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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What is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger (TF) is a condition that effects movement of the fingers. Trigger finger symptomsinclude locking or clicking when the finger is moved, difficulty moving the finger(s) or stiffness, and tenderness or pain where the finger connects to the hand. Trigger finger treatmentis usually painless and effective, and can be done a quick in-office by Florida Hand Center – the leading Port Charlotte hand doctor. Trigger finger symptoms do not have to be to have trigger finger; any combination may be seen and multiple fingers may be involved. Some people refer to trigger finger symptomsas tendonitis and it is often wrongly diagnosed as arthritis. Certain medical conditions are commonly associated…

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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition effecting the hand and fingers that appears to be the result of increased pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. It often results in the need for carpal tunnel hand surgeryconducted by the Florida Hand Center – a of Port Charlotte hand doctors. The diagnosis of carpal tunnelis based on symptoms or what you feel in your hand and fingers. These symptoms include numbness and/or tingling, usually more on the thumb side of the hand. Sometimes there is pain in the hand or even the arm, and the symptoms are often worse at night. It can actually wake someone up from…

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Meet Our Occupational Therapist

We are excited to welcome Sarah Yagelski to Southwest Florida Hand Specialists as our new occupational therapist!  Sarah comes to us with over five years of field work, study and professional experience and is already working with many patients in their treatment process. Sarah is a graduate of Ball State University where she majored in exercise science and graduated magna cum laude.  She completed her masters of science in occupational therapy from Indiana University and is a certified lymphedema therapist.  Sarah has worked at hand centers, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals and in the home care environment, and has always had a special interest in hand therapy.  When Sarah is not working she enjoys…

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The Story of Southwest Florida Hand Specialists

A question that we are asked frequently is what led to forming Southwest Florida Hand Specialists (SWFHS)?  One might say it was a collision of a number of interesting pathways converging. After completing college in Florida, Steve Helgemo moved to Baltimore to pursue his medical studies at Johns Hopkins Hospital.He enjoyed the big city life and the experience of being in a world-class medical institution. As a second year medical student, he had a month to “burn” and signed up for a hand surgery rotation. Steve was paired with a doctor in his final year of medical training- a hand surgery fellow.  This proved to be a pivotal moment in the formation…

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What is a Hand Screening Seminar and Who Should Attend?

Dr. Helgemo and the staff at the Florida Hand Center offer free hand screenings and educational seminars for people experiencing hand pain or who may be in need of carpal tunnel treatment  or other hand and arm treatments in Port Charlotte or the west coast of Florida. The seminar and screening gives prospective patients the opportunity to have a board certified hand specialist review their hand pain and make a preliminary assessment of the cause. What is the seminar about? Each seminar consists of a twenty-minute presentation about common hand symptoms and conditions. Dr. Helgemo, a leader in the treatment of hand pain – including carpal tunnel syndrome in Port…

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Signs of Common Hand Problems

If you are consistently experiencing any of the problems below, including carpal tunnel syndrome, hand circulation problems or hand tendon problems, you may be suffering from one or more of the many treatable common hand or arm problems. A quick consult with Dr. Stephen Helgemo, the leading hand doctor in Port Charlotte, will help diagnose the problem more accurately. 1. carpal tunnel syndrome symptomslike numbness and tingling in the hand or fingers 2. carpal tunnel syndrome problemsthat cause the hands to fall asleep 3. Numbness or pain that affects other fingers and moves up the forearm 4. Fingers that lock or click – indicating hand tendon problems 5. Finger pain…

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10 Tips for Healthy Hands

Here are a few tips for healthy hands that should be considered to prevent hand pain and keep your hands in the best working order. The hand specialists in Port Charlotte at Florida Hand Center have been suggesting these tips to patients for years. While some common problems of the hand and arm are caused by genetics and use over time, these tips will help avoid injury and additional hand pain, providing healthy hands. 1. Perform exercises that strengthen your hand and arm muscles and stay active. Stay active in general to promote overall health including healthy hands. 2. Take a break, change or stop activities that cause hand painand…

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