Hand

Like any other bone in the body, the bones of the hand and forearm are susceptible to breaks or fractures, often as a result of excessive force and causing pain, swelling and limited functioning. There are several different types of fractures which can affect the main body of the bone or just the surface, and can include a small crack, a shattering or a complete break through the skin.

It is important for patients to seek medical attention for a hand injury, even if it appears to be minor. Function of the hand relies on the proper alignment of the bones within it, so it is important to determine whether or not those bones have been moved as a result of your injury. Your doctor can diagnose a hand fracture physically examining the motion of the hand and position of the fingers, and also by performing an x-ray exam to confirm this diagnosis.

Treatment for a hand fracture can usually be performed through nonsurgical methods that include immobilizing the broken bones in a brace or cast. Patients will be required to wear this for three to six weeks as the bones heal, and may perform hand exercises once it is removed to restore function to the hand. Surgery may be required for severe fractures in order to realign the bones, which may require the use of wires, screws or plates.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition involving numbness, pain, tingling and instability in the wrist, hand and fingers. It occurs when pressure is put on a nerve in the wrist called the median nerve, which controls motor function in the wrist and hand. This pressure, called impingement, is most often caused by bone spurs, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive use or injury.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed with tests such as an electromyogram or a nerve conduction study. It can often be effectively treated with nonsurgical therapies such as wrist splints, anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In cases where pain and numbness persist, surgery (usually endoscopic surgery) may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's contracture is a rare hand deformity in which knots of tissue form under the skin that can pull fingers into a bent position. This makes it difficult for the fingers to straighten and can interfere with normal hand function. Dupuytren's contracture is not usually painful but can lead to other conditions such as plantar fibromatosis. Although the cause of this condition is not known, it may run in families and can be influenced by tobacco and alcohol use.

Mild cases of Dupuytren's contracture that do not have much of an effect on hand function may not require any treatment and can simply be monitored through regular checkups. More severe cases may benefit from steroid injections, radiation therapy, needle aponeurotomy or physical therapy. Surgery is also an option for people who may become disabled from this condition and may involve removing tissue or amputating the finger.

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