WRIST & HAND
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of hand numbness and pain. The tendons in the wrist swell and put pressure on the median nerve, one of three major nerves responsible for supplying feeling in the hand. It is more common in women than men and affects up to 10 percent of the entire population.
Carpal tunnel is caused by increased pressure on a nerve entering the hand through the confined space of the carpal tunnel. There are many causes of carpal tunnel.
- Hand use over time can play a role.
- Repetitive motions of the hands or wrist.
- Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and menopause.
- Medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance.
If diagnosed and treated early, carpal tunnel syndrome can be relieved without surgery.
A trigger finger occurs when the motion of the tendon that opens and closes the finger is limited, causing the finger to lock or catch as the finger is extended.
Tendons that control the movements of the fingers and thumb slide through a snug tunnel of tissue created by a series of pulleys that keeps the tendon in place. The tendon can become irritated as it slips through the tunnel. As it becomes more and more irritated, the tendon may thicken, making its passage through the tunnel more difficult. The tissues that hold the tendon in place may thicken, causing the opening of the tunnel to become smaller. As a result, the tendon becomes momentarily stuck at the mouth of the tunnel as the finger is extended. A pop may be felt as the tendon slips past the tight area. This why pain and catching may be felt as the finger is moved.
The cause is not always known. Trigger fingers are more common in women than men. They occur most frequently in people who are between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age. Trigger fingers are more common in people with certain medical problems, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for trigger finger, which you should discuss with your OSMC physician.
Wrist Tendonitis (DeQuervain’s)
De Quervain's tendinitis occurs when the tendons around the base of the thumb are irritated or constricted. The word "tendinitis" refers to a swelling of the tendons. Thickening of the tendons can cause pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist. This is particularly noticeable when forming a fist, grasping or gripping things, or when turning the wrist.
De Quervain's tendinitis is caused when tendons on the thumb side of the wrist are swollen or irritated. The irritation causes the lining (synovium) around the tendon to swell, which changes the shape of the compartment. This makes it difficult for the tendons to move as they should.
Tendinitis may be caused by overuse. It can be seen in association with pregnancy. It may be found in inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid disease. De Quervain's tendinitis is usually most common in middle-aged women.
There are both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for wrist tendonitis.
Fractures (Radius, Scaphoid, Carpal, Metacarpal)
The radius is the larger of the two bones of the forearm. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end. A fracture of the distal radius occurs when the area of the radius near the wrist breaks.
The scaphoid is one of the small bones in the wrist. It is the wrist bone that is most likely to break.
Fractures of the hand can occur in either the small bones of the fingers (phalanges) or the long bones (metacarpals). They can result from a twisting injury, a fall, a crush injury, or direct contact in sports.