Hand Surgery Joint Replacement Thumb

Is Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery Right for You?

from U.S. News & World Report

IT’S LONG BEEN SAID that in addition to a large brain, another critical characteristic that separates us from most other animals is our opposable thumbs. The thumb joint has a wide range of motion that makes pinching and grasping motions possible, and most other animals, save for fellow primates, lack this ability. Thumb joints have been credited with enabling us to make a variety of technologic advancements, but over the course of a life, they sustain a lot of wear and tear. “Dexterity comes at a price,” the Arthritis Foundation reports. That price is “an increased risk of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal joint, where the thumb meets the trapezium bone in the wrist.”

Osteoarthritis is a disease of aging, and it’s very common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 30 million adults in America. OA features inflammation of the joint that can impact its mobility and function.

Read the full article.

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Grilling Hand Hand Safety

5 Expert Tips for Grilling Outside

Whether you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, there are always dangers involved in grilling outside. While grilling is fun (and produces great tasting food!) it’s essential that you protect your hands during the process. Don’t forget, your hands are the reason you CAN grill!

When deciding whether to grill, lighting your grill, gauging the heat and actually cooking food, follow these five tips for grilling safely outside:

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Hand Therapy Nerves Posture

Advice from a Hand Therapist: Workstation Ergonomics

Do you have numbness, tingling, or pain in your arms? Does it disrupt your ability to work at your desk or keep you up at night? This could be caused by how you sit at your desk during the day.  You may be putting excessive pressure on your nerves causing a nerve compression syndrome.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fibromyalgia Numbness Pain

Ask a Doctor: Fibromyalgia

Hand surgeon Reid W. Draeger, MD answers your questions about fibromyalgia and how it may relate to the numbness in your hands.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes aches, pains, and tenderness all over the body. It is a long-term disorder that lasts for years or may even be lifelong. It is associated with fatigue and sleep problems. Fibromyalgia affects 2-4% of people. Women are affected more often than men, and it is most often diagnosed in middle age.

What causes fibromyalgia?

There are a number of theories about the causes of fibromyalgia, but no one is completely sure about the answer to this question. Researchers believe that a problem with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) may be responsible for the condition. Fibromyalgia may run in families, but exact inheritance patterns are unclear. Though the pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia is real, it is not caused by an autoimmune, inflammation, muscle, or joint disorder.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Hand Pain Overuse

Is Your Desk Job Giving You Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

from Lifehacker

If you’re reading this at work, you are probably worried that something you’re doing right now is slowly killing you. The accumulated years of slouched spinal posture, squinting at a screen and sitting (“the new smoking”) are sources of health paranoia for the 80 percent of the workforce whose jobs do not regularly require physical activity.

And then there’s typing.

The anxiety over long sedentary workdays is often crystalized in fears of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a wrist ailment that is so associated with repetitive hand activities that the image attached to the Google medical information profile for it is an intently focused woman in an open-office plan sitting at a desk with one hand on a mouse and the other typing.

Read the full story.

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Fireworks Hand Hand Safety

Here’s Why Fireworks Are Dangerous

It’s hard to imagine a Fourth of July holiday without fireworks. It’s an American tradition that’s both fun and exciting, but fireworks can be dangerous. Here’s why.

They’re unpredictable.

Fireworks can explode unexpectedly and can even go off in the wrong direction sometimes. It’s also hard to gauge exactly how large an explosion may be, especially with illegal fireworks. If a firework explodes in your hand, you could lose your hand completely.

Sometimes, you may come across a firework that is a “dud.” If this occurs, do not attempt to relight the firework. Instead, wait 20 minutes after the initial attempt, then place the firework in a bucket of water.

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Artificial Skin Hand Hand Therapy Skin

Advice from a Hand Therapist: Artificial Skin

What is artificial skin?

We’re answering your questions about artificial skin.

My friend had a bad burn on her hand. She mentioned that the doctor used artificial skin on her hand. What is artificial skin anyway?

Artificial skin is a term used to describe a group of products used to treat burns and other wounds. Skin is the largest organ in our body. You can think of it as a fortress. Its chief purpose is to provide protection to the structures inside our bodies as well as to keep our body temperature regulated. A burn or a wound is a hole in that fortress that makes us susceptible to infections or loss of important fluids. Our skin has a remarkable ability to heal itself, but sometimes an injury may involve an area so large that the body cannot heal fast enough to prevent complications. Sometimes these wounds can be covered with skin grafts from elsewhere on the body. However, this can be painful, and, if the area is very large, a skin graft may not be possible. Artificial skin can be one way that these areas can be covered.

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Finger Fingertip Injury Hand

Ask a Doctor: Fingertip Injuries

Hand surgeon Ryan Zimmerman, MD answers your questions about fingertip injuries.

Fingertip Injuries

What are fingertips made of?

Fingertips have several parts, all with special purposes.  At the core is the bone, called the distal phalanx, which provides support and shape to the end of the finger.  On the top and bottom of the bone are tendons that attach to the bone and make it move.  On the top rests the nail, supported by the specialized nail bed skin just below.  The rest of the fingertip is covered by skin that has lots of nerves, which give fingertips their sensitivity. 

Are fingertip injuries common?  How do they happen?

Fingertips are one of the most commonly injured body parts, and injuries can happen lots of different ways.  Two common ways are cuts, such as from a knife, or crush injuries, such as getting caught in a car door or under a heavy object. 

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