Don’t Live with Ongoing Wrist Pain
People who suffer from chronic and acute wrist pain are willing to go to great lengths to find some relief. But after months or even years of wearing braces, applying cold/heat, stretching, resting, and popping an array of both over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, many people simply can’t control the pain without surgical intervention.
If this sounds like you, you may have one of many conditions that can be treated by a skilled and knowledgeable wrist surgeon. Although patients are discouraged from engaging in self-diagnosis, it may be helpful and/or comforting to walk into your first doctor’s appointment with a general understanding of the most common wrist ailments and their prevalent surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A condition that is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes through a very tight space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, carpal tunnel syndrome is primarily characterized by persistent numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the thumb, index, and/or middle finger. When nonsurgical treatments (such as splinting, applying heat/cold, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and receiving cortisone injections) prove insufficient, the condition can be addressed through an endoscopic surgical procedure that is conducted via a small incision in the palm.
Basilar Joint Arthritis
Basilar joint arthritis results from a significant thinning of the cartilage tissue that naturally occurs between the thumb and the wrist. Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it often occurs in the wake of fractures and other injuries to the thumb. Basilar joint arthritis is typically initially treated with nonsurgical modalities that are similar to those for carpal tunnel syndrome. If and when those modalities fail, a surgeon can replace the dysfunctional tendon with an expendable tendon that he or she harvests from the patient’s forearm.
Also treatable through nonsurgical methods such as steroid injections and occupational therapy, DeQuervain’s tendonitis causes pain in the tendons on the thumb-side of the wrist This condition can also limit mobility and strength, often making it exceedingly difficult to turn the wrist, grasp objects, and make a fist. DeQuervain’s tendonitis arises when tendons become locally inflamed by moving within their respective tendon sheaths. To address moderate to severe cases of DeQuervain’s tendonitis, surgeons can access affected tendon sheaths through a small wrist incision and then open them up to release pressure and friction.
Seek the Advice of a Medical Professional
Of course these are only a few of the medical conditions that can be addressed by a qualified wrist surgeon. For more information about the potential benefits of wrist surgery, contact Dr. Ivan G. Olarte, Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr., or one of the other experienced medical professionals at the Florida Hand Center.