122010Oct

Treating the Three Most Common Hand Problems

When the Charlotte Sun was looking for a hand specialist to consult for expertise on a healthy hand article, it turned to the surgeon who is the leader when it comes to dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome in Port Charlotte.

This article, which appeared in the Feeling Fit section of the Charlotte Sun, discusses multiple ways to keep a healthy hand with hand specialist . Stephen Helgemo.

We are posting the article in its entirety with the hope that the advice from the leading hand specialist and surgeon dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome in Port Charlotte will help anyone experiencing hand problems.

As a leading hand specialist, Dr. Helgemo knows that a healthy hand is a happy hand.

Here is the Charlotte Sun article:

A recent article published in the Feeling Fit section of the Charlotte Sun.

Do your hands fall asleep at night? Do you experience numbness or tingling in your fingers? Do your fingers lock, click or get stuck? Do you have persistent pain or trouble with gripping, twisting or using your hands?

These are all signs and symptoms of the most common and treatable hand problems; carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and basilar joint arthritis.

Dr. Stephen Helgemo, Charlotte County’s dual board certified hand specialist, whose medical practice is dedicated and focused solely on conditions affecting the hand and arm. He and his team of medical professionals at Southwest Florida Hand Specialists see and treat patients with these symptoms every day.  

Dr. Helgemo explains “infrequent and tolerable symptoms are normal, but frequent symptoms that disrupt your life should be treated. We focus our practice on treatments that help patients quickly get the relief they need.”

Numbness and tingling is often due to carpal tunnel syndrome and is usually treated with a minimally invasive surgery, called endoscopic carpal tunnel release. The outpatient surgery is completed in approximately five minutes under twilight anesthesia, and requires no stitches or pain medication.

“This procedure is the single best thing I do for my patients,” Dr. Helgemo said. “Sometimes patients have had this condition for years, not knowing how simple the treatment can be, and that if not treated can lead to permanent nerve damage.” 

Trigger finger or tendonitis can cause pain, stiffness or locking fingers. It is often successfully treated with a cortisone injection. Surgical treatment is needed if symptoms are not relieved completely or if the   symptoms return. Fortunately, if surgery is necessary, Dr. Helgemo performs the trigger finger release surgery in his office as opposed to an operating room.

“The in-office procedures save our patients time and money,” he explained. “We have been doing this for over six years with outstanding results. We use local anesthesia and   only a stitch or two, making it a very simple treatment option. Patients have not needed pain medication.”

People experiencing pain at the base of their thumb or wrist when gripping, twisting or using their hand, may have basilar joint arthritis. A cortisone injection into the joint along with the use of a brace can often alleviate the problem, and most patients don’t require surgery for this condition.   of the cortisone shot and short term use of the brace allows the patient to regain significant use of their hand and this relief is long lasting,” Dr. Helgemo said.  

“We often find that the combination of the cortisone shot and short term use of the brace allows the patient to regain significant use of their hand and this relief is long lasting,” Dr. Helgemo said.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and basilar joint arthritis are all treatable conditions that can worsen over time if left alone. Proper diagnosis and treatment are important to reduce symptoms and enable the patient to return to doing the things they need and want to do.