Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
Michael L. Blackwell, MD
ORTHOPAEDICS & SPORTS MEDICINE LOCATED IN TOMBALL, KINGWOOD, & THE WOODLANDS, TX
Hand and wrist problems are widespread, especially now that people spend so much time operating electronic devices. If you’re experiencing pain or loss of function in your hands or wrists, Michael Blackwell, MD, at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Tomball and The Woodlands, Texas, can help. Dr. Blackwell is an accomplished orthopaedic and sports medicine specialist who has considerable expertise in treating a wide range of hand and wrist conditions. Call the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today to find out more or request an appointment online.
Hand & Wrist Q & A
What causes hand and wrist problems?
Hand and wrist problems are very common, mainly because hands and wrists get used so much.
You use your hands and wrists almost all the time in most walks of life. Even if your job doesn’t take its toll on your hands and wrists, most people spend considerable time using keyboards or mobile devices to interact with modern technologies.
You also ask your hands to master a lot of different skills. You might be wanting strength and grip to carry a heavy parcel up the stairs one moment, then expect the same hands to be dextrous enough to play the piano.
The constant and repetitive nature of a lot of the ways you use your hands inevitably leads to wear and tear and overuse injuries.
What hand and wrist problems are most common?
The types of hand and wrist problems Dr. Blackwell sees most often at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine are:
Tendon and ligament damage
Tendons attach muscles to bones, while ligaments attach bones to other bones. If you reach too far, turn awkwardly, or bend your hand, wrist, or fingers too far over, the tendons and ligaments can stretch or tear.
Tendon and ligament problems cause conditions like:
- DeQuervain's tenosynovitis
- Trigger finger or thumb
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)
Arthritis has both common and rare forms, all of which cause joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis are the types most likely to cause hand and wrist problems, with osteoarthritis being by far the most common.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a collection of bones and ligaments in your wrist. The median nerve that stretches from your shoulder into the thumb side of your hand runs through the carpal tunnel. Sometimes the median nerve comes under pressure from a thickening ligament in the carpal tunnel.
The result is pain in your hand and wrist, weakness and loss of grip, and numbness, especially at night. The symptoms get progressively worse, and the pain can travel right to your shoulder in time.
How are hand and wrist problems treated?
Treatment for your hand or wrist problem is dependent on the cause. In most cases, noninvasive treatments like hot and cold compresses, medication, and the use of aids like a wrist or finger splint provide relief from pain and restore function.
You might need a steroid injection to reduce inflammation in your hand or wrist if other treatments aren’t helping.
Some hand and wrist problems require surgery. Dr. Blackwell is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who excels in carrying out hand and wrist surgery. He uses minimally invasive techniques to perform a variety of hand and wrist surgeries, including carpal tunnel release, ligament repair, and joint replacement.
If you have a painful, disabling hand or wrist problem, call the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today, or request an appointment online.