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.

Wrist Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention

The wrist comprises several joints that help you perform many essential functions like cooking, self-care, computer work, and much more. Pain in the wrist can interfere with your ability to perform day-to-day tasks and should be addressed immediately. Read on to learn more about common wrist problems, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention.

 Common Causes

There are quite a few reasons for pain in the wrist. These can range from simple fatigue to an injury. Some of the most common reasons you may experience wrist pain include:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • De Quervain’s disease
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex injury
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Wrist tendonitis or bursitis
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Wrist sprain

Visit your physician to get a thorough examination and diagnosis so you can pursue the correct treatment path.

Symptoms

Pain is the most reported symptom of wrist problems, and it can range from dull to sharp or achy, depending upon the cause. Other symptoms are:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Clicking sounds
  • Difficulty gripping

If the wrist isn’t treated, pain often increases in intensity and frequency. Always contact your doctor if the pain makes daily activities difficult, causes a limited range of motion, or if you experience worsening weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Treatment Options

Your doctor will examine your wrist and ask questions about your symptoms to reach a diagnosis. Possible treatments include:

  • Home treatment with rest, ice, and pain-relievers
  • Splints to immobilize the wrist
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Exercises to manage pain, stretch, and strengthen the wrist
  • Surgery for more severe problems

You may require imaging, arthroscopy, or nerve conduction studies in addition to an exam to pinpoint the problem.

Preventative Measures

Protect yourself from trauma by taking measures to prevent wrist pain and injury. You can do this by using good posture while working at your desk, investing in a keyboard that reduces wrist strain, and taking regular breaks. It also helps to learn and use tools and equipment properly to limit stress on the wrist and wear guards when engaging in sports or high-impact activities.

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.

Easing Arthritis Pain with Hand & Wrist Exercises

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes pain, inflammation, joint deformity, and eventually, deterioration. The body attacks its own joints, particularly the hands and fingers, which can ultimately lead to loss of hand function. Exercising or moving joints can help alleviate pain, strengthen muscles, increase fine motor skills, grip strength, and more. Try some of these hand and finger exercises below to prevent arthritis-related deformities.

Putty Squeeze – improve grip strength

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Place the putty tube in the palm of your hand
  • Squeeze fingers to make a fist around the putty tube
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Putty Pinch – improve thumb muscles and pinch grip

  • Roll a piece of putty into a ball
  • Place the putty between your thumb and pointer finger
  • Press your thumb into the putty ball in a pinching motion
  • Squeeze your fingers and thumb together
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Finger Adduction – improve finger mobility and stabilize joints

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Weave the putty tube between each of your four fingers
  • Squeeze fingers together into the putty, bringing them as close as possible
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Rubber Band Finger Abduction – improve finger mobility

  • Touch your thumb and four fingers together
  • Place a rubber band around them
  • Push your fingers out against the rubber band, stretching the rubber band
  • Maintain outstretched fingers for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Sequential Finger Extension – improve finger mobility and coordination

  • Place your fingers and palm on a flat surface
  • Isolate just the index finger and lift it up off of the surface
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Bring your index finger back down, then isolate and lift your middle finger
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Repeat these steps for your ring and pinky fingers
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

Thumb Abduction – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face each other
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out toward the opposite hand
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Flexion and Extension – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out away from your palms
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Opposition – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Bring your thumb and pointer finger to touch, tip to tip
  • Relax your thumb and pointer finger by placing them back in line with your palms
  • Repeat this process with your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

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.

Hand Injuries Resulting from Smartphones

The world is at our fingertips with help from smartphones. With this novel invention, we can easily connect with family, friends, read recipes, browse through photos, play games, control other electronics, watch movies, and more. Now that smartphones have been around for quite some time, we’re seeing some common injuries in the hand which are directly caused by these devices.

Text Claw
Though this condition has been around since the typewriter era, text claw is a growing issue with people who use their smartphones to communicate. Text claw is marked by cramping and pain in the fingers. The typical treatment for text claw is to immobilize the hand and fingers with a brace, massage, or stretch the area.

Cellphone Elbow
Similar to those who complain of carpal tunnel after using keyboards excessively, smartphone users are susceptible to cubital-tunnel syndrome. Those who use their smartphone to watch a video and hold it in the air for two or more hours might experience pain in the elbow, numbing, tingling, etc., in the forearm and hand, which are all telltale signs of cellphone elbow. Switching hands is an easy solution, along with using a pillow or pad to prop up your smartphone.

Smartphone Pinkie
Smartphones are sometimes large, bulky, and awkward for some people to get a good grip on. Add to that the fact that most people do not want to drop or lose their smartphones; they’re holding on to them reasonably tightly. This grip can cause calluses on certain fingers, along with numbness or painful pinky fingers. To treat this issue, change the position of your hand and try to shift your grip often.

Cuts and Glass Slivers
Quite possibly the most apparent problems with smartphones, cracked screens or cameras can cause small lesions in the hand. Tiny slivers of glass can break off and puncture your skin; these tiny shards can also end up in your pocket, purse, or bed, creating another potential injury site. If broken or cracked, replace your smartphone whenever possible, as well as take advantage of screen protectors.

Texting Thumb
While texting, do you use all your fingers or just your thumbs? Most people use their thumbs to text or scroll through their phones, leading to texting thumb, trigger thumb, or arthritis. To remedy this situation, change your behavior by using a stylus to text, voice-to-text, or use more of your other fingers.

Hand, wrist, and elbow problems can result from ignoring smartphone hand injuries. If you suspect something is brewing in your hand or wrist, 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.

All About Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery

Did you know the thumb joint is the most mobile in the hand? It can move up and down, in and out, and rotate; our thumbs move hundreds of times daily. When we use a hammer or hold a glass, the thumb joint helps grip the object and stabilize the other fingers while writing or counting money.

Because our thumbs are used so much, the joint can deteriorate over time, causing arthritis in some individuals. Osteoarthritis can cause the smooth cartilage to become rough, resulting in pain, swelling, limited motion, and a grinding or popping sensation.

After a physician diagnoses arthritis and joint deterioration, non-surgical treatments will be recommended, including pain relief through medications, cortisone injections, and rest through splinting. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses in time for some individuals. After non-surgical methods are exhausted, a joint reconstructive surgery called Arthroplasty is recommended.

Arthroplasty can be done as an outpatient procedure or require an overnight stay. There are several different ways surgeons can replace the thumb joint. Once the surgery is complete, a splint is applied to the thumb to promote healing and rest. Discomfort and swelling are normal; pain medication will be prescribed to alleviate them.

It generally takes roughly six weeks for patients to recover from Arthroplasty completely. After immobilization is deemed sufficient by the surgeon, physical therapy is recommended.

Risks associated with thumb joint replacement surgery include tendon injury, vascular injury, and possible infection, though extremely rare.

Do you have arthritis in your thumb? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to experience 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 staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

All About Raynaud’s Discorder

Raynaud’s is a disorder that affects the arteries by restricting blood flow to toes and, most commonly, fingers. There are two types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary.

Primary Raynaud’s (also called Raynaud’s disease) comes from an unknown origin and tends to be less severe than secondary Raynaud’s. Secondary Raynaud’s is sparked by another unknown illness, condition, or something else, often called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Causes of secondary Raynaud’s include:

  • Diseases/conditions that directly harm the arteries or nerves in the hands or feet
  • Damages to the arteries in the hands and feet caused by repetitive actions
  • Injuries to the hands and feet
  • Chemical exposures
  • Medicines that minimize blood pressure and narrow arteries

Raynaud’s attacks can be triggered by either cold temperatures or stress, marked by little- to no blood flow to the extremities. As flood flow diminishes, the skin might turn white and then blue for a short time. Once blood flow returns, the fingers (or toes) might turn red, throb, tingle, burn, or go numb.

People who have Raynaud’s typically do not experience long-term tissue damage or disability, though they can form skin sores or gangrene from extended attacks.

Roughly five percent of the American population experiences Raynaud’s, and for most, it’s a bother rather than a severe illness. Researchers continue to explore Raynaud’s.

Treatments for Raynaud’s include lifestyle changes, medicines, and in rare cases, surgery. Those with Raynaud’s can take preventative measures such as wearing a hat, mittens (not gloves), scarf, coat, and warm socks during cold weather. Warming up your surroundings before entering (warming up the car, for example) can help ease Raynaud’s. Avoiding stressful situations can also help reduce Raynaud’s symptoms. Certain medicines can be prescribed to Raynaud’s patients to minimize attacks as well.

Do you think you might suffer from Raynaud’s? Contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist to schedule an appointment 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

Tumbling on An Extended Hand

When falling while standing or walking, our first instinct is to lower our hands to soften the force. Did you know this simple act is also one of the most common culprits of hand and wrist injuries? Fractures, breaks, sprains, and more can result from these small yet impactful motions.

Lingering pain, swelling at the impact site, discomfort, etc., are all reasons for x-rays to be performed. Once diagnosed, the best course of action will be determined for recovery.

The navicular bone (also known as the scaphoid) is between the base of the thumb and the radius, which is one of the two long bones in the forearm. This bone is generally the most affected in falling injuries. Gripping can be especially painful in the presence of navicular fractures, along with pain and swelling near the thumb.

In older adults, fractures in the radius are common following a fall on the hand. Pain, swelling, and bruising indicate an issue with the extremity. Treatments for navicular fractures include casts, splinters, and a post-heal physical therapy session. Since the blood flow in that region is poor, hand and wrist pain can last weeks or months after a fall.

Some of the treatments and physiotherapy programs for sprains include:

  • Splints
  • Cold therapy
  • Exercises
  • NSAIDs
  • Injections

Rehabilitation is a vital aspect of healing navicular bone injuries since a long immobilization time is needed to recover in the first place.

If you’ve fallen on your hand or wrist, we can help! The experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist can assist in getting your healing underway.

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.

Trigger Finger Treatment

Trigger finger is identified by the inability to control a finger’s movement after getting stuck in a bent position. When trying to straighten the finger(s), it rapidly snaps out with a swift motion.

The flexor tendon is responsible for bending fingers and runs through the palm. These rope-like tendons connect muscle to bone, and many are located in the forearm. Tendons connect the fingers to the palm, wrist, forearm, and so on.

Trigger finger forms when the tendon that bends fingers cannot fit through the pulley system that holds it close to the bone. This tight sheath is located in the palm, near the base of each finger. While bending a finger, a small lump can usually be felt moving up and down. Trigger finger can be relatively painful and complaints are more prominent in the morning.

Treatments for trigger finger include:

  • Splints
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery

Generally, non-invasive treatments are sought out before surgery is advised. During a surgical procedure, the tight pulley (called the A1) is divided so the tendon can move freely without getting stuck. A relatively simple outpatient surgery can be done in-office with a local anesthetic or in an operating room, with or without sedation.

After treatment for trigger finger, the most important thing is to keep bending your fingers as much as possible. Finger motion should be executed every waking hour. Elevation and light lifting can be done immediately. In about two- to three weeks, patients can resume normal activities.

Do you have trigger finger or know someone who does? Contact our office today to learn how we can help mitigate this issue for you.

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.

Tennis Elbow Treatment and Prevention

The term tennis elbow might be more misleading than you think – this tendon injury can occur without any tennis games whatsoever. Aching arm and elbow pain are most prevalent in patients who are diagnosed with tennis elbow. The proper term for tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis; this injury is categorized by causing chronic pain and weakness near the elbow. Gripping or lifting motions infamously make this condition feel more painful.

Tennis elbow affects the forearm muscle, extensor carpi radialis brevis, which helps move the hand away from the body at the wrist. Repetitive strain suddenly or gradually can damage the tendon attached to the outer elbow, resulting in pain. As we age, our muscles and joints deteriorate, which influences injuries. Overtime, inflammation and degeneration from overuse can result, causing further discomfort.

The initial treatment for tennis elbow is rest, as this allows the damaged tendon to heal. At-home exercise and stretching procedures, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals, braces, steroid injections, or extracorporeal shock wave therapy might be recommended as a treatment plan. Surgery is seldomly needed to treat tennis elbow. 

Small efforts have big impacts when it comes to preventing tennis elbow. Some of which include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and physical appearance by strengthening your shoulders, arms, and upper back muscles.
  • Ensure all sports equipment fits correctly.
  • Focus on moving, using the proper techniques while doing activities.
  • Try to minimize or be aware of repetitive arm motions.

While tennis elbow can be frustrating, there are a variety of treatment options available.

To experience relief from tennis elbow or receive a proper diagnosis, contact the experts at MI 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.

Five Potential Culprits of Stiff Hands

Our hands are used for practically everything. Stiff hands can prevent us from performing everyday tasks such as opening a jar, picking up children, cooking, painting, writing, and more. For some people, stiffness can be debilitatingly chronic, while others only experience acute pain. If your hands are stiff, explore these potential causes:

  1. Arthritis: Many different types of arthritis can affect the hands, including:
  2. Thumb: also known as basal joint arthritis, this can gradually get worse over time or get sparked by trauma. Pain or stiffness is common at the base of the thumb.
  3. MCP (Metacarpophalangeal) joint: this type of knuckle arthritis allows fingers to bend, straighten, and move fluidly. Weakness in the hands is a common sign of this arthritis.
  4. Osteoarthritis: the smooth cartilage in your joints is affected by this type of arthritis, which can also cause stiffness, pain, and swollen fingers.
  5. Psoriatic: this type of arthritis is sometimes accompanied by psoriasis, a skin condition, and is evident when joints feel stiff. Oftentimes the middle joint of the finger is inflamed and swollen.
  6. Rheumatoid: affecting the entire body, this type of arthritis is caused by joint inflammation. Typically, the wrist and finger joints are most affected as they are swollen and painful.
  7. Fractures: otherwise known as a broken hand, this results in stiffness and pain that might remain even during recovery. In some people, the stiffness might never subside.
  8. Dislocations: similar to a broken bone, this upper extremity dislocation can cause hands to feel stiff both during and after an injury. Moving or exercising the affected joints might be prescribed to alleviate stiffness.
  9. Sprains: this ligament injury can cause stiffness and prevent you from using your hand to perform daily tasks while in recovery.
  10. Tendon and muscle injuries: common in an injury or cut on the hand, this sometimes prevents you from moving the affected area at all. Stiffness is common while in recovery.

If you feel stiffness in your hands, ensure you receive a diagnosis as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can sometimes result in permanent stiffness.

Do you need some advice or want a physician opinion on your hand or wrist stiffness? Contact the experts at MI 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.