Wrist and Hand Doctors

Oftentimes, arthritis can be the source of chronic pain in the wrist and hand. Both sports-related and everyday injuries of the hand and wrist are also very regular. Sprains, fractures, and nerve and tendon injuries are some of the more frequently-observed problems. When you fall, it is natural to extend your arms to reduce the impact from hitting the ground. This is a very common way to cause damage to the hand or wrist. Other causes may be animal bites or direct stress (eg accidentally striking the hand with a hammer). Hand and wrist injuries are common in physical sports like wrestling or football. Soreness, swelling, or limited ability to move the hand are symptoms of a hand injury. Treatment for hand and wrist injuries vary based on the nature of the injury. The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method can ease a lot of hand troubles. Other solutions include casts, therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Wrist Sprains

Description

Wrist Sprains can range from a stretch or small tear in the fibers of a ligament to a complete tear through the ligament. There are three grades of a wrist sprain depending on the severity of the injury.

  • Grade 1: The ligaments are stretched but not torn
  • Grade 2: The ligaments are partially torn and may cause some type of loss of function.
  • Grade 3: The Ligaments are completely torn or have been detached from the bone. This type of wrist sprain is a serious injury and will require surgery.

CausesFalling onto an outstretched hand

Wrist sprains are caused by falling onto an outstretched hand which can occur during everyday activities or, more commonly, during sports.

Treatments

Grade 1 and 2 wrist sprains can be treated at home by using anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen/aspirin) to help reduce pain and swelling along the R.I.C.E method

  • Rest. Try not use your wrist for at least 48 hours.
  • Ice.  Apply ice immediately after the injury to keep the swelling down. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly on the skin.
  • Compression. Wear an elastic compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. As often as possible, rest with your wrist raised up higher than your heart.

Grade 3 wrist sprains will require surgical treatment to repair the torn or detached ligament. The surgery involves reattaching the ligament to the bone or using a tendon graft to repair the torn ligament. After surgery rehab will be required in order to strengthen your wrist. The ligament will heal in 8-12 weeks but you will take 6-12 months to fully recover.

Mallet Finger (Baseball Finger)

Mallet finger is an injury in which a object hits the tip of the finger or thumb and causes the extensor tendon to tear causing the tip of the finger to be unable to straighten. In this injury the tendon will detach from the bone and in some cases take a small piece of bone with it.

Extensor tendon ruptureSymptoms

The finger will usually be painful, swollen, and bruised. the fingertip will droop and wont straighten unless you push it with the other hand. If there is blood beneath the nail or the nail is detached it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. This usually means that there is a cut in the nail bed or that the finger is broken and the wound reaches down to the bone causing a risk of infection. To relive pain apply ice to the finger and elevate your hand above your heart.

Treatment

Most mallet finger injuries will not require surgery and are treated by splinting the finger in order to hold it straight until it heals. The splint must be worn full time for 8 weeks in order to restore function to the finger. If the finger droops at all while not wearing the splint healing will be disrupted and the splint will need to worn for a longer period of time. For 3-4 week after the first 8 weeks the splint will be worn less frequently. The splinting treatment usually results in the acceptable function and appearance, however, some patients may not regain full finger function and extension

Wrist Sprains

A wrist sprain occurs when there is excessive stretch or reach to the ligaments within it. This means the ligaments may either tear or be stretched beyond their physical limits. Ligaments are the fibrous tissues that mean to help the wrist stay in proper position by aligning the bones that assemble it.

Sprains can have different grades depending on the degree of injury to the ligaments:

A Grade 1 sprain is considered to be mild where the ligaments are stretched and not torn, a Grad 2 sprain would have a partial tear and potentially loss of functionality, while a Grade 3 sprain is a complete tear where the ligament is pulled off of its attachment to the bone. To avoid an avulsion fracture, seek medical attention.


Wrist & Hand Injuries



Wrist & Hand Treatments & Surgeries