Normal Hand Anatomy
The human hand is an intricate instrument that is both tough and delicate. Its functions of sensation and motion allow us to experience and control the world around us.
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The tendons of the thumb and each of the fingers pass through a sheath on the palm side of the hand. Certain diseases and overuse activities can cause a thickening of this sheath. As the tendon passes through a thickened sheath, the tendon eventually becomes irritated and swells. Pain, catching and eventually locking of the finger will occur. Early treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medication or Cortisone injection. If these fail to provide relief, the sheath is opened surgically through a small incision at the base of the finger.
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This is a disorder of thickened ligament in the palm, resulting in nodules on the ligament; which if severe enough can cause an inability to fully straighten the fingers. The ring and small fingers are most commonly affected.
The cause of this disorder is unknown. It is seen more commonly in men and is usually found in individuals of Northern European extraction.
If deformity is mild and there is no functional loss, no surgery is needed. If, however, there is significant contracture that interferes with full use of the hand, surgical removal of a portion of the ligament is the treatment of choice to improve function and to prevent further deformity.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
Tendonitis on the thumb side of the wrist can be a very painful and disabling condition. Simple pinching and twisting activities can almost be impossible. The tendons to the thumb become inflamed as they pass under a ligament and the slightest motion of the wrist can cause pain.
Treatment consists of rest, medication and occasionally the use of a steroid injection. If these treatments do not provide relief over time, the tendons can be surgically released.
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand problem resulting from pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Symptoms, which often get worse at night, consist of numbness and/or pain in the wrist and fingers. Eventually there is loss of strength, fine motor control and sensation.
Early treatment consists of splinting and anti-inflammatory medication. If symptoms do not improve, an outpatient surgical procedure to relieve the pressure on the nerve is suggested.
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Fractures of The Hand And Fingers
The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. In the wrist, many small bones are connected to each other and help you perform various activities. Because of overuse of hand in various activities hands are more prone to injuries and you may suffer from sprains and strains; fractures when lifting and carrying heavy objects, hand injury while operating machinery, bracing against a fall, or sports-related injuries.
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Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- Arthritis of the Hand
- Arthritis of the Wrist
- Boutonnière Deformity
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- Fracture of the finger
- Ganglions (cysts) of the Wrist
- Hand Fractures
- Trigger Finger
- Wrist Arthroscopy
- Wrist Sprains
- Wrist Joint Replacement (Arthroplasty)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- DeQuervain’s tendinitis
- Hand surgery
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Ulnar nerve entrapment
- Distal Radius Fracture (Colles’ Fracture)
- Scaphoid Fracture of the Wrist