Symptoms & Treatment for Wrist Gout

Gout is generally known to affect areas of the foot, such as the big toe, but it actually affects any joint, including the wrist. This inflammatory arthritis flares up at times, then goes into remission for extended periods. Having wrist gout is rare, but it is manageable and treatable. 

Since wrist gout is not as common as big toe gout, it is slightly more challenging to diagnose. It usually only affects one wrist, but both can also be affected.

Symptoms of wrist or hand gout can include swelling, redness, tenderness, or hotness lasting one to four weeks. People who suffer from gout can experience restricted movement, excruciating pain, fever, headache, tophi (chunks of uric acid), or kidney stones.

Healthcare providers should be seen if wrist pain or swelling is present. Untreated gout can cause permanent joint damage and minimize its usefulness in the future. 

Gout is caused by an excess of uric acid within the body. Generally, the body expels uric acid through urine, but for some people, it builds up and begins to crystallize in certain joints. 

Some contraindications and risk factors associated with gout include: 

  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Eating red meat, sweetened drinks, seafood, or other foods high in purines
  • Family history
  • Kidney disease, diabetes, and hypertension
  • Cancer medications
  • Skin diseases such as psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis
  • Wrist trauma
  • Chronic stress

Men under the age of 65 are at four times higher risk of suffering from gout than females, and that rate increases as they age.

Gout treatment is limited, but overall, the objective is to manage pain during flare-ups, prevent future attacks, and prevent tophi/kidney stones from forming within the body. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are administered, and/or a medicine called Colcrys, and corticosteroids.

While wrist gout is rare, those who experience it can feel excruciating pain. Most people can live normal and productive lives if diagnosed early.

If you experience wrist pain, or a sensation that will not go away, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

What is Scapholunate Advanced Collapse?

The bands of connective tissue that join your bones, joints, and organs are called ligaments. There are over 900 ligaments in your body. Some of their purposes include: 

  • Facilitating proper joint movement
  • Preventing twisting joints
  • Ensuring bones stay intact
  • Minimize dislocating bones
  • Creating stabilized muscles and joints
  • Increasing joint strength

Scapholunate Advanced Collapse (SLAC Wrist) affects the wrist and occurs when damage or a tear to the scapholunate ligament results in pain or arthritis. SLAC Wrist can result from overworking or force on the wrist, such as falling onto an outstretched hand. 

The most common symptoms of SLAC Wrist are: 

  • Inability to put weight on your wrist 
  • Painful sensation
  • Weak grip 
  • Low range of motion 
  • Stiffness 
  • Tenderness

If a SLAC Wrist is not immediately treated, arthritis can eventually form in the joint. Symptoms of arthritis might also include swelling, bone spurs, grinding, popping, or cracking. 

Treatments for SLAC Wrist include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory medication 
  • Cortisone injection
  • Identifying and stopping all aggravating activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical options such as SLAC reconstruction or total wrist arthrodesis

SLAC Wrist can be debilitating yet treatable. Physical therapy might be recommended following surgery if required. 

Do you think SLAC Wrist affects you or someone in your family? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to learn how we can help provide relief. 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:https://www.cpsmi.com/

Topical Painkillers Inadequate for Hand and Wrist Osteoarthritis

According to researchers, most patients with hand and wrist osteoarthritis do not see a long-term improvement in pain after using topical analgesics. 

Yuchen Liu, BS, said, “Hand and wrist osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent upper extremity condition, with every one in two women and one in four men experiencing symptoms by the age of 85 years old, which strongly limits their activities of daily living. Oral analgesics were commonly prescribed to manage their symptoms; however, long-term use was associated with adverse side effects.” 

Liu and other researchers sent a 26-questionnaire to 100 adults diagnosed with hand or wrist OA. VAS pain scores, and patient-reported changes in stiffness, swelling, and overall condition improvement, were measured. 

Fifty-one (63.75 percent) out of eighty patients who completed the survey said they used topical analgesics to relieve pain. However, those who used them incurred higher pain scores (an average of 18 points higher) than those who did not use topical analgesics. Also, their VAS pain scores immediately improved by an average of 24.8 points after the analgesia was used. 

Some patients who used topical analgesics (63.46 percent) described mild- to zero improvements, while 39.6 percent revealed no improvement in stiffness, and 41.8 percent reported no improvement in the swelling. 

Topical analgesics can be effective in some instances, but discrepancies suggest this treatment is ineffective as a long-term therapy option for hand and wrist OA. 

If you are suffering from hand and wrist pain, contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to learn how we can help reduce your pain today. 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Microsurgery 101

Microsurgery is an intricate technique that uses very fine instruments, high-magnification microscopes, and other specialized tools to meticulously disconnect tissue (including nerves, blood, and lymphatic vessels) from one area of the body and re-adhere it somewhere else on the body. Taking nerves or blood vessels that can be a millimeter or less in size, the procedure can take hours, depending on the goal. 

Though it falls into the plastic surgery realm, only a few surgeons are trained in microsurgery and those who do typically work with orthopedic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, and other specialists as well. Whether the area of the body that needs reconstruction is damaged by trauma or disease, microsurgery can allow patients to receive donor tissue from other people successfully. 

Now used in multiple areas of surgery, microsurgery has been around for decades, yet now it can provide patients with better outcomes. 

Micro surgical techniques are used explicitly in hand surgery to reattach amputated fingers or thumbs. When the severed digit is retrieved and appropriately preserved, the odds of a successful surgery are higher. Once the missing structures are identified in the operating room, all the bones, ligaments, and tendons adhere together with microsurgery. 

Since each artery in a finger is a millimeter or less in diameter, reattaching a finger and restoring blood flow is delicate work. 

Plastic surgeon David Colen, MD, said, “Before microsurgery was available to us, amputation was our only option. Now we routinely repair fingers, with arteries that are a fraction of a millimeter in diameter.”

The hand and upper extremities often require microsurgery, as the general lack of skin requires free tissue transfer to cover nerves, tendons, and bone. When the tiny bones of the hand or wrist are damaged, vascularized bone (that has blood flow) can be transferred from the side of the knee. 

Dr. Colen said, “We can take a piece of bone from another part of the body, with blood vessels going into and out of that bone, and connect it to blood vessels in the hand or wherever it’s needed. That bone has now been transplanted. It has its own blood supply, and it will heal like a normal bone.” 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Common Hand and Wrist Injuries Due to Sports

Playing sports has significant health benefits to a person’s well-being. However, with any physical activity is the possibility of injury. Approximately 25% of all sports injuries are associated with the athlete’s hand and wrist. These damages can create barriers to completing daily tasks- on and off the field. It’s important to understand the symptoms of common hand and wrist injuries and know how to take proper care to limit downtime. Below we discuss the most popular sports-related injuries:  

Skier’s Thumb

Also known as ulnar collateral ligament tear, it is an acute injury of the ligament at the base of a person’s thumb. This injury occurs when the thumb is bent backward, causing the ligament that helps the thumb grasp to tear. Although this injury is most found amongst skiers while grasping a ski pole and falling, it can happen in any sport. Symptoms include pain and swelling at the base of the thumb with low mobility and weakness when attempting to grasp. Tears are best treated with rest and splinting for 4-6 weeks, but a complete tear or multiple injuries may require surgery to reattach tendons.

Finger Jam

This type of injury is also called the “basketball finger,” but it can occur in a range of sports like rugby, volleyball, or football that involves contact with a ball striking the end of an extended finger. The severity of the injury can range. A sprain or dislocation may be corrected by simply pulling on the finger. Symptoms to expect would be joint pain and swelling with the increased difficulty in bending the affected finger. Treatment consists of rest, ice, splints or buddy taping to an adjacent finger.

Scaphoid (Wrist) Fracture

A wrist fracture is an acute injury resulting from the break in one of the many small bones in the wrist. These injuries are not always easy to observe and diagnosed by untrained eyes. The most common cause of a wrist fracture occurs among snowboarders, rollerbladers, and football players, those who extend their arms when falling. Fractures happen when their hand and wrist get hyperextended, and the athlete’s weight is forced onto the palm. Injuries include pain and swelling in the area below the base of the thumb up through the forearm. The pain may increase with the movement of the thumb and wrist. Treatments will vary depending on the severity of the fracture, where most require splinting or casting, but others may result in surgery needed.

Wrist Ligament Tear

Wrist ligaments and cartilage can experience tearing for many different reasons. The two most common are acute trauma caused by a hard fall on an outstretched arm, causing the wrist to twist abnormally. Secondly, repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) can gradually pull on tendons and tear during exercise or other recreational activities.

Total prevention of sports injuries may not be possible, but taking the proper precautions, will likely lower your risk. Always wear well-fitting sports equipment and protective gear like wrist guards and gloves. Sports tape can help make a big difference in keeping your muscles in check. Remember to warm up, stretch, and take breaks to allow proper body functionality.

Have an injury to your hands or wrist? Contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist for a free consultation!  

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Safe Summer Activities for Hands & Wrists

Warmer weather means more time outside with family, friends, and pets. Outdoor activities generally include lots of hand and wrist movement, which can equate to joint pain. Pool time, backyard barbecues, or cornhole tournaments can be challenging for people who suffer from hand and wrist issues. Thankfully, there are ways around these hurdles. 

Carole Dodge, a certified hand therapist at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan said, “Activity promotes activity. You get more lethargic when you don’t move and engaging with others is fun.” 

Read on to discover some fun ways to ensure your hands and wrists are feeling good this summer. 

Water Resistance
Pools are great for water resistance, which helps with achy joints. Dodge says, “The pool is great for swimming, walking back-and-forth, or any kind of upper- or lower-body exercise. Try playing ring toss or diving for pennies. If you have a pool noodle, you can squeeze it for hand-strengthening exercises. It’s a great way to focus on the fun and not the exercise so much.” 

Backyard Games
Ping-pong and cornhole are popular backyard games and can be fun for all ages. According to Dodge, “If you have hand pain, look for firmer bean bags. Some can be squishy, but the ones that are more filled are easier to grip. Utilizing the bigger joints and muscles will be less painful,” when it comes to using your whole arm versus only wrists or hands. Look for paddles or rackets that have a larger or wider handle for a more ergonomic grip. 

Board Game, Anyone?
Checkers, jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble, and the like are all great outdoor patio games. They’re a good distraction away from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens. Since the pieces for these games are small and light, people who suffer from hand or wrist joint pain should be able to play with ease. 

Flower Therapy
Gardening can be challenging for those who suffer from hand and wrist pain, but it’s one of the most easily modifiable. Raised beds put much less stress on the body, as kneeling on the ground is unnecessary. Avoid twisting your body or stretching in awkward positions if you choose to sit. Make sure you take ample breaks and utilize joint-friendly tools such as gloves with rubberized palms or wet the soil to ensure pulling weeds is easier. Use a hose nozzle that does not require squeezing and lightweight hoses that can move around easily.    

Do you suffer from hand and/or wrist pain? If so, call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Identifying, Treating Skier’s Thumb

An Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injury is better known as skier’s thumb. It is identified as an injury, tear, or other damage done to the soft tissue connecting the bones of the thumb that provide stability to the thumb joint. Many skiers experience this injury while partaking in the sport. 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “A partial or complete rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb, skier’s thumb, is an often-encountered problem. It concerns 86% of all injuries to the base of the thumb. The estimated incidence in the US is approximately 200,000 patients per year. The incidence in the Netherlands is not known. In the last four years, we have diagnosed approximately 85 patients in our own hospital.” 

When the ligament on the inside portion of the thumb joint is torn from the bone, the pinch strength of the thumb is affected. It often takes place with a dislocation or pulling outward of the thumb. 

To diagnose skier’s thumb, specialists analyze the patient history and perform a thorough exam. Patients often report a thumb injury where it was pulled backward or to the side. Swelling is also present, combined with the thumb ligament showing instability. X-rays are typically performed to further gain insight, and an MRI to confirm diagnosis. 

Cast immobilization is generally the treatment for skier’s thumb, with minimal surgical options available. If the injury is treated early on, the ligament might have the potential to be repaired and brought back to the bone. An internal brace allows for a swift recovery. However, if a strong ligament is absent, a tendon can be taken from the wrist to reconstruct the ligament. 

Generally, the recommended immobilization period varies between four and six weeks, usually followed by physical therapy. After roughly three months, the thumb should be completely functional again. 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

World’s First Double Hand Transplant is Performed

The National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system throughout England, recently performed the world’s first double hand transplant to treat scleroderma. 

Steven Gallagher suffered from scleroderma, a severe condition that affects the skin and internal organs. For Gallagher, the disease forced his hands to close into a fist position after 13 years of initially presenting itself as a rash. 

Gallagher underwent a 12-hour surgery. Afterward, he said, “After the operation, I woke up and it was quite surreal because before it I had my hands and then when I woke up from the operation, I still had hands so in my head I never really lost any hands. These hands are amazing, everything has happened so quickly. From the moment I woke up from the operation I could move them. It has given me a new lease of life. I’m still finding things hard just now, but things are getting better every week with the physio and the occupational therapists, everything is just slowly getting better. The pain is the big thing. The pain before the operation was horrendous, I was on so much pain relief it was unbelievable, but now I’ve no pain at all.” 

At first, the double hand transplant was dismissed by Gallagher. Once the pain became intolerable, he decided to go ahead with the surgery despite the risks. 

“My hands started to close; it got to the point where it was basically two firsts, my hands were unusable, I couldn’t do a thing apart from lift things with two hands. I could not grab anything; it was a struggle to get dressed and things like that.” 

Professor Simon Kay of Leeds teaching hospitals’ NHS trust said the surgery was “A huge team effort” with over 30 healthcare employees. 

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Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Arthritis Surgery Expectations

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term arthritis refers to over 100 conditions that affect the joints. Generally, arthritis is characterized by pain, inflammation, or swelling of a joint, surrounding, and other connective tissues. 

Typical arthritis treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, physical or occupational therapy, assistive aids, and remedies without medication. If these treatments do not work, surgery might be recommended to help remediate the damaged joint, decrease pain, and improve joint functionality. 

Arthritis surgery benefits include: 

  • Minimizing joint pain
  • Increasing joint functionality
  • Reducing future joint damage
  • Lowering the patient’s use of medications
  • Increasing mobility
  • Improving daily activities
  • Bettering quality of life
  • Avoiding more intensive future surgeries

Some different types of arthritis surgery are:

  • Joint Resurfacing: replacing part of a damaged joint with an implant
  • Arthroscopy: fixing tiny tears within the joint’s soft tissue
  • Synovectomy: removing most – or all – of the inflamed joint tissue lining
  • Osteotomy: cutting off a piece of bone or adding a wedge near a damaged joint
  • Arthrodesis aka Fusion: joining two or more bones using pins, plates, or rods
  • Total Joint Replacement aka Arthroplasty: removing sections of damaged joints, replacing them with a metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthesis 
  • Joint revision: replacing an old, damaged joint implant and replacing with a new one

The complications associated with arthritis surgery include: 

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced healing time

Do you experience pain or arthritis in your hands or wrists? Contact the Michigan Hand & Wrist experts to receive a consultation and get relief today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Treating Thumb Arthritis

The basal joint, also known as the CMC (Carpometacarpal) joint, is one of the most versatile parts of our hand: the thumb. Due to its versatility, the thumb can deteriorate quickly and develop arthritis early in life.

People who suffer from osteoarthritis typically also develop basal joint arthritis, as well as women over 40. Even with normal pinching and gripping, the thumb joint is especially prone to issues from normal use. It is not uncommon for people to only have basal joint arthritis without any other forms.

Some of the treatments for thumb arthritis include nonoperative and surgical reconstruction. Read on to learn more about both options.

Nonoperative Treatments

  • Ice: Applying cold for five- to 15 minutes to the most swollen or tender areas can help to reduce inflammation.
  • Brace or Splint: Make sure your splint or brace supports the thumb.
  • Massage
  • Cortisone Injections
  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications): Examples of these pharmaceuticals include aspirin, ibuprofen, Naprosyn, or meloxicam. Ensure you check with your pharmacist before taking new medications to reduce the chance of drug interactions.

Surgical Reconstruction

  • Total Joint Reconstruction: also known as CMC Arthroplasty or LRTI (Ligament Reconstruction Tendon Interposition) procedure.
  • Capsulodesis: meant to tighten the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint
  • Arthrodesis: Surgically fusing the MCP joint

If you or someone you know has thumb pain, contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.