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.
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 SPECIALIST
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 […]
"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
“I had a great experience. Dr. Bargren was very knowledgeable.” - Abigail
"Great customer service when setting up my appointment." - Alexander
“It is so nice to work at a place that makes you feel like part of a family!” - Nyline B.
"Dr. Ghidella made me feel very comfortable and was so helpful in assisting me in ways to better my wrist." - Madi
"Dr. Krumins' work shows that he enjoys what he does. He is ultra-professional." - Edward
“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
"I would highly rate this staff at this office and look forward to having them take care of me as needed in the future." - Adam
"I really appreciate Dr. Krumins and his medical assistant; these two really make the practice great!" - Carol
"Dr. Yearian and his surgical team were amazing! All my questions were answered and I felt very comfortable throughout my procedure. Every need was taken care of before I even asked! Compassion and commitment is evident!!"
"Nick was wonderful and gave a detailed explanation. He made me feel informed with the knowledge of what I need to do next.” - Jocelyn
"Dr. Vaughan & his team are wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable. Always explaining every step of the way! Thanks Dr Vaughan!!"
"My experience in your office was very pleasant. It is a nice office with very friendly and knowledgeable associates. The X-ray technician was very nice. I was nervous about seeing the doctor, but Dr. Coray made me feel at ease and put my worries about my knees to rest. Thank you all so much."
"Dr. Gray is warm, down to earth and knows his stuff. I had over a dozen questions and he addressed all of them. He has a professional manner with a side of humor. I think that is a great quality in a doctor." - Marilyn
"Dr. Yearian is the best! And Joyce, his medical assistant, makes every appointment an enjoyable experience. Thank you for taking care of me!"
"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. Blair was very efficient and straightforward regarding my situation, diagnosis and treatment options. I felt confident of his care.” - Stephen
“Communication is the key to everything. Nick Harrison was very helpful and able to explain the injury.” - Carl
"Maggie is awesome. Friendly, understanding, and a great person." - Michele
“Everyone was great. I would definitely recommend this facility and Dr. Ghidella.” - Anonymous
“Dr. Martin examined and listened closely to identify the extent of my injury, then clearly explained the projected next steps.” - Ed
"Dr. Martin is always very open and informative without feeling rushed." - Claude
"Dr. Ghidella has taken great care of me through this difficult journey. I would recommend him to anyone who needed orthopedic surgery." - Kristina
"Dr. Coray has always provided me with comprehensive treatment, for which I'm very thankful." - Dallas
"Terrific doctor and great clinic. Excellent care and follow up. I read the Core Values (H.E.A.R.T.) before my surgery and wondered if they would show up in my experience and sure enough they did. This is an outfit I would recommend to anyone who needs this kind of care." - Catherine
"Dr. Martin is an excellent surgeon and has shown me great kindness and respect. I can not thank him enough for his care and concern given to me before, during, and after the two surgeries he performed." - John
"Wonderful bedside manner, quite accommodating, agreed to the type of surgery I wanted and explained the risks well." -Anonymous
"I was very impressed with Dr. Ghidella's knowledge, honesty, and confidence in his ability to assist me with my hand." - Deborah
“At Puget Sound Orthopaedics, you’re not just a small part of a large organization. You are an important member of a team that’s constantly working together to better serve our patients.” - Leslie K.
"Dr. Hassan was very knowledgeable and helpful. He was very clear and gave very good instructions and helpful tips." - Anonymous