Tips for Diagnosing Joint and Finger Arthritis

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – With more and more American’s suffering from hand pain many are consulting with a hand specialist to determine whether they are suffering from a condition such as finger arthritis or joint arthritis. While a hand specialist like those at Florida Hand Center can often offer a definitive diagnosis regarding finger or joint arthritis, there are some symptoms hand pain suffers can look for prior to consulting a physician. Here are five symptoms to look for when considering whether a painful hand might be arthritic. 1. Painful Joints – The most common symptom of arthritis is joint pain. Joint arthritis pain isn’t the same among all arthritis suffers,…

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Florida Hand Center’s new portal improves communication about carpal tunnel syndrome, hand surgery arthritis Florida

For patients dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, the after effects of hand surgery or arthritis, Florida Hand Center now offers an easier way to communicate witheir staff regarding treatment and follow up care. The new patient portal on Florida Hand Center’s web site can help shorten doctor visits while helping patients get easy answers to their questions about carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. FloridaCenter’s can register to use the patient portal with their name and email address at http://www.floridahandcenter.com/patient-center, then take advantage of the all the new and convenient features. “We’re excited to bring these new online features as an added convenience and hope that these capabilities help improve patient…

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Congratulations to Dr. Helgemo!

We want to take a moment to congratulate our very own Dr. Stephen Helgemo for being listed for the third consecutive year in Gulfshore Life Magazine’s Top Doc List (2009 – 2011).Each year Gulfshore Life Magazine partners with Castle Connolly Medical School in New York and publishes a list of leading physicians in Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties, using an independent study. Physicians are selected based on surveys and electronic ballots submitted by the leaders at hospitals and medical practices, and each physician’s experience, expertise and training is considered and scrutinized in this process. Dr. Helgemo is a Johns Hopkins trained physician and a dual board certified hand surgeon.  He has been a practicing hand…

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Happy National Nurses Week!

We’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank all of the nurses at Florida Hand Center for their dedication, hard work and commitment to exceptional patient care.  Here are just a few reasons our nurses are top notch: They truly care about our patient’s health and well being They offer a warm smile to each individual that sets foot in our office They work tirelessly to ensure that each patient is seen as quickly as possible, while still focusing on the importance of diagnostics They gather thorough medical history and health information from each patient They entertain and calm scared and screaming children They help the elderly with the…

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Treatment Options and Tools for Arthritis Sufferers

Here at Florida Hand Center we have treated thousands patients with arthritis in their hands both surgically and non-surgically. It is important to note that we do not “cure” the arthritis as there is no treatment to slow or eliminate arthritis completely. What we do is treat the arthritic pain, which is the chief complaint our patients have about their condition. Some of the available treatments include therapy for joint protection exercises, splinting, selective nerve blockers, topical nutritional ointments, joint replacements or fusions. However, many of our arthritic patients received a cortisone injection at the site of the pain that provides the pain relief they need. Sometimes it is just…

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The Doctor Will See You Now: Improving Patient Wait Times

At Florida Hand Center, we care about improving wait times and providing our patients with superior diagnosis and treatment in a timely fashion. A recent article published by The Wall Street Journal states that according to outside research, orthopedic doctors have the longest wait times of any physician type. Over 2.4 million patients across the country were surveyed to reveal an average wait time of 29 minutes for orthopedists compared to an average wait time of 22 minutes for all healthcare providers. The study also states that with every five minutes a patient waits for their appointment; their overall satisfaction in regards to their care is reduced. What does that tell…

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A Rockefeller Christmas Third Annual Mistletoe Ball 2010

During the holidays we are often reminded that many individuals are struggling and going without food and shelter.  This year Dr. Stephen Helgemo is helping fight hunger and homelessness in our community by being one of the many proud sponsors of the 3rd Annual Mistletoe Ball 2010 benefiting the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. The mission of the (501)(c)3 organization is “To prevent homelessness and hunger, assist individuals and families who are in imminent danger of becoming homeless by providing shelter and by working to change the personal and social conditions, which lead to homelessness. The 3rd Annual Mistletoe Ball is an important fundraising event for The Coalition and will take place on…

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Testing and the Physical Exam

A recent article on the National Public Radio website entitled “The Fading Art of the Physical Exam” caught our attention.  In the article they interviewed several well-known physicians who have noticed that many patients referred to them have had expensive testing, but little or no physical examination by their doctor regarding their problem.  In most cases, the patient’s problem was easily determined by physical examination and the tests were a large and unnecessary expense. We have noticed this trend as well and always bristle when a patient sees us about a hand problem with a pile of tests ordered by other health care providers.  In many cases, as seen in…

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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…

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Common Breast Cancer Treatment Increases Likelihood of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Trigger Finger

Guest Blogger and SWFHS Nurse Practitioner Carolyn Clark blogs about Aromatase Inhibitors used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women and the drug’s correlation to certain hand problems: I have been reading this article in the July 2010 issue of The Journal of Hand Surgery, titled “Aromatase Inhibitors and Their Side Effects: What Hand Surgeons Should Know” and thought this information might be important to some of our patients. Aromatase inhibitors are used as adjuvant treatment of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer in post menopausal women, and are slowly replacing Tamoxifen as the drugs of choice.Though usually well-tolerated, there is increasing evidence that links aromatase inhibitors with carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger, as…

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