Hand & Wrist
Hand & Wrist Topics
Hand & Wrist Anatomy
The hand in the human body is made up of the wrist, palm, and fingers. The most flexible part of the human skeleton, the hand enables us to perform many of our daily activities. When our hand and wrist are not functioning properly, daily activities such as driving a car, bathing, and cooking can become impossible.
The wrist is comprised of two bones in the forearm (the radius and the ulna) and eight other tiny bones. The bones meet to form multiple large and small joints. A wrist fracture refers to a break in one or more bones in the wrist. Wrist fracture can be caused due to a fall on the outstretched arm or an injury due to accidents such as a car accident or workplace injuries.
The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. Because of overuse in various activities, the hands are more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, lacerations and amputations while operating machinery, bracing against a fall and sports-related injuries.
Injuries caused due to stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the wrist are called wrist sprains. These injuries are usually caused by a fall during daily activities or sports activities. Sprains can range from mild to severe based on the extent of injury to the ligament. Some of the main symptoms of wrist sprains include:
Flexor Tendon Injuries
Tendons are the bands of fibrous connective tissue that connect muscles to bone. Tendons aid in movement of the fingers, hand and all other body parts.There are two types of tendons present in the hand- extensor tendons and flexor tendons. Extensor tendons present on top of the hand help with straightening the fingers. Whereas, flexor tendons that lie on the palm side of the hand help in bending the fingers. The flexor tendons are smooth, flexible, thick tissue strands which bend the fingers.
Fracture of The Finger
Fingers are fine structures of the human body which assist in daily routine activities through coordinated movements. Any abnormality affecting the fingers can have a huge impact on quality of life of the patient. A finger fracture is usually a minor injury but if left untreated it may lead to major consequences due to interference with the specialized functions such as grasping or manipulating objects in the palm. A fracture of the finger may disrupt the alignment of whole hand and cause pain and stiffness.
Mallet finger is a condition where the end of the finger is bent and does not straighten. It occurs when the extensor tendon on the back of the finger is damaged. The finger joint is a hinge-joint that allows bending and straightening of the fingers. Each finger is composed of 3 phalanges bones, joined by 2 interphalangeal joints (IP joints). The joint near the base of the finger is called the proximal IP joint or PIP joint, and the joint near the tip of the finger is called the distal IP joint or DIP joint.
Finger & Thumb Pain
A break or a crack in the bones of the thumb is known as a thumb fracture. Thumb fractures can occur from a direct blow, a fall, and muscle contractions or twisting during sports such as football, hockey, skiing and wrestling. Fractures may occur anywhere on the thumb, but a fracture at the base of the thumb, near the wrist, is considered the most serious. A fractured thumb is associated with severe pain, tenderness and swelling at the fracture site, little or no thumb movement, deformed appearance or coldness or numbness in the thumb.
The scaphoid bone is a small, boat-shaped bone in the wrist, which, along with 7 other bones, forms the wrist joint. It is present on the thumb side of the wrist causing it to be at a high risk for fractures. A scaphoid fracture is usually seen in young men aged 20 to 30 years. They can occur at two places: near the thumb or near the forearm.
Finger Dislocation in Children
Finger dislocation is a condition in which the bone of your finger has moved away from its normal position. Dislocation can be caused from jamming or overextending the finger during sports activities, or during a fall with an outstretched hand.
Arthritis of The Hand & Wrist
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of joints. There are several types of arthritis and the most common type is osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis. Arthritis affects various joints in the body and the arthritis in hand affects the joint at the base of the thumb. Arthritis may also affect the joints of other digits and the symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and malformation all of which interfere with use of the hand.
Arthritis of The Thumb
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of joints. There are several types of arthritis; the most common type is osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis that affects the joint at the base of the thumb. Thumb arthritis is more common in women than men, and usually occurs after the age of 40 years. Patients who have arthritis of the fingers may have swelling, pain, stiffness, and malformation all of which interfere with use of the hand.
Ganglion (Cyst) of The Wrist
Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons or joints of wrists or hands. It looks like a water balloon on a stalk and contains a clear fluid or gelatinous material. Ganglion cysts are noncancerous, generally harmless and disappear without any treatment. However, if the cyst becomes painful or interferes with hand movement, they can be treated non-surgically or removed surgically.
Tendons in your fingers connect the finger bones to finger muscles and help bend and straighten the finger at the joint when the muscles contract. Boutonnière deformity is a condition in which a tendon injury to the middle joint of the finger results in the inability to straighten the affected finger.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist area.
De Quervain's Tendonosis
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a hand condition affecting a patients’ ability to move their thumb. It used to be referred to as washerwoman’s sprain or mother’s wrist but with the advent of technology, is now commonly referred to as “Blackberry thumb” from typing and texting on small handheld devices.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a hand condition where thickening of the underlying fibrous tissues of the palm cause the fingers to bend inward. Patients with this condition are unable to fully straighten the affected fingers.It is caused from excessive production of collagen which is deposited under the skin. It commonly occurs in the ring finger and little finger.
Trigger Finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis or flexor tendonitis, is a condition where one of the fingers or thumb of the hand is caught in a bent position.
Hand pain is characterized by distress in the joints and tissues of the hand or fingers. Hand pain can be depicted as pulsating, aching, increased warmth, prickling, irritation and inflexibility.
Hands become infected more frequently as it is one of the commonly injured parts of our body. Hand infections, if left untreated or treated improperly can cause disabilities such as stiffness, contracture, weakness, and loss of tissues (skin, nerve and bone) that persist even after the infection resolves.
The wrist is a commonly seen injured joint in the body. Problems include sprains and strains as well as fractures which can occur with lifting and carrying heavy objects, while operating machinery, bracing against a fall, or from sports-related injuries.
Gamekeeper's thumb, also known as skier's thumb, is a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, a band of tissue that supports the joint at the base of the thumb. Damage to the ulnar collateral ligament may lead to chronic instability of the thumb, creating problems in its normal functioning.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist. Small wrist bones known as carpals form the bottom and sides of your carpal tunnel and a strong band of connecting tissue, known as the transverse carpal ligament, covers the top of the carpal tunnel.
The hand is considered one of the most complex structures in the human body due to its intricate anatomy. Your hands are a complex system of various bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Without the healthy functioning of the hand we are unable to perform activities of daily living. The hand is one part of the body that is very susceptible to injury or disease. Some of these conditions include
Finger Joint Fusion
Finger joint fusion is a surgical procedure to remove the damaged bony ends of a finger joint followed by insertion of a prosthesis to fuse the bones back together. Finger joint fusion is performed to relieve arthritis pain in the fingers.The hands are made up of 27 bones, which are grouped into carpals, metacarpals and phalanges. Each bone is separated by the articular cartilage, which helps provide smooth gliding movements of the fingers.