What is Tennis Elbow?

To the average person, tennis elbow sounds like a sports injury that’s usually reserved for people who play tennis. But this isn’t the case. In fact, most people who get tennis elbow aren’t even tennis players. Tennis elbow is the name given to the painful sensation that occurs when the tendons in the elbow are overworked, usually as the result of repetitive wrist and arm motions. These repeated motions put stress on the tissue and can cause a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the outside of the elbow. High instances of tennis elbow occur in professions such as plumbing, painting, carpentry, and butchery.

The pain from tennis elbow is usually felt in the area where the forearm muscle tendons attach to the bone on the outside of the elbow, although the pain can also spread into the forearm and down into the wrist. People most frequently experience pain from tennis elbow when they try to do things like open a door, hold a cup of coffee, or shake hands. If left untreated, serious tennis elbow can result in chronic pain that is especially noticeable when gripping objects, and using the arm too strenuously before the elbow has healed can exasperate the problem. While over-the-counter pain relievers and rest are the most common treatments for tennis elbow, some people experience such significant pain that conservative methods of treatment simply don’t work. When this is the case, a doctor will sometimes suggest corrective surgery.

If tennis elbow is a persistent problem for you, and conventional methods of treatment have done little to alleviate your pain, then it’s probably time to talk to a doctor about surgery. If you live in Southeast Michigan, contact the friendly experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist today to speak with a skilled professional who can help you take the first steps toward eliminating your pain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ganglion Cysts

Q: What is a ganglion cyst?

A: A ganglion cyst is a buildup of fluid under the skin, and although they can occur anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on the wrist, feet, or ankles.

Q: What are the symptoms of a ganglion cyst?

A: The most common symptoms of a ganglion cyst include:

  • A firm, round lump under the skin.
  • Joint pain around the affected area.
  • Swelling, numbness, and muscle weakness surrounding the cyst.

Q: What causes a ganglion cyst?

A: The cause is not known at this time.

Q: How is a ganglion cyst diagnosed?

A: A licensed medical professional will perform a thorough examination may involve any of the following:

  • Moving the joint around the cyst while performing a visual inspection.
  • An ultrasound of the affected area.
  • An MRI of the joint where the cyst is located.

Q: How is a ganglion cyst treated.

A: While, some ganglion cysts pose no threat and will go away on their own, some require one or more of the following treatment methods:

  • Aspiration, or draining, of the cyst to decrease inflammation and reduce pain.
  • A steroid injection directly into the cyst.
  • Surgical removal of the cyst.

Q: What can I do to manage the symptoms?

A: Your medical professional will likely suggest one of the following:

  • Hand therapy designed to help improve movement and reduce pain.
  • A protective splint that will limit movement and shrink the cyst.
  • If surgery is required, proper wound care will prevent tissue damage and reduce pain and swelling.

Q: When should I seek professional care?

A: Seek the assistance of a medical professional if you experience any of the following:

  • You are experience pain, numbness, or limited motion in the affected joint.
  • The limb containing a cyst gets stiff, unstable, numb, or weak.
  • A previously treated cyst returns or grows.
  • Your pain is ongoing after treatment.

If you have any questions, or have any reason to believe you are suffering from a ganglion cyst located in your wrist, contact the medical professionals at Michigan Hand and Wrist today to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways to Ease Carpal Tunnel Pain

Carpal tunnel syndrome, if left untreated, can result in debilitating pain that can make it nearly impossible to carry out even the most basic tasks. Fortunately, there are some things that people can do to remedy the pain. Often, these techniques not only bring immediate relief, but they can also delay the need for surgery.

  1. Do regular carpal tunnel exercises. Doctors have created a series of exercises designed for those experiencing carpal tunnel pain.  Doing these regularly have proven to be very beneficial for some.
  2. Yoga. Some studies have shown that those who practice yoga have seen a reduction in the pain felt in their wrists.  Stretching the muscles in the hands and wrists has been shown to provide relief for many.
  3. Wear a wrist splint. By using a wrist splint, the wrist sits in a neutral position that allows for the wrist to rest.  For some, wearing a wrist splint has provided tremendous relief.
  4. Take medication that targets inflammation. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are designed to reduce inflammation.  A reduction of inflammation can greatly relieve pain felt by those with carpal tunnel.  
  5. Take breaks at work. If you use your hands a great deal at work, it is important to take frequent breaks.  While breaks are beneficial for carpal tunnel, they can result in a decreased production, which can anger employers.  We suggest talking with your boss to see if there is another task that you could do while taking a break from using your hands.  Perhaps you’ll reach a creative decision that results in a win-win.

We suggest using a combination of the above techniques in order to maximize the possibility of decreasing the pain experienced by carpal tunnel syndrome. Remember, however, that while these techniques will help you manage pain, they won’t get rid of the problem entirely. If you’re ready to tackle your carpal tunnel syndrome with surgery, contact the expert team at Michigan Hand and Wrist. With state-of-the-art equipment and advanced physical therapy programs, your hands are in good hands at Michigan Hand and Wrist. Schedule your consultation today!

Common Arthritis of the Hand Symptoms

Arthritis can present itself in various parts of the body and usually results in pain for the affected person.  Arthritis of the hand can incapacitate someone who relies on themselves for their day-to-day activities and for those who use their hands at work.  Whether a job entails typing, manufacturing, delivering, stocking, or writing, the hands perform much of the work for most people on the job.  The experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist offer the following characteristics of arthritis of the hand so that readers can begin to take action to combat the debilitating condition.

In the beginning stages of arthritis in the hand, the hand can feel stiff or even somewhat numb, especially in the morning.  As arthritis progresses, the pain intensifies and can even interfere with sleep.  Additionally, with arthritis in the hands, parts of the hand can swell and can also change shape over time.  The doctors at Michigan Hand and Wrist also warn those suffering from hand discomfort to pay attention to a warming sensation that might present itself.  Another symptom of arthritis in the hand pertains to a loss of fine motor skills.  If your handwriting has deteriorated and you can no longer thread a needle or cut on a line, it is possible that arthritis has invaded your hands.

It seems like some people think that nothing can be done about arthritic conditions, which is simply not true.  The surgeons at Michigan Hand and Wrist are happy to discuss your symptoms, assess the arthritis in your hands, and provide the appropriate treatment.  They accept most major insurance plans, so it is likely that your insurance will cover the cost of your consultation and treatment.  If you want to learn more about the various ways they can reduce, or perhaps eliminate, the pain caused by your arthritic condition in your hands, contact Michigan Hand and Wrist today!

What to Expect From Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more than just a nuisance for those inflicted with the condition. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage, so it is important for those experiencing pain in their wrists and hands to be examined by an expert physician who specializes in carpal tunnel cases.  Sometimes, people put off surgery because they fear the unknown, such as pain, recovery time, and any complications that can arise. The more people know about carpal tunnel surgery, the more they can rest assured that having carpal tunnel surgery can be the first step toward getting the use of their hands back.

It would be unfair to suggest that there is not pain associated with the surgery.  However, during the surgical procedure, the patient is given local anesthesia.  Local anesthetics isolate the medication to one area, or region, of the body.  This usually wears off after a few hours and then other medications are given to mitigate the pain.

Carpal tunnel surgery results in the patient’s hand or hands being bandaged for a duration of approximately one week.  After the bandage is removed, patients typically begin physical therapy.  Sometimes people fear physical therapy, but therapy sessions are not supposed to be painful.  Rather, the therapists slowly work the hands and wrists to aid in healing.  Lots of people enjoy going to therapy.  It might take a few months for the hands and wrists to feel good again, which can seem like a long time.  Those who need Carpal tunnel surgery and do not elect to have the procedure done will not feel relief in a few short months. Rather, their pain may remain a nagging inconvenience or worsen.

If you are considering carpal tunnel surgery, it is important to contact a doctor who has expertise in performing carpal tunnel release surgeries. Those considering carpal tunnel surgery in the Novi area can rest assured knowing their hands are in good hands with the surgeons at Michigan Hand and Wrist.  Contact them today to learn more about carpal tunnel treatment options.

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendonitis is a term that most people are familiar with, but also one that confuses many. By definition, it is the inflammation of a tendon, and it is commonly caused by extensive use of the tendon, but it can also result from infection or rheumatic disease. Since tendons run through all of our extremities, tendonitis comes in many shapes and forms, such as tennis elbow and tendonitis of the wrist. While tendonitis can be painful wherever it occurs, patients with tendonitis of the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders tend to experience the most pain, given how many daily tasks require extensive use of these areas.

Unlike many injuries that arise after blunt trauma, tendonitis is often caused by simple tasks that require easy, repetitive motion. Some of these activities include:

  • Household chores
  • Shoveling
  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Woodworking
  • Throwing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Typing

Tendonitis can also arise out of other, non repetitive activities, as well as abnormal configurations of the bones and joints that put extra stress on the tissues of the tendons. Since there are a number of factors that can lead to tendonitis, just about anyone can fall victim to this painful condition. Pain in the area of the tendon and loss of motion are often tell tale signs of tendonitis, and the pain is often more intense if there are calcium deposits present as well.

You can treat your tendonitis pain by avoiding or limiting the time you spend performing activities that cause pain in the affected areas. It’s also a good idea to ice the area on days that are especially active or painful. Many patients also find relief from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and topical gels. However, while some people can control tendonitis pain this way, others may require physical therapy or surgery if the tendonitis is especially severe.

If you’re currently suffering from tendonitis pain in your hands, wrists, elbows, or shoulders, the professionals at Michigan Hand and Wrist, P.C. can help. We will work hard to exhaust all possible non-operative treatments to bring you the relief you deserve in a warm and caring atmosphere. Call us today at (248)-596-0412 for more information from our helpful staff!

How to Spot the Early Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is something that most people are aware of, but don’t quite know how to identify. Typically, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome show themselves gradually, so by knowing how to spot them, you can begin to take steps to control it before corrective surgery is necessary. 

The first signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually noticed in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, followed by hand and wrist discomfort. If you begin to experience tingling and numbness in these areas, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers, with increasing frequency, then it’s likely that you’re noticing the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. At this stage, many people manage the pain and numbness by shaking their hands around a few times. This will provide relief at the early stages of the syndrome, but as time moves on, the pain and numbness will remain constant.

Weakness is also a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome, so if you notice a sudden drop of strength in one or both of your hands, or if you begin to frequently drop objects that you’re carrying, it’s highly likely that you’ve developed the syndrome. 

Many people argue about when a person with carpal tunnel syndrome should make an appointment with a hand doctor. At Michigan Hand and Wrist, we believe that you should listen to your hands, not other people, when determining when you can no longer stand the pain and need to explore other therapeutic options. 

The surgeons and staff at Michigan Hand and Wrist have extensive experience helping patients manage and overcome every type of hand, wrist, or finger condition. We seek to help our patients with noninvasive means, such as physical therapy, until a surgical procedure is absolutely necessary. If you’re seeking treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you believe you’re at the point of needing surgery, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

What Is Dupuytren’s Disease and How Is It Treated?

If you begin to notice lumps on the palm side of your hand, then you might just have Dupuytren’s disease, and if left untreated, you could possibly lose motion in your fingers. While Dupuytren’s disease is called a disease, it is actually a genetic condition. You would need to have a physical exam to get tested for it. If you think you may have this disease, you should reach out to a hand specialist to look into treatment options as soon as possible.

To fully understand Dupuytren’s disease and the available treatment options, we must first look at the causes. Although the disease is inherited through genes, you are most likely to develop it if you have a Northern European background. And as you get older, you’re more prone to developing it.

If you do develop the disease, the first symptom is finding lumps/nodules under the skin in the palm of your hand. The lump will feel very tender, but the soreness will soon fade. The nodules are formed by bands of tissue that have formed together and become inflexible. This takes away your ability to straighten your fingers because it causes them to bend toward the wrist. In addition to causing discomfort, this makes it difficult to pick up large objects or even something small from your pocket.

While symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease are pretty obvious, treatment varies depending on each individual’s situation. Most will first receive medications for the nodule tenderness. If your disease is very severe, there are surgical treatments that might be a better treatment for your hand than the medications, but many patients will most likely receive collagenase injections. It is a fairly new treatment, but the success rate has been very high. The injection dissolves the disease’s scar tissue because the proteins contained in the injection will weaken the cords. After each injection, you might have common side effects, such as swelling, itching, and bruising, but you will notice a lot of improvement in your finger mobility.

If you find yourself unable to move fingers or having other common symptoms of Dupuytren’s disease, then you should visit Michigan Hand and Wrist, P.C. We treat our clients as our own family members and will do our best to find the cause for your hand and finger pain. Give us a call today at 248-596-0412 to schedule an appointment with a certified physician.

Is Surgery the Best Option for Arthritis of the Hand?

There’s no doubting the pain that comes along with having arthritis in any area of the body, but it’s particularly painful and hard to deal with when it settles in the hands. Whether it manifests itself in the joints of the fingers, or in the hand as a whole, it can make performing daily tasks an arduous and excruciatingly painful ordeal. As such, many people wonder weather undergoing corrective surgery is the best way to treat arthritis of the hand. While surgery can, and often does, produce lasting results, at Michigan Hand and Wrist, we encourage our patients to seek other treatment methods before deciding to undergo a surgical procedure. 

The chief reason why many specialists discourage hand surgery initially is because while it can often significantly reduce the pain of arthritis, it often leaves the fingers and joints more stiff. As a result, patients end up trading pain for immobility. Certainly, this isn’t the case with every person, but it’s certainly something that you should consider if you’re currently suffering from arthritis of the hand and are seeking treatment options. 

In addition to postoperative mobility restrictions, surgery to correct arthritis of the hand is often difficult to perform because of the damaged or weakened tissue around the area of the disease. If the surrounding tissue isn’t strong enough to reconstruct around a corrective implant, then a patient will experience further discomfort a few years down the road. 

If you’re struggling with the excruciating pain of arthritis of the hand, as well as the embarrassment that can come from the deformities that arise out of the condition, the compassionate staff at Michigan Hand and Wrist is more than prepared to help you recover and regain comfortable use of your hand. Our specialists will devise a plan that’s tailored to your unique condition in an effort to exhaust all noninvasive options to heal your pain. If surgery is deemed necessary, you can feel at ease knowing that our expert surgeons have the skills and experience to get the job done right. Contact our office to speak with our friendly staff today!

What to Expect During Your First Consultation With an Orthopedic Surgeon

Most of us have heard of “white coat syndrome.” This term is often used to describe the anxiety felt by patients when they go to the doctor. Unfortunately, there are many people who feel anxious about going to the doctor for things as common as a cold, and the same principle holds true when they schedule their first appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Feelings of anxiety, and perhaps fear, are often present as patients anticipate the possibility of needing surgery. 

Those suffering from hand and wrist pain know that the pain can be unbearable at times. Patients who have tried doctor prescribed braces, physical therapy, and other forms of treatment with little to no relief are often prime candidates for surgical procedures involving the hands and wrist.

If you have a history of terrible hand and wrist pain and have tried everything under the sun to alleviate your symptoms, then you should schedule a consultation with a surgeon who specializes in hand and wrist injuries. Patients who have been seen by the doctors at Michigan Hand and Wrist report feeling at ease during the consultation. Our highly skilled surgeons are not only experts in performing hand and wrist surgery, but they are also skilled in calming fears and easing anxiety.

During the consultation appointment, the surgeon will ask the patient a series of questions pertaining to the symptoms and potential causes and review x-rays to determine the best course of action. If surgery is recommended by the surgeon, patients will have an opportunity to ask the surgeon questions pertaining to the surgery and recovery.

If you have experienced significant discomfort in your hands or wrist and are considering surgical options, you can rest assured knowing that the experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist will calm your fears. When you turn to our team, your hands are in good hands. Contact us today to request a consultation.