Caring for What’s Important
The human hand is complex, intricate and essential for daily living, but we often take it for granted. Early diagnosis and treatment of a hand or wrist issue may resolve a problem before it can affect hand function, and possibly prevent the need for surgery. That’s why it’s important to see one of our hand surgery specialists for a condition or injury that may seem trivial.
When should you see one of our hand specialists? Learn more.
We Aim to Keep Your Fingers Moving and Your Hands Active
We perform a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures for common and rare hand and wrist conditions, including:
- Nerve compression (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and Radial Tunnel Syndrome)
- Trigger finger
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
- Dupuytrens Contracture
- Arthritis of the hand/wrist
- Rheumatoid arthritis involving the hand/wrist
- Removal of cysts, tumors and skin lesions
- Diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopy of the wrist
- Restoration of hand and wrist function following traumatic injuries:
- Tendon and ligament repair
- Nerve repair
- Bone fracture care
- Joint reconstruction
Our goal as hand surgeons is to restore pain-free hand and wrist function as much as possible. We make all treatment decisions with you after careful evaluation and discussion of your symptoms, concerns and needs.
Our Hands Serving Your Hands
When you experience a hand or wrist problem, it can get in the way of daily activities and living your life. To get back to your active lifestyle, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Symptoms of hand/wrist diseases and conditions that we often evaluate and treat include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and joint stiffness. Hand and wrist injuries may become evident through swelling or joint or bone deformity. Our hand specialists will evaluate your condition and work with you to pursue the least invasive approach to care possible.
Here are some symptoms that, if experienced, should prompt you to see our team:
- Pain upon starting an activity, followed by ongoing pain and stiffness
- Weak grip or difficulty carrying a bag or other item with a handle, clumsiness of the fingers
- Pain extending to the elbow
- Diminishing muscle tone in the hand
- Joint inflammation or warmth upon touch
- Tingling or numbness in a finger or fingers
- Morning/night hand numbness or pain
- Deformity of the hand or fingers
Any of these symptoms may prompt our physicians to make a diagnosis through physical examination alone. More advanced symptoms may require X-rays or testing to determine the health of your joints and muscles. Our team will coordinate care with any additional specialists that might be needed to confirm a diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.
Know the Signs of Trouble
Pain, discomfort or weakness in your hand or wrist may be a sign that a problem exists. Here are some common symptoms associated with specific hand/wrist conditions that, if experienced, should prompt you to visit with one of our hand specialists as soon as possible.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most common of the nerve compression syndromes is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Mild CTS symptoms primarily affect the hand and sometimes the forearm, but they can radiate up to the shoulder. The symptoms of CTS often occur in both hands, but symptoms are usually worse in one hand than the other. Symptoms include:
- Numbness or pain in your hand, forearm or wrist that awakens you at night. (Shaking or moving your fingers may ease this numbness and pain.)
- Occasional tingling, numbness, "pins-and-needles" sensation or pain. The feeling is similar to your hand falling asleep.
- Numbness or pain that gets worse while you are using your hand or wrist, especially when gripping an object with your hand or bending (flexing) your wrist.
- Occasional aching pain in your forearm between your elbow and wrist.
- Stiffness in your fingers when you get up in the morning.
With moderate or severe carpal tunnel symptoms, you may have numbness or reduced strength and grip in your fingers, thumb or hand, and it may be difficult to:
- Do simple hand movements, such as brushing your hair or holding a fork. You may accidentally drop objects.
- Pinch an object between your thumb and first finger.
- Use your thumb while doing simple tasks such as opening a jar or using a screwdriver.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve, which passes close to the skin's surface in the area of the elbow commonly known as the "funny bone." You're more likely to develop cubital tunnel syndrome if you:
- Repeatedly lean on your elbow, especially on a hard surface.
- Bend your elbow for sustained periods, such as while talking on a cell phone or sleeping with your hand crooked under your pillow.
Early symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include:
- Pain and numbness in the elbow.
- Tingling, especially in the ring and little fingers.
More severe symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include:
- Weakness affecting the ring and little fingers.
- Decreased ability to pinch the thumb and little finger.
- Decreased overall hand grip.
- Muscle wasting in the hand.
- Claw-like deformity of the hand.
Osteoarthritis of the Hand or Wrist
Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” arthritis of the joints common as we age. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis does not affect other organs of the body. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain usually worsens later in the day.
- Swelling, warmth, and creaking of the affected joints.
- Pain and stiffness of the joints can occur after long periods of inactivity, for example, sitting in a theater.
- In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of cartilage causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion.
Trigger finger and thumb are painful conditions that cause the fingers or thumb to catch or lock in a bent position. One of the first signs of trigger finger may be soreness at the base of the finger or thumb. Other symptoms include:
- Painful clicking or snapping when attempting to flex or extend the affected finger. This catching sensation tends to worsen after periods of inactivity and loosens up with movement.
- Locking of the affected finger or thumb in a flexed position or in an extended position as the condition becomes more severe.
Not all pain in the hand or wrist is caused by one of the above conditions. Our team is highly trained to evaluate, diagnosis and treat many rare and common hand/wrist conditions. We will make all treatment decisions with you only after careful evaluation and discussion of your symptoms, concerns and needs, and pursue the least invasive care possible.