Hand Conditions and Injuries
The large joints in the hand at the base of each finger are known as the metacarpophalangeal (MP, or MCP) joints. They act as hinge joints and are important for both power grip and pinch activities. Most people refer to these joints as their knuckles. The most common arthritic condition affecting the MP joints is rheumatoid arthritis. Gout, psoriasis, and infection are other less common causes of MP joint arthritis.
Wear and tear arthritis is very common at the base of the thumb. Pain localized to the base of the thumb is a very common early symptom.
Some fractures will cause an obvious deformity, such as a crooked finger, but many fractures do not. Medical evaluation and x-rays are usually needed so that your doctor can tell if there is a fracture and to help determine the treatment. Depending upon the type of fracture, your hand surgeon may recommend one of several treatment methods.
A mallet finger occurs when the extensor tendon at the tip of a finger ruptures. The rupture of this tendon can involve the tendon alone, be associated with a small bone fragment or fracture or can be associated with a fracture that requires significant care.
Injuries to the fingertips are common in accidents at home, at work, and at play. They can occur when a fingertip slams in a car door; while chopping vegetables; or even when clearing debris from a lawnmower or snow blower. Fingertip injuries can be crushing, tearing (lacerating), or amputating injuries to the tips of fingers and thumbs. Injury can include damage to skin and soft tissue, bone (distal phalanx), or to the nail and nail bed. The tips of longer fingers tend to be injured more often because they are last to escape from harm's way
Trigger finger is a condition where the tendon in your palm and finger doesn't have enough room to glide. Symptoms may include locking of your finger with activity, palm pain with grip or even a finger that gets stuck in the palm only in the morning. Often an office injection can relieve the symptoms of this problem.
Dupuytren's disease is an abnormal thickening of the fascia (the tissue just beneath the skin of the palm). It often starts with firm lumps in the palm. In some patients, firm cords will develop beneath the skin, stretching from the palm into the fingers Gradually, these cords may cause the fingers to bend into the palm. Although the skin may become involved in the process, the deeper structures-such as the tendons-are not directly involved. Occasionally, the disease will cause thickening on top of the finger knuckles (knuckle pads), or nodules or cords within the soles of the feet (plantar fibromatosis).
Receiving a diagnosis of arthritis doesn't mean that it is "the beginning of the end. "for your hand or it's function. Symptoms of arthritis may be mild with only pain with certain activities or severe with chronic pain all the time. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most noticeable when it affects the hands and fingers.
Arthritis literally means "inflamed joint." Normally a joint consists of two smooth, cartilage-covered bone surfaces that fit together as a matched set and that move smoothly against one other. Arthritis results when these smooth surfaces become irregular and don't fit together well anymore and essentially "wear out." Treatment is designed to relieve pain and restore function.
Not all hand infections require surgery. When seen early, in fact, many types of infection can be treated with antibiotics and local rest and soaking. At other times surgery is needed if antibiotic treatment fails or if the infection is severe enough to warrant it.
Deep cuts on the palm side of the wrist, hand, or fingers can injure the flexor tendons and nearby nerves and blood vessels. The injury may appear simple on the outside, but is actually much more complex on the inside. When a tendon is cut, it acts like a rubber band, and its cut ends pull away from each other
Extensor tendons are just under the skin, directly on the bone, on the back of the hands and fingers. Because of their location, they can be easily injured even by a minor cut. Jamming a finger may cause these thin tendons to rip apart from their attachment to bone. After this type of injury, you may have a hard time straightening one or more joints. Treatment is necessary to return use to the tendon. At times splinting alone is used to treat an extensor tendon injury. At other times surgical repair is needed
Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Pressure or stretching injuries can cause the fibers carrying the information to break and stop the nerve from working, without disrupting the insulating cover. When a nerve is cut, both the nerve and the insulation are broken. Injury to a nerve can stop the transmission of signals to and from the brain, preventing muscles from working and causing loss of feeling in the area supplied by that nerve.
Bites are extremely common and can cause significant pain and other problems, especially when associated with an infection. Early recognition of warning signs and appropriate treatment are key in minimizing potential problems from the bite.
Warts are common on the hands and fingers. AS they are so common there are many different treatment options. Hand Surgeons typically do not perform surgery for warts. However a variety of treatments have been succeessful.
Often nailbed injuries look worse than they are and most of these are well taken care of in the emergency room. However, After being sutured in the emergency room it is important to have follow up so that the nail injury can be assessed to see if further definitive treatment needs to be done. Not all nail injuries are the same though as some are associated with fractures of the underlying bone while others simply involve the nail and the soft tissue of the fingertip and nailbed. Children can have different varieties of nailbed injuries because of their unique underlying bone anatomy
These types of injuries are common in sports and falls. The thumb is jammed into another player, the ground, or the ball. The thumb may be bent in an extreme position, causing a sprain. The thumb will usually swell and may show bruising. It is usually very painful to move. A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are the connective tissues that connect bones to bones across a joint. The most common ligament to be injured in the thumb is the ulnar collateral ligament