Your hands are critical to everyday life, so when you have hand pain or limited function, it’s important to see a hand doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Located in Parker, hand doctors at Advanced Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists have extensive expertise diagnosing and treating a wide variety of injuries and disorders, including these common conditions:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you have symptoms such as tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in the hand or thumb, your hand doctor may evaluate you for a pinched median nerve known as carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition is often caused by repetitive motion in your hand and wrist.
The most common treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome involve changing or eliminating motions that are putting pressure on the nerve and wearing a brace or splint that maintains a straight wrist position (during key activities such as typing or sleeping). Steroid injections or surgery may be recommended if conditions do not improve.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Compression of the ulnar nerve, which runs from the outside of your hand all the way up your arm, also causes tingling and numbness in hands and fingers – but typically in the pinkie and ring fingers.
A hand doctor will determine if pressure or stretching is impacting the nerve and suggest therapy or changes in activities that cause symptoms. Surgery may be recommended in circumstances where pressure on the nerve needs to be released.
Fractured bones in the hand or wrist are common and your hand doctor will likely have you get an X-ray if she or he suspects a broken bone. The most common symptom is pain, but many patients also experience swelling. Bones may be stabilized or set with a brace or cast for healing. In severe breaks, surgery may be needed.
Tendons are the essential tissue that connects muscle to bones. Tendonitis occurs when the tendons become irritated and swollen, typically caused by overuse or injury. Related injuries can occur to the tissue around the tendons, which is called tenosynovitis. In the hand and wrist, there are two types of tendonitis that hand doctors see commonly:
- DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis is the most common and causes pain and swelling in the thumb, typically a result of repetitive motion.
- Trigger finger or trigger thumb occurs when one finger is bent and will not straighten without assistance. This happens when the tissue around the tendon is swollen, which makes it difficult or impossible to bend the finger or thumb. The finger or thumb may lock or “trigger” suddenly. There are several therapeutic and non-surgical treatment options that a hand doctor may recommend first. In addition to minimizing or eliminating repetitive motion activities that cause these issues, your hand doctor may also recommend steroid injections, or in some cases, surgery
While the end result may appear to be similar to trigger finger, a qualified hand doctor can quickly diagnose this disease. Dupuytren’s limits the ability to straighten the fingers – usually the ring finger or smaller fingers – due to a thickening of tissues in the palm. Depending on the progression of the disease, treatments can vary widely, and some patients focus on protecting their hands with simple accommodations to everyday activities if progression is slow. Faster progression may be treated with needling, injections and in some cases, surgery.
Most people think of jammed fingers occurring in basketball or other sports, but hand doctors see cases from everyday activities as well. It happens when a finger is “jammed” inward toward the hand, usually with significant force.
Symptoms may include swelling, pain or tenderness, and limited range of motion. It’s important to see a doctor if these symptoms persist, to treat a jammed finger or address a more serious injury, such as a fracture or dislocated joint.
There are numerous causes of nerve damage in the hand or wrist. Common causes include excess pressure on the nerve (such as carpal tunnel syndrome, noted above) or a serious cut. If you’ve had a near miss while cutting a melon or an avocado, you know how easily it can happen.
It’s important to see a hand doctor quickly if you’ve cut your hand or wrist and you’ve lost feeling in the area, or if the cut is big or deep enough that you cannot close the gap by pressing it together. Absolutely consider it urgent and get immediate medical attention if you cannot stop the bleeding. A hand doctor is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat nerve damage to prevent permanent damage.
Whether you relate to any of these symptoms or have others that need diagnosis, don’t ignore your hand or wrist problems and don’t self-diagnose. See a hand doctor who can give you a complete exam.
For diagnosis and treatment of hand and wrist pain, see an Advanced Orthopedics’ Parker hand doctors. Or, visit us at another location.
Our Denver hand doctors are located in Stapleton at 8101 E. Lowry Blvd. Suite 230 Denver, CO 80230
Our Aurora hand doctors are in Southlands 6235 S. Main Street. Suite C-101 Aurora, CO 80016