The wrist is a complex and intricate system of tendons, ligaments, nerves and 10 bones. Often simple appearing injuries can have an extensive underlying injury in the wrist. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty with the use of the wrist in activities of daily living. Here are some diseases that can affect the wrist:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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. Early 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.
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.
These masses can appear on the back or the front of the wrist in various areas. A majority of the time these can be treated nonoperatively. In certain cases with persistent pain surgery can be done to remove these masses.
This disease occurs when the blood supply to one of the bones in the wrist is affected and the bone dies. This can lead to pain, stiffness and progress deformity in the wrist which can be debilitating.
One of the most frequently fractured bones in the wrist. Prompt attention to this fracture is needed to prevent long-term arthritis. These fractures are often missed on the initial exam in the ER. Seek immediate medical care if you have persistent wrist pain after an injury.
Scaphoid fractures which do not heal disrupt the delicate balance of the bones in the wrist. This leads to progressive deformity, pain and stiffness. Seek early treatment to prevent the sequelae of this injury.
In certain injuries, small cameras and instruments can be inserted into the wrist to perform surgery to correct the deformity or injury. These are done through small incisions which lead to a much quicker recovery.
Fractures in and around the area of the wrist are very common. Seek immediate care for proper treatment to heal your wrist fracture. This in combination with an appropriate rehabilitation protocol can lead to improved outcomes long term.
There are multiple ligaments both within and around the area of the wrist which can be sprained (stretched) after a fall or an injury. These injuries are often treated to resolution without surgery. In certain cases, early surgery is necessary to prevent long-term disability. Seek immediate care for any injury to the wrist.