Wrist Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 27. March 2017 10:05

Wrist is a complex joint, it is made up of two bones from the arm (radius and ulna ) and eight carpal bones. Cartilage tissue present between these bones is responsible for their smooth and gliding movement. Growing age and many other factors may deteriorate these cartilages and lead to severe inflammation in the joints. This condition is referred to as Wrist Arthritis. With its progression, the wrist bones start to rub against each other leading to irreparable damage.  It is commonly observed in elderly people.

Causes -

  • Previous wrist injuries
  • Conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

Symptoms -

  • Constant pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty in gripping objects
  • Stiff wrist in the morning

Diagnosis -

The wrist doctor may begin by conducting a thorough physical examination of the wrist. He may try to bend and rotate it to see the range of motion. For a complete diagnosis and better understanding of the condition, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests like X-ray and MRI Scans.

Treatment -

Non-Surgical Treatment -

  • Modification in routine activities – Depending upon the severity of the condition, the doctor may ask patients to bring certain changes in their daily routine and avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Immobilization - In order to provide support and reduce stress on the wrist, the doctor may ask the patients to wear wrist splints.
  • Medication – Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines may also be prescribed by the doctor to alleviate affliction and swelling.
  • Rehabilitation Exercise -  Certain muscle strengthening exercises to increase the range of motion and restore the functionality of wrist.

Surgical Treatment -

In case no relief is experienced with conservative treatment, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend a surgery. Based upon patient's symptoms any one of the following surgeries can be conducted -

  • Proximal Row Carpectomy - In this procedure, the orthopedic surgeon may remove first row of carpal bones. This moves radius and ulna close to other bones leading to the formation of a new hinge joint which reduces pain and friction.
  • Fusion – If pain occurs only on moving the wrist, the orthopedic surgeon may suggest a fusion surgery. In this, he may remove the damaged cartilage and then use pins, screws and metal plates to hold the bones together. This allows the bones to fuse together and stop from rubbing against each other.
  • Arthroplasty (Total Wrist Replacement) – In most severe cases, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend complete replacement of the wrist joint. In this procedure, he may remove all the damaged bones as well as cartilage tissue and replace them with artificial metal or plastic joints.

If you are looking for an effective treatment of Wrist Arthritis, contact, Dr. Knoll. She is a board certified, hand and wrist specialist serving the patients in Frisco, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Scapholunate Ligament Tear: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 23. November 2015 08:39

The wrist is a complex joint comprising of three bones:

  • Radius: The big bone of the forearm on the thumb side.
  • Ulna: The small bone of the forearm on the finger side.
  • Carpal Bones: There are eight carpal bones namely- scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, hamate, capitates, trapezoid and trapezium.

Scaphoid is a small bone located near the thumb. Lunate is a small crescent shaped bone present in the center of the wrist, right next to the scaphoid. Scapholunate ligament holds both these bones together and allows them to move in tandem. When this ligament is injured, it is known as a Scapholunate Ligament Tear. The condition may cause a gap between the two bones, hence, causing them to move away from each other, disrupting proper movement and giving rise to pain.

Causes

Scapholunate Ligament Tear is commonly seen in athletes involved in contact sports or racquet sports which require maximum wrist movement. Sudden fall or impact on the wrist may cause the ligament to tear away.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the wrist, mainly near the thumb.
  • Mild to severe swelling.
  • Bruising or redness around the wrist area.
  • The grip of the wrist may weaken.
  • There may be slight snapping or popping sensation in the wrist.

Treatment:

A wrist specialist will carefully examine the wrist joint through to diagnose exact cause and extent of damage caused to the ligament. Treatment options may include:

Non-Surgical Methods:

  • A splint or cast may be put around the joint to keep it stable and restrict mobility for a faster healing.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be recommended to provide quick relief from swelling and pain.

Surgical Method:

Wrist Arthroscopy may be recommended if the ligament has suffered major damage. The procedure involves removing the damaged tissues from the ligament. In some cases, the ligament is realigned and the bones are held in place with the help of pins.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Scapholunate Ligament Tear or any other hand/wrist conditon, visit Dr. Knoll in Plano, TX. To schedule an appointment with the hand doctor, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072 or 4031 West Plano Parkway Suite 100, Plano, Texas 75093.

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Scaphoid Fracture Of The Wrist: Orthopedic Treatment In Plano

by Administrator 18. June 2015 05:17

The scaphoid, also known as the carpal navicular, is one of the eight small bones that make up the carpal bones in the wrist. A fracture in this bone is the most common kind of wrist fracture. It can be caused due to a sudden blow or abrupt landing on an outstretched hand. It can occur to anyone at any age but is most common in gymnasts and shot putters.

Causes

  • Falls: Falling on an outstretched hand can lead to a traumatic injury in the wrist. Falls can apply a great amount of pressure on the bones and may cause cracks in the scaphoid.
  • Repetitive stress: Overuse of the scaphoid bone while activities like writing, leaning on the wrist while sitting or standing can lead to straining of the muscles and harm the ligaments of the joint and also cause fractures.
  • Accidents: Severe traumas like motor cycle accidents car collisions can also cause injuries related to the wrist including Scaphoid Fracture.

Symptoms

  • Pain on the thumb side of the wrist
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Bruises around the wrist
  • Difficulty in grabbing or holding objects
  • Reduced range of motion

Diagnosis

The doctor inquires about the patient‘s medical history and how the injury occurred. He may physically examine the joint to look for symptoms like tenderness and swelling. Imaging tests like X-rays can also be suggested to determine the severity of the injury. Sometimes a Scaphoid Fracture may not be visible in X-ray. In such cases, the doctor may also order an MRI or a CT- scan.

Treatment

  • Cast: The orthopedic doctor may suggest the patient to put the hand in a cast to restrict motion of the wrist. The cast may be worn for 9-12 weeks or as prescribed by the doctor to let the joint heal completely.
  • Medication: The doctor may also prescribe some anti-inflammatory medications which can help in minimizing pain and swelling in the joint. Calcium supplements can also be recommended to build bone strength and speed up the healing process.
  • Physical Therapy: The patient may be suggested to attend physical therapy sessions in order to build muscle strength and regain mobility in the joint. Physical therapy can also be helpful in reducing stiffness in the wrist.

An orthopedic doctor should be consulted as soon as possible for a Scaphoid Fracture or it can lead to severe health conditions like Arthritis.

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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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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by Administrator 17. December 2013 11:59

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and relatively common disorder associated with the wrist. According to wrist doctors in Plano, this syndrome is caused when the median nerve, which is key nerve responsible for the movement of thumb muscles, gets compressed. The compression of median nerve causes the insulation on the nerve to wear out which results in pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the hand and wrist.

Causes:

The specific cause of Carpal Tunnel syndrome is difficult to determine, but there are many factors that can be held responsible for the development of this disorder. Some of such factors are:

  • Health conditions: It is believed that health conditions like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout hypothyroidism, obesity etc. can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Family History: According to Plano wrist doctors, people with a family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are at a greater risk of developing this disorder.
  • Pregnancy: Carpal tunnel is commonly found in pregnant women. However, in most cases the disorder lasts only for a short time and gets resolved after the child is born.
  • Injuries: Research has shown that the injuries like fractures and sprain can cause extreme pressure on the median nerve which may lead to the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Other factors: The evidence suggests that there may be other factors like development of cyst; repetitive and forceful arm and finger movements, alcohol abuse etc. that may trigger the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms:

Symptoms usually vary with the severity of condition. Some of the common symptoms, however, are listed below:

  • Intense pain in the wrist and hand
  • Swelling in the area
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the wrist
  • Inability to move hand
  • Change in the skin color of wrist and hand
  • Dryness in skin
  • Difficulty while griping an object

Treatment:

The wrist doctors may perform several physical, blood and imaging tests to determine the exact cause and severity of condition. The treatment recommended most often include:

  • Non-surgical: The orthopedic doctors may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain and swelling. Acupuncture, stretching and strengthening exercises may also be recommended to restore the flexibility and movement of wrist.
  • Surgery: If the symptoms last for more than 6 months, the doctor may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery. Open release and endoscopic surgeries are the two procedures used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.

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