Orthopedic Treatment For Hand Fractures

by Administrator 21. April 2015 11:39

A severe or forceful blow to the hand can cause a hand fracture. The hand has multiple small and large joints that allow the hand to bend, straighten, rotate and move side-by-side. If a hand fracture is not treated on time, it can lead to temporary and permanent disability.

Causes

  • Falling on an outstretched hand
  • Forceful injury
  • Fall from height
  • Collision or car accident
  • Osteoporosis
  • Injury during sports or work related injuries
  • Stress fractures that occurs due to repeated overuse

Symptoms

  • Pain that worsens when you move the hand
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to hold or grab objects
  • Abnormal bump or any deformity
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Bone that moves out of place

Diagnosis

During physical examination, the orthopedic surgeon checks the injury to confirm a fracture. He carefully examines the symptoms, looks for any signs of damages to nerves, blood vessels and tendons. The doctor may also ask about the patients medical history and prescribe imaging tests such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or bone scan to identify any bone and tissue injuries in the hand.

Treatment

The orthopedic surgeon devises the treatment plan depending on the extent and nature of the injury. If the injury is not severe, then the doctor may recommend non-surgical treatment of the Hand Fracture. This may involve using braces, cast or a splint to stabilize the hand and limit the motion of the hand. The surgeon may strap or tape the fracture fingers to the finger next to it, as this will decrease stiffness and limit motion. In order to reduce pain and swelling, the doctor often prescribes certain non-steroidal anti-inflammation medicines and antibiotics.

However if the injury is severe and non surgical methods fail to provide relief, surgery may be recommended. Post surgery the surgeon may prescribe physiotherapy to strengthen your hand with the help of stretching and strengthening exercises.

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Sprained Wrist: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment

by Administrator 23. March 2015 07:05

Wrist sprain is a common condition that results due to stretching, wear and tear, and injury to ligaments in the wrist. The sprain ranges from mild to severe depending upon the damage to the ligaments. It is a common injury among players who play boxing, hockey, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, weightlifting, etc. and occurs due to repeated use of the wrist joint and twisting movements.

Causes

Wrist sprain can occur during day-to-day activities or during sports and other recreational activities. Some causes of wrist sprain include

  • Fall onto an outstretched hand
  • Falling on a hard surface while playing sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, cycling, etc
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Weak or inflexible tendons or ligaments
  • Repeated strain due to overuse

Many other factors often lead to wrist sprain and these include poor conditioning, fatigue, slippery surface, improper warm up etc.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain at the time of injury
  • Bruising
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Tenderness
  • A popping sound
  • Stiffness
  • Inability to move the joint

Diagnosis

When the patient visits the orthopedic doctor he will physically examine the wrist and enquire about previous injuries and medical history. He will review your symptoms and recommend certain imaging tests that will help in confirming the sprain. These tests include X-rays, CT scan, MRI and Arthrogram.

Treatment

If the sprain is mild, it can be treated with resting the joint for one or two days, applying ice pack to the swelled area for 20 minutes, compressing the swelling with an elastic bandage and elevating the injured wrist above the level of the heart. The patient can get relief with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. By immobilizing the wrist, the patient can treat the sprain without any surgery. To avoid the stiffness due to immobilization, the physician often recommends some stretching exercises.

In case of severe sprains, the ligament has to be reconnected to the bone surgically. The wrist doctor will decide whether the patient needs surgery. After surgery, the patient has to undergo a period of rehabilitation, which helps the patient recover the strength and motion to the joint.

Prevention

As the wrist sprain occurs mainly due to falling on the wrist; therefore, to avoid the sprain, one should be careful while walking on wet or slippery surface. Sportspersons should use wrist guard splints or protective tape, which offers support to the wrist and prevents bending of the wrist.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Risk Factors

by Administrator 18. February 2015 11:57

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an acute condition of the hands and arms that causes tingling sensation, numbness and pain in the wrist. There are a number of factors that may increase the chances of damaging the median nerve, which increases the risk of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Some of the factors include:

  • Anatomic Factors: These factors can include wrist fractures or dislocation that alters the space within the Carpal Tunnel. People who have smaller Carpal Tunnels have more chances of developing the syndrome.
  • Chronic Conditions: Illness such as diabetes may increase the chances of nerve damage if the patient does not take proper care. This may lead to damage in the median nerve which is the main cause of the syndrome.
  • Inflammatory Conditions: Some conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by inflammation can also affect the wrist and may increase pressure on the median nerve, thus leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Changes In The Body: Alterations in the balance of the body fluids may also lead to the syndrome. These alterations can also be a result of pregnancy or menopause, which may increase the pressure within the Carpal Tunnel.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Some other medical conditions such as obesity, thyroid and kidney failure may also increase the risk of developing the syndrome.
  • Workplace: Many people are required to work with tools that vibrate or require prolonged repetitive movement in the same direction. This type of work may increase the chances of damage to the median nerve.
  • Smoking: If you smoke on a regular basis, you are likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Smoking effects the blood flow to the median nerve and causes more pressure on the nerve.
  • Gender: Females between the ages of 40 and 60 are more likely to develop the condition. Women who take birth control pills or are going through hormonal changes are at a higher risk to be effected by the condition.
  • Aging: Normal wear and tear of the tissues in the hands is a common cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Aging can also be regarded as one of the major reasons behind the condition as it leads to wear and tear of the tissues.

For more information about the wrist condition and the treatment options available, you can visit Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the wrist doctor in Plano, TX, call at (972) 985 - 1072.

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Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 21. January 2015 10:58

If you spend most of your time performing activities that involve repetitive and forceful movements of the hand or wrist, you are at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The condition is caused as a result of excessive strain on the median nerve in the wrist. This can be due to constant knitting, driving, working on computers or with small instruments. However, by following certain prevention tips, you can easily reduce the chances of developing the condition. Some of these are:

  • While performing certain activities, many people tend to insert more force than is actually required. For instance, while writing, use a big sized pen with a grip adapter and free flowing ink. With this, you do not have to hold it tightly or press hard on the paper.
  • Try taking short breaks by gently stretching and bending your arms, wrist and hands. Switch tasks after frequent intervals, if possible. If you work with vibrating equipment that requires greater force, taking breaks is yet more important.
  • You should also maintain a proper posture by sitting or standing erect. Do not bring your shoulders forward while sitting. This can compress and put pressure on your neck muscles that also affects your wrist, hands and fingers.
  • Avoid bending your wrist at extreme positions. If you work on a keyboard, make sure you keep it in line with your elbow or a little lower. If possible, try to have an ergonomic workstation to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Also, you should try to hold objects with the help of your whole hand rather than using just the fingers.
  • If your hands stay cold most of the time, you are at a higher risk of experiencing pain and stiffness in them. People working in a cold setting should always keep their hands and wrists warm by wearing fingerless gloves.
  • You can also consider wearing a splint to keep the wrist at an optimal position and preventing discomfort. The splint can be worn both at day time and at night, depending upon when you need it the most.
  • Some medical conditions, such as Arthritis and Diabetes, may increase the chances of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thus, one should sustain a healthy lifestyle by exercising, controlling weight and avoiding smoking to minimize the risk.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Frisco, TX, consult Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the wrist specialist, you can call at (214) 618-5502.

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Wrist Pain: Orthopedic Treatment In Plano, TX

by Administrator 21. November 2014 05:43

Wrist pain has become a very common problem and is often caused due to fractures or sprains due to repetitive activities.  However, the condition can also be a result of chronic health problems such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Osteoarthritis. Thus, it is critical to make an accurate diagnosis of the causes of wrist pain so that it can be treated effectively.

Causes

  • Sudden blows: Wrist pain is often the result of an injury due to falling on an outspread hand. This may lead to strains, sprains or fractures of the hand and wrist.
  • Repetitive stress: Activities involving repetitive movements of the writs can also be a cause of pain. These may include playing tennis or driving long distances.
  • Arthritis of the wrist: The wrist joint is most commonly affected by two types of Arthritis, including Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. These conditions can cause inflammation or pain in the muscles and tissues of the wrist.
  • Other medical conditions: Certain other medical problems like Ganglion Cysts, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain’s Tendonitis, Kienbock’s Disease can also cause wrist pain.

Diagnosis

To make a diagnosis of the cause, the hand and wrist doctor in Plano, TX will conduct a thorough physical examination to check your wrist for signs like swelling, tenderness, bruising or deformity. You may also be recommended to undergo certain imaging tests like X-rays or CT scans to analyze the extent of damage caused to the wrist.

Treatment

Depending upon the underlying cause of your wrist pain, the orthopedic doctor may recommend the following treatment options:

  • Rest and activity modification: The first step in the treatment for wrist pain is to provide ample rest to the joint and let the swelling to subside. Indulging in activities that put stress on the wrist should also be avoided till the condition gets treated completely.
  • Ice or heat application: Applying ice packs or heat pads are also an effective treatment method for wrist pain. These help the release compression from the wrist nerves and, thus, provide relief from pain. 
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: Certain over the counter non-steroidal medications may also be prescribed by the orthopedic doctor to ease the pain and tenderness in the wrist.
  • Wrist support: If the wrist pain is due to a fracture or injury, wearing a cast or splint can help to provide support and boost recovery.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of wrist pain in Plano, TX, visit Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the wrist doctor, you can call at (972) 985-1072.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Trigger Finger

by Administrator 22. September 2014 08:53

Trigger Finger is a common ailment that causes the fingers to snap and get stuck in the palm. It is a form of tendinitis involving the hand and occurs mostly in the thumb, middle and ring finger. People suffering from this condition complain of the finger stuck in the palm when they wake up. The term “Trigger Finger” is named so because of the snapping sensation that occurs when the finger is straightened. Due to inflammation, the normal gliding action of the tendons is affected, which causes the joint to freeze. This condition is most common in diabetics and women.

Causes

  • Trigger Fingers are sometimes associated with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout.
  • It can also be caused due to local trauma to the palm or base of the finger.
  • Activities that strain the hand can also cause this condition.

Symptoms

  • Stiffness in fingers, particularly in morning
  • Popping or clicking sensation when the finger is moved
  • Tenderness in the affected finger
  • Pain when the finger is straightened
  • Finger catches or locks in a bent position
  • It might affect one or more fingers and sometimes both hands

Treatment:

The treatment for Trigger Finger is aimed at eliminating the catching or locking to allow for free movement without any discomfort. Resting the finger by wearing a splint is helpful in relieving the pain. Anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and finger exercises help in reducing the pain. However, the most common treatment is injecting steroids into the tendon sheath. Generally, two injections are needed to resolve the problem.
If the problem still persists, surgery may be required. In this, the opening of tunnel is widened so that the tendon is able to slide through it easily. Local anesthesia is used to numb the hand and a small incision is needed to perform the surgery.

Though some people can move their hands immediately after surgery, there can be soreness in the hand which can be reduced by raising the hand above heart level. Complete recovery can be expected within a few weeks and it might take some months for the stiffness and swelling to go away.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Trigger Finger, visit Dr. Knoll in Frisco, TX. The hand surgeon is specialized in treating all conditions of fingers and providing comprehensive care to the patients. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (214) 618-5502.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Wrist Sprains

by Administrator 21. August 2014 08:32

Wrist sprain is one of the most common sports injuries and can occur to anyone. The wrist is made of a number of bones, ligaments and muscles. The ligaments in the wrist connect the hand with the forearm and stretching or tearing of these ligaments results in a wrist sprain. Falling from a height, outstretched hand or repeated stress can damage the ligaments and cause sprain. The risk is increased if the tissues in the wrist are already weak or damaged. Depending upon the extent of damage to the ligaments, the severity of the sprain can range from mild, moderate to severe.

Causes

Some of the causes of a wrist sprain are as follows

  • Work or sports activity related repeated motion of wrist
  • Various sports activities
  • Loose joints
  • Poor balance and coordination

Symptoms

A wrist sprains causes discomfort and is accompanied by the following symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness around the wrist
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Wrist deformity
  • Inability to move the wrist

Diagnosis

For proper treatment of the condition it is essential to properly diagnose that the injury is a sprain and not a fracture. An orthopedic doctor should be consulted immediately so that he can physically examine the wrist and take details regarding the medical history of the patient and determine the cause of the problem. The doctor may also recommend some imaging tests like X- Ray, MRI or a CT scan to check the stability of the joint and to know the severity of the injury.

Treatment

Depending upon the type and severity of sprain in the wrist an orthopedic surgeon may offer different treatments including non-surgical and surgical methods.

Non-surgical methods

For treating the wrist pain, the physicians recommend patients to take rest and advise to avoid movement of the wrist. The doctor may even suggest using ice therapy to gain relief from the swelling and pain. Physicians also recommend compression bandages that help in reducing swelling along with anti- inflammatory drugs.

Surgical Methods

If the non-surgical treatments fail to have an effect on the sprain, the orthopedic surgeons may suggest surgery as a last resort. During surgery, the surgeon repairs and reconnects the torn ligaments and the surgery is followed by a rehabilitation period to restore movement in the wrist. The patient is often recommended physiotherapy to recover and gain strength in the wrist.

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Wrist Fractures: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by Administrator 21. July 2014 12:44

The wrist is one of the most important joints of the body as it gives the hand and fingers most of their functionality and range of motion. It is a strong and flexible joint which allows us to do a lot of everyday things. Any injury to the wrist can be a serious deterrent and curb our lifestyle to a significant degree. A case of wrist fracture can be seriously debilitating and needs immediate orthopedic treatment so that affected people can get back the full functionality of their wrist and get back to normal life as fast as possible. Commonly, the term wrist fracture refers to a fracture at the terminal point of the long radius bone in the arm. Except for that, it might also be used to refer to any fracture in one of the either carpal bones or the ulna.

Causes

There can be myriad factors that cause a wrist fracture. Most often, wrist fracture is a result of sustaining impact damage. People who encounter falls from a height or face accidents such as automobile accidents are most likely to sustain a wrist fracture. Wrist fracture is also commonly seen in people who indulge in certain kinds of sports which require heavy use of the hand and might give rise to situations where the wrist has to face an unusual strain. Sports like rollerblading and snowboarding top the list of activities which can be a major cause of wrist fracture. Age related problems like osteoarthritis can make the wrist joint weak, thereby making it more vulnerable to injuries and more susceptible to sustain fracture.

Symptoms

The symptoms faced by people affected with wrist fracture are more or less similar, irrespective of the nature of the fracture. The degree might vary with the severity of the fracture but the basic symptoms have been seen to be similar. Severe pain in the wrist and adjoining areas can be accompanied with marked inflammation and redness. Also, the wrist bone can seem to be visually deformed in case of severe injuries. There is also significant loss of strength and range of motion in the wrist joint in cases of a wrist fracture.

Treatment

Orthopedic treatment for wrist fracture commences with the correct identification of the location and the extent of the fracture. Once that has been ascertained, treatment can consist of immobilization, rest and the use of pain medication for normal cases. For serious fractures, corrective surgery is usually the only option.

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Sports Injuries To The Hand And Wrist

by Administrator 15. May 2014 10:39

People who take up sports as their profession often receive injuries to their hands and wrist, as these are the areas that face the maximum stress and strain. The type and extent of those injuries depend on a variety of different factors, including the kind of sports the affected person plays, their age, level of participation and their fitness regimes. Some of these injuries can be treated merely with a period of rest while others require more aggressive treatment or might even require surgery.

By taking a look at the most common sport injuries to the hand and wrist, it becomes clear that they can be grouped into various categories based on the seriousness of the injury and the areas affected.

Sprains

Sprains are usually the most common sports injuries. A sprain is damage to a particular ligament which causes pain and reduces mobility. In many situations, sportsmen can find themselves in a position where there is excessive pressure on the hand or wrist, which causes the ligaments to be abnormally distended and causes a sprain. Usually, a wrist doctor would treat sprains with the application of ice packs, a period of rest and prescription of painkillers after carefully examining the affected area.

Tendon Injuries

Tendon related injuries are common in sports and one of the most commonly found tendon injuries sportsmen have been seen to be affected with is Tennis Elbow. A Tennis Elbow is a condition where the tendon on the outside region of the forearm starts to fail due to swelling or detachment. Many people are also affected by tendonitis, a swelling of the tendon resulting from repeated motion and stress. Another similar condition is Carpal Tunnel syndrome, a condition of the wrist where swollen tendons put pressure on the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel, resulting in pain and loss of mobility. You should consult an orthopedic doctor if you experience any unusual discomfort or pain in your hand or wrist.

Fractures

Impact to bones in the hand and wrist is a major possibility with many sports, which results in the occurrence of bone injuries and fractures. One place which is extremely vulnerable to fractures is the metacarpals- the area of the hand which attaches to the knuckles and the phalanges- the bones located between finger joints. The scaphoid bone in the wrist, which can be affected during falls or collisions which involve the wrist, is also prone to fractures. More serious cases of fracture that can result from impact damage are cases where the radius or upper arm gets broken. There can also be dislocation of finger and shoulder joints and need proper diagnosis and treatment by an orthopedic surgeon.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 21. April 2014 08:58

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is an extremely painful condition of the arm caused by overuse of the elbow joint. In this condition the ulnar nerve gets stressed, compresses or swollen near the elbow area. It causes pain, discomfort, numbness and loss of mobility. Apart from heavy use of the elbow joint, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can also occur as a result of impact damage to the Cubital Tunnel near the elbow.

Causes

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is most often causes by repetitive motion. The ulnar nerve actually stretches and flexes quite a bit when the elbow joint is bent. Too much of repetitive bending of the elbow can cause strain on the nerve and form the beginnings of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Situations where there is a constant pressure on the elbow joint can also be a major cause for this condition. Finally, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can also be caused by impact damage resulting from accidents and falls.

Symptoms

One of the main symptoms that manifest when people have Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a numbness of the hand. The first stages of the condition result in considerable numbness on the internal areas of the hand like the ring finger or the little fingers and underlying areas on the palm. The numbness can gradually give way to extreme pain particularly when the elbow joint is moved or bent.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can be diagnosed with the help of a detailed physical examination and some special tests. The standard test which is used to detect this condition is called the nerve conduction velocity test which measures the speed at which impulses are transmitted along the length of the nerve. This can sometimes be coupled with an electromyogram test for accurate diagnosis.

In less severe cases non-surgical treatment might be all that is needed. It is recommended to stop the activity that might cause the condition to worsen and to give your arm adequate rest. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for pain management. Your wrist doctor might prescribe the use of a brace or support to relieve pressure from the elbow joint. Working with a physical therapist and getting targeted exercise and rest can also prove crucial in this line of treatment.

With more serious cases of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, surgery might prove to be the only option. There are different procedures which can be used to relieve the pressure from the ulnar nerve through surgery. The most commonly used technique involves surgical transposition of the ulnar nerve followed by post-operative rehabilitation.

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