Because the causes of hand pain are extremely diverse, individuals are encouraged to contact a skilled knowledgeable hand doctor shortly after discomfort arises. The complexity of the human hand makes the self-diagnosis of hand ailments among patients difficult if not impossible.
Hand pain can arise as a result of a wide variety of disorders and injuries that affect the structures of the hand. These structures include, but are not limited to, bones, muscles, blood vessels, joints, tendons, and general connective tissues. General causes of hand pain range from the exceedingly common (joint inflammation and arthritis) to the exceedingly rare (tumors within the internal structures of the hand).
Patients tend to apply a broad definition of the word “pain” when describing discomfort in the hand. In addition to sharp, stabbing pains, hand pain sufferers often report aching, tenderness, stiffness, and a phenomenon called peripheral neuropathy. Broadly defined, peripheral neuropathy is a pronounced numbness and/or tingling in a specific, localized area of the body.
Although hand pain is a common symptom of numerous medical conditions, the following sections cover some of the most common. All of these conditions can be treated by most qualified hand doctors.
Basilar Joint Arthritis
A common form of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, basilar joint arthritis is inflammation that results from the thinning of the cartilage tissue that connects the thumb and the wrist. It is commonly treated by nonsurgical methods that Range from activity modification and immobilization to steroid injections and the localized application of heat, cold and/or topical medicines. It can also be treated surgically through carpal metacarpal arthroplasty with tendon transfer.
The pain caused by DeQuervain’s tendonitis arises from an inflammation of the tendons on the thumb-side of the wrist. The nonsurgical treatment options for this condition are largely similar to those of basilar joint arthritis. If and when these nonsurgical treatment options fail, qualified physicians can address DeQuervain’s tendonitis surgically. After accessing dysfunctional tendons through a small incision in the wrist, surgeons can open up tendon sheaths to release inflammation-causing pressure and friction.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes pinched as it passes through a structure in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. In addition to the aforementioned nonsurgical treatments, this condition can be addressed through an endoscopic surgical procedure that requires only a single, small incision on the palm.
This condition is caused by a thickening of the tendon in the human palm. In addition to causing considerable pain, trigger finger is characterized by stiffness and a “clicking” sensation. While trigger finger is often successfully treated with injections of cortisone, it can also be addressed through minimally invasive surgery.
For more information about the various conditions that cause hand pain contact a qualified hand doctor at the Florida Hand Center today.