The function of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist and are to bring the hand and fingers to perform the functions of daily living as well as the things that make life enjoyable. When they are working we rarely give them any thought. When they are damaged by injury or disease it can be truly debilitating. Timely and proper medical care can help restore optimal function again to our hands. The following are a few ailments that can affect the fingers, thumb, and palm:
Amputation and Prosthetics
Prostheses, often very lifelike and functional, are available in the event of injury to the fingers or hand which lead to an amputation. These can allow individuals to improve their ability to perform daily activities of living.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Due to varying causes, the central nerve that runs through your wrist into your hand can be compressed leading to numbness, tingling, burning, and pain. Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available to cure carpal tunnel syndrome. If left untreated this can lead to long-term irreversible nerve damage.
De Quervain's Tendonitis
Often termed "mommy's thumb" due to it occurring in mother's with newborn babies this ailment can affect all types of individuals. When tendons at the base of the thumb become inflamed it can make it difficult to move the thumb and can be very painful. Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available to treat and cure this ailment.
This is a genetic disease which runs in families. It leads to gradual progressive finger contractures (fingers stuck in a bent position). Ove time the hand can become nonfunctional. These contractures can be treated with both surgical and nonsurgical treatments to regain function in your hand. Call now for an appointment.
Extensor Tendon Injuries
These tendons which help to extend (straighten) our fingers are easily susceptible to damage. Early treatment for these injuries is paramount to restore normal function in the finger. Seek immediate treatment if you have an extensor tendon injury.
Flexor Tendon Injuries
The ability to bend our fingers is created through a complex system of tendons. If these tendons or the tissues around them become damaged it can create permanent deformity if they are not treated in a timely manner. Seek immediate treatment if you have a tendon injury in your finger.
Hand fractures (broken bones) can occur from sports, from a fall, fingers getting caught, punching a wall, crush injury and many other causes. Prompt and immediate care is necessary to endure that the bone in the hand heals appropriately. A proper rehabilitation protocol will then follow to ensure that you regain as much functional use of the finger and hand as possible.
Hand infections can occur from multiple causes and can progress rapidly to lead to swelling, redness, warmth, and pain. If not treated appropriately they can lead to loss of function in the hand and some severe cases can lead to amputations. Seek immediate care if you note a developing infection.
Human or Animal Bites
Human and animal bites require prompt treatment when penetrating the skin. They introduce bacteria deep into the area where they occur and can rapidly progress to severe infections. Seek immediate care if you or someone you know has sustained a human or animal bite.
Nail Bed Injuries
A crush injury to the finger can often lead to nailbed injuries. With timely care the nailbed can be repaired to allow for proper nail growth in the future. Furthermore, these injuries can often be associated with fractures and tendon injuries. Seek prompt care with a hand surgeon for appropriate care.
Nerve Injuries of the Hand
A nerve injury in the hand can lead to numbness, pain, and burning in the hand. Nerve repair is a time-dependent procedure. Timely repair of the nerve can allow it to heal and restore full sensation to the hand and fingers.
Osteoarthritis of the Hand
Although osteoarthritis of the hands is not reversible there are many treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. In addition, there are surgical options available to treat arthritis in the hand and wrist to resolve the pain as well.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
In certain cases, nerve injury can lead to hypersensitive nerves that can lead to hypersensitive fingers and hand, burning, pain, and weakening of the bones in the hand. An appropriate rehabilitation protocol can be instituted to help this resolve.
Replantation of the Fingers
When a finger amputation occurs it can in certain cases be replanted (reattached) if the damage is not severe. This can help to restore as much function to the finger as possible.
This type of arthritis is due to an autoimmune disorder in which the body itself attacks the joints and tendons in the body. Over time this can lead to progressive deformity and loss of function in the hands. Ealry treatment can significantly delay or halt the progression of this debilitating disease.
Tendon Transfer Surgery
In situations where a tendon is too damaged for repair in the hand, another tendon in the hand can be transferred to restore function to the injured finger. These surgeries can make a huge difference in the functional use in the hands and wrists.
For various reasons the flexor tendons of the fingers (tendons that bend the fingers) can become inflamed and start to "catch and lock" and over time can become stiff and locked over time. This ailment can be treated by both nonsurgical and surgical means with excellent results.
If a trauma occurs to the hand this can cause damage to the arteries and veins that carry blood to and from the fingers. This requires urgent and timely treatment to prevent loss of a finger or limb.