Our hands and fingers play a large role in how well we function in virtually all of our daily activities, such as: eating, dressing, operating equipment, writing, typing, texting, applying make-up, playing an instrument, or playing sports. When bones, joints, nerves and tendons of the hand and finger are injured or not performing well, Puget Sound Orthopaedics board certified hand specialists offer the most current hand injury treatments that provide a reduction in pain and improve both quality of life and function.
The part of the human anatomy that collectively contains the most bones – one- quarter of the bones in the body – is the hand, with a total of 27 bones. Fingers are made up of 14 bones, with two phalanges in the thumbs and three in each finger. Additionally, there are 20 joints plus three primary nerves – the radial, median and ulnar – in each hand. Nine tendons in the hand connect the muscles to bone and assist in hand movement.
INJURIES TO THE HAND
Hand injuries can be quite painful and disabling. Without full sensation and movement in the joints, tendons and muscles, injuries can limit the ability to use your hands, thumb and fingers for many daily activities and functions.
While arthritis can take many forms, the condition generally is inflammation of one or more of the joints in your hand. Left untreated, the joints can lose their normal shape and lead to more pain and further limitations.
One of the prevalent types of arthritis is osteoarthritis (sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” and typically is found in older people); it often affects the joint at the base of the thumb (the basal joint).
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes joints to swell, resulting in painful stiffness of the joint. It is one of the most common forms of arthritis in the hand, in addition to osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.
Hand fractures typically occur following an injury related to trauma, such as twisting, falling and crushing, or playing sports. A common hand fracture is known as a “boxer’s fracture” where the fifth metacarpal is fractured and the knuckle becomes depressed.
Trauma can also be the cause of tendon injuries in the hand. When the flexor tendon is cut, it becomes impossible to bend the joints in the finger and the thumb.
Other types of hand impairments include sprains, nerve injuries and cysts.
COMMON HAND CONDITIONS
Trigger finger – affects the tendons in the fingers and thumb and limits movement
Mallet finger – a tendon or bony injury causing the fingertip to droop which cannot be actively straightened
Dupuytren’s Disease – causes contracture of the fingers or thumb inward toward the palm
De Quervain’s Tendinosis – occurs when the tendons at the base of the thumb become irritated
WHEN TO SEE A HAND DOCTOR
It may be time to seek medical treatment from a hand specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Increased hand and arm discomfort
Pain in the fingers while carrying, gripping, grasping or twisting objects
Swelling and discomfort in the hand or afflicted joint
Changes in range of motion in the surrounding joints; for instance, if you are experiencing thumb joint pain, your adjacent finger joints may become more mobile than usual
Warmth and/or redness in the hand, palm and fingers
Numbness, tingling or throbbing of the hand while resting or sleeping
The development of cysts on the end joints of your fingers
Your doctor will discuss all treatment options with you. The best treatment for your injury or condition will be determined in combination with your overall health.
There are several nonoperative treatment options for hand pain. These might include activity modification, occupational hand therapy, pain management in the form of over-the-counter or prescribed medications and/or anti-inflammatories, injections and splinting. If surgery is necessary, PSO hand specialists can perform a wide variety of procedures ranging from minimally invasive to major reconstruction such as finger joint replacement.
Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, is when a tendon that connects muscles to finger bones is injured. This most commonly occurs when an object hits and strains the tip of the finger. The thin tendon lies on top of the finger and can either be ruptured or injured resulting in the condition. Once […]
Trigger finger affects the tendons in the fingers and thumb and limits movement. Damage to tendons inside the finger can create locking and catching resulting in difficulty or an inability to straighten one’s finger. Flexor tendons slide through tunnels in the bones of the finger. If the tendon becomes irritated it can get stuck inside […]
"I think Dr. Gray is the best doctor. I recommend him to everyone that needs his service." - Verlin
“I go to Dr. Blair first regarding my back. I had surgery with him 11 years ago, and he gave me my life back.” - Judith
"I have every confidence in Dr. Arroyo. He comes with the highest recommendations. His personality is superb!" - Don
"I was pleasantly pleased with the whole experience, and am happy with the results. I would definitely recommend this office to anyone looking for an orthopedic doctor."- Diana
Dr. Hassan is probably one of the best listeners I've ever had the pleasure of speaking with. - Anthony
"Charlene, MA is an angelic in her duties. She is prompt, caring, and very attentive to my needs." - Tyrone
"Dr. Vaughan is a fabulous surgeon and 12 years later his work is still performing great. At that time I was 105 lbs heavier than I am now, even under the weight strain of the past my knees today work perfectly fine. I sincerely thank Dr. Vaughan for his excellent care and workmanship." - Kerri
"Dr. Smith has done surgery for me in the past and I was excited to have a referral to see him again. He's a great doctor!" - Cherrie
"I have been going to this office for a couple of years now. Everyone on the team has been absolutely wonderful to me. They are warm and friendly, but retain their professionalism. They do try to make my life easier." - Sherie
“What a friendly, charming, helpful doctor. I was surprised at how many of my friends have been to Dr. Yearian, and all of them had only positive things to say. Now, I see why.” - Anonymous
“Dr. Hassan was very kind and full of information that I understood about my injury. He even took time to show me my x-rays.” - Toni
"I have been a patient of Dr. Michael Martin for 11 years. In that time, Dr. Martin has always been up front about my treatment plan. He has always been professional, kind and caring." - Steven
“Everyone was great. I would definitely recommend this facility and Dr. Ghidella.” - Anonymous
"Amber went above and beyond to assist me in getting my x-rays and accommodate my request, even with limited staff right before a holiday. Amber was friendly, helpful and much appreciated. Thank you Amber." - Michelle
“We really liked Dr. Thomas. He was so nice and made the experience enjoyable for my daughter.” -Anonymous
"Dr. Coray provided a series of constructive actions to take and explained them in clear and concise terms." - Alexander
"Angie Baker was really amazing. I can't say enough good things about her." - Anonymous
"I have recommended Dr. Jenkins' office to several people already!" - Donna
“Dr. Jenkins is maybe the best, most well-rounded physician I’ve ever had the privilege of being cared for by. He listens well and explains simply and completely without feeling rushed.” - Jim
"I would recommend Dr. Hassan and Puget Sound Orthopaedics to anyone with hand injuries or shoulder problems." - Cheryl
"Dr. Ghidella has taken great care of me through this difficult journey. I would recommend him to anyone who needed orthopedic surgery." - Kristina
"I have seen Dr. Bede since 1984. His thoroughness has always been a strong point." - Aaron
"Dr. Yearian has provided me with exceptional care for nearly 20 years." - Roger
"I believe Dr. Krumins is an extremely good listener and can quickly and accurately assess issues related to my condition. I have a very high degree of confidence in his competency." - Lorraine
"I have a high trust in Dr. Yearian and always recommend him to others." - Marilyn
“Everyone was great. Dr. Vaughan was extremely helpful and informative.” - Paul
"Wonderful bedside manner, quite accommodating, agreed to the type of surgery I wanted and explained the risks well." -Anonymous
"Dr. Ghidella made me feel very comfortable and was so helpful in assisting me in ways to better my wrist." - Madi
"Dr. Arroyo is kind, listens well and explained my condition in laymen's terms. If I require surgery in the future for rotator cuff injury, he will be the one I will have do it." - Verla
"Dr. Blair spent a good deal of time with me and was clearly confident in his assessment and treatment options for my condition." - Peter