, state, zip code or name.
- Browse the profiles of the hand surgeons near you.
- Use the contact information provided to make an appointment.
Visit a hand surgeon for treatment of the fingers, hand, arm and shoulder. Learn more about hand surgeons and common conditions of the upper extremity at www.handcare.org.
Dr. Carl B. Weiss, an orthopaedic surgeon, answers your questions about de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.
Q: What is de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?
A: De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a condition caused by entrapment of some of the tendons going to your thumb. These tendons, called the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis, go through a snug tunnel at the wrist, called the first dorsal extensor compartment. You can see the tendons on the back of your hand when you straighten your fingers. When, for whatever reason, the tunnel becomes too tight, it sets up a vicious cycle; whenever you move your thumb in certain ways, it pulls the tendons through the tight tunnel, causing pain and further aggravating the condition.
Q: How is the diagnosis made?
A: A hand surgeon can help determine if you have de Quervain’s. If you have tenderness over the tendons and pain when you make a fist with your thumb tucked inside and bend the wrist with the pinkie facing down (see image), then you have what is known as a positive Finkelstein’s sign, which would indicate that you likely have de Quervain’s. However, there are other causes of pain in this area, such as arthritis in the joint at the base of your thumb, which can feel similar to de Quervain’s. Therefore, x-rays may be used to help make the diagnosis. A hand surgeon can distinguish between these conditions, though it is quite possible that a patient has both.