Your First Consultation With an Orthopedic Surgeon and What to Expect

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. 

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

We’ve all heard about carpal tunnel syndrome, how painful it can be, and how it often requires a skilled orthopedic surgeon to heal. But many people are unaware of how you contract it and what can be done to prevent it. You are at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome if you frequently engage in activities that require repetitive hand movements, such as typing, hammering, and knitting. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce that risk by following these steps:

Take Lots of Breaks

Give yourself permission to rest your fingers and hands every so often. After all, you’re a human being, not a machine. Bend and stretch your hands gently to relax them. Taking frequent breaks is especially important if you use equipment that requires a lot of exertion.

Lighten Your Grip

Many people use more force than necessary when working on a task. If you write by hand most of the time, use a pen that is oversized with free-flowing ink and a soft grip. If your work requires lots of typing, tap the keys softly.

Maintain Correct Posture

Sitting in the wrong position can cause your shoulders to roll forward, which shortens the muscles in your neck and shoulders and also affects your hands and wrists. Make a habit of sitting up instead of slouching.

Keep Your Hands Warm

A cold environment can contribute to stiff and painful hands. Turn up the heat in your working area. If you’re unable to do this for some reason, wearing fingerless gloves is an easy alternative.

Practice Healthy Habits

Genetics and certain health conditions make you more prone to contracting carpal tunnel syndrome. However, maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, and avoiding smoking could keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay.

Buy a Wrist Splint

Wrist splints can assist in keeping your wrists in a neutral position. They usually cost about $15 to $20, and you can purchase one at your local pharmacy or online. You can even wear one to bed to keep your wrists from bending while you sleep.

If you’re beyond the point of preventing carpal tunnel syndrome and you’re currently struggling with the pain it causes, the skilled staff at Michigan Hand and Wrist can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

What Conditions Are Best Treated By Wrist Surgery?

Wrist injuries and conditions, which can quickly become complicated, are best treated by a hand specialist, like those we have on staff here at Michigan Hand and Wrist. People often refer to their “wrist bone”, but did you know that the wrist is actually comprised of eight different, small bones called carpals? Wrist injuries and conditions can reduce your mobility, cause extreme pain, and other long term problems. This is why so many conditions are treated through wrist surgery. 

Here are a few conditions that are best treated by hand surgery:

Wrist sprains, strains, and fractures – Wrist injuries of this nature are not uncommon. Because the bones of the wrist are so small, they need to be cared for by a specialist to make sure that they heal properly. This is especially true in the case of broken carpal bones. They must be set properly to ensure that they do not cause pain down the road. 

Tendinitis – An inflamed tendon can limit your range of motion and cause a considerable amount of pain. Most of the time, tendinitis can be treated with non-surgical methods, but patients who have a narrowing of the tunnel near their thumb may require wrist surgery to create room for their tendons. 

Nerve injuries – Nerve injuries are very complicated to treat and often require the services of an orthopedic surgeon. Due to the small size of the nerves, the orthopedic surgeon who performs the surgery must have knowledge of and experience in microsurgical techniques. 

Your hands are something you use on a daily basis, and the idea of having wrist or hand surgery can be scary. Wrist injuries and conditions are complex to treat, but in the right hands, your treatment will go very well. If you or a loved one are suffering from pain or other problems in your wrist, contact Michigan Hand and Wrist today to schedule an appointment!

3 Ways to Give Yourself a Hand Massage for Sore Wrists

Daily activities contribute to sore wrists and include using computer for work, playing racquet sports, kayaking, lifting weights and working in the yard. Your wrists are sensitive to overuse and when they are sore, you want relief. Fortunately, you can give yourself a hand massage to alleviate sore wrists and help you return to your activities. If wrist pain is interfering with your day, take five minutes and try one, or all, of these three ways to massage away the pain:

1- Forearm Rub- The muscles that control your wrists are located in your forearms. Target these muscles by applying a small amount of lotion or oil to your forearms, the area between your wrists and elbows. Use your open palm, fingertips or knuckles of the opposite hand and slide your hand from your wrist to your elbow. Use gentle pressure and increase the pressure as you are able to tolerate while you rub up and down your forearms. Move your hand up and down on the thumb side, the middle and the little finger side of your forearm to reduce soreness throughout your wrist.

2- Palm Massage- Target the muscles in your hand to reduce sore wrists. Open your right hand. Place the thumb of your left hand into the base of your right thumb and wrap your fingers around the back of your right hand. Gently move your left thumb in circles as you release tension in the large thumb pad. Use the same technique at the base of each finger and then along the right side of your right palm.

3- Tennis Ball Roll- Hold onto a tennis ball between both hands with your palms open. Vigorously roll the ball between your hands to reduce muscle tension and wrist pain. If you cannot find a ball, use a smooth rock, a frozen water bottle or your car’s gear shift to rub out tense hand muscles.

If you need to consult with an orthopedic surgeon, contact the team at Michigan Hand and Wrist today! 

What Are Common Symptoms of Arthritis?

Arthritis is not a disease in and of itself; rather, it’s a term that refers to pain and disease of the joints. It’s a condition that can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, or race, and it’s the leading cause of disability in America today. Currently, there are over 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions that have been documented, though two of the most commonly known types are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Although arthritis cannot be cured, the pain can be managed and damage can be mitigated to ensure good quality of life. With its prevalence increasing as people grow older, it’s important to recognize common symptoms of arthritis. Note that you should speak with a doctor or other licensed health care professional if you have specific questions or concerns.

Caused by the degeneration of cartilage between bones, Osteoarthritis is the type that is most commonly associated with aging or injury. It can affect any joint, though the hand, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip joints are most commonly affected. Symptoms can vary from patient to patient, but often include joint pain that worsens with repetitive use, joint stiffness after periods of inactivity, creaking in the joints, and feeling warmth or swelling in the joints. In severe cases, cartilage loss can lead to pain even at rest or with limited movements.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks the normal tissues of the joints. This causes inflammation of the joints, which can eventually lead to permanent damage. Symptoms of RA may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and redness and warmth of the affected joints. Systemic symptoms may also occur, which may mimic a case of the flu and include muscle aches, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Also, the lungs and heart may be affected, which can cause severe pain and inflammation. In rare cases, RA may also affect the voice box and eyes, causing hoarseness and dry eyes.If you suffer from Arthritis, don’t let it affect the quality of your life. The experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist are here to help you explore your options for fixing the condition, including working with an orthopedic surgeon to help you return back to normal. Contact us today!

What Are the Symptoms of Dupuytren’s Disease?

Dupuytren’s disease is a condition caused by a thickening of the connective tissue between your fingers and the palm of your hand, causing a tightening and contraction of one or more of the fingers of your hand toward your palm. It is named after Guillaume Dupuytren, a surgeon who described the condition in 1831. It tends to afflict people after the age of 40, though it is not limited to such people. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you might be experiencing Dupuytren’s disease.

Initial Symptoms

The first symptom for many patients is the appearance of a lump or lumps under the skin on the palm of the hand. These lumps may feel mildly sore at first, though this tends to go away after time. As the condition progresses, the skin may begin to tighten, curling one or more fingers inward toward the palm.

Advanced Symptoms

As the condition continues to worsen, it may become more and more difficult to straighten the fingers, perhaps even reaching the point where straightening them is impossible. You might find it difficult to pick up objects or to place your hands in your pockets to retrieve things. Generally, the disease will affect the ring and pinky fingers, though in some cases the middle and index fingers might also be affected.

Causes and Treatment

No one knows exactly what causes the condition, but it seems to have a higher incidence among those who drink large amounts of alcohol, those who use tobacco, and those who have diabetes. Often hand surgery is the best course of action for those with serious conditions.

If you suffer from Dupuytren’s disease, don’t let it affect the quality of your life. The experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist are here to help you explore your options for fixing the condition, including working with an orthopedic surgeon to return your hand to normal. Contact us today to learn how we can help!

What is Carpal Tunnel?

We rely on our hands for so many things; hen something goes wrong with just one of your hands, the results can make life really difficult, which is why carpal tunnel syndrome is such a frustrating condition.

So in actuality, what is carpal tunnel?

The Median Nerve 

Your hand relies on several nerves running through it in order to work properly. One of the most important of these nerves is the median nerve, which runs through the wrist and into the hand. This particular nerve controls the movement and the feeling in your thumb and the first three fingers of your hand. When something goes wrong with it, you may find that that you are unable to use your thumb and three of four fingers on your hand properly. You may also feel pain and tingling when using your hand and fingers. 

The Carpal Tunnel 

The carpal tunnel is a very small area on your wrist that the median nerve passes through on the way to your hand. As the median nerve and other nerves pass through this narrow space, they can get damaged and cause problems to most of your hand. The space can also shrink due to inflammation or other health problems, and put pressure on these nerves; this is why the problem is called carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Signs and Symptoms 

Pressure on the carpal tunnel area of your wrist can cause this syndrome. You may feel occasional pain and tingling in your hands, particularly in your thumb and first three fingers. The pain and tingling may even last for much of the day if the syndrome is really severe. You may feel weakness in the area that is much worse at night. 

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by many conditions, including temporary conditions such as pregnancy and chronic problems such as arthritis. If you have to do the same movements over and over again for a long time like typing all day, this can also aggravate any underlying inflammation of the area and make it worse. 

If you are in the West Bloomfield area and you are in need of an orthopedic surgeon to give you a proper assessment and consultation, contact our experts at Michigan Hand and Wrist today.

5 Ways to Help Prevent Arthritis

While it may not be possible to completely get rid of your risk of developing arthritis, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk and delay the onset. Arthritis happens when cartilage wears away, causing your bones to rub against and damage each other, which is why you feel pain. There are some tips you can follow that may help arthritis from developing, which include:

1. Maintain a healthy body weight

Excess weight puts extra strains on your joints and cartilage, causing it to wear away sooner. To reduce your body weight, clean up your diet and start exercising if you aren’t already. Try to stick to lower impact exercises, especially if your joints are already painful.

2. Avoid high impact exercise

Avoid exercises such as running, plyometrics, and contact sports. Instead, try biking, walking, swimming, or low impact options on exercise videos to protect your joints. Sticking to low impact exercises can also help you prevent major injuries such as a ligament tear, which can contribute to arthritis.

3. Check your vitamin D

Have your doctor check your levels, and if they are low, consider taking a vitamin or increasing your natural sources of vitamin D. Some natural sources include fatty fish, dairy, and even natural sunlight.

4. Stay hydrated

Cartilage is comprised mostly of water. Dehydrated cartilage is more susceptible to injury, wear, and tear. Staying hydrated can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

5. Consider your technique

Whether you’re carrying heavy boxes or working out, make sure you’re always using the proper technique so you are not putting unneeded stress on your joints. Some good rules of thumb are to always lift with your legs and carry heavy objects close to your body.

Following these tips to reduce your risk of developing arthritis can go a long way. Not only will they make your joints happy, but they will probably make you happier as well. 

If you are having severe problems with arthritis, you need to consult with an orthopedic doctor or orthopedic surgeon to see what other options are available for you. For professional help, contact the team at Michigan Hand and Wrist today.

Tendonitis Causes & Symptoms

Tendinitis is a common problem typified by the swelling of overused tendons or the joints that they are connected to. It is caused most commonly by repetitive actions, often in combination with poor posture. The best remedy for this condition is rest from the activity that caused it. However, for those who are required to perform the causal action for work, taking a rest from the offending activity can be very difficult. Too often, taking one vacation is insufficient for the tendinitis to subside.

Activities that cause this condition vary widely. The most common include:

  • Typing
  • Painting
  • Housework
  • Gardening
  • Sports

Other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can make a person more susceptible to developing tendinitis. It occurs most frequently in parts of the body with joints that have tendons that run through the joint and which must bend during normal use.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Stiffness and discomfort
  • Limited strength in the affected area

To avoid developing tendinitis, know if you are genetically predisposed to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis that make it more likely to develop. Also, if you perform any repetitive activity for work that puts strain on your joints you should be aware if the risk. Taking all possible precautions with your posture and maximizing your sleep time are good ways to prevent tendinitis from developing. Certain dietary supplements can reduce swelling and are useful for treating the symptoms of tendinitis.

Advanced cases of tendinitis require medical attention, and in the worst cases, surgery may be the only option. Those who experience the condition despite taking precautions should seriously consider no longer engaging in the activity that caused it.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of tendinitis, you should consult your physician to discuss treatment options before it becomes more difficult to manage.

If you suffer from the above and would like to speak to an orthopedic surgeon, contact Michigan Hand and Wrist today.

What Are The Most Common Wrist Injuries?

Repetitive motions and everyday activities can easily lead to injuries of the wrist. It is important to understand the most common of these injuries so you know when it’s time to consult a doctor.

Sprains and Strains

If you experience pain, bruising and the inability to move your wrist, you may have a stretched or torn ligament. This is called a sprain, and it is caused by things such as falling or getting hit. A stretched or torn tendon or muscle in your wrist is a strain, which might happen over the course of time or develop suddenly. Many wrist strains and sprains can be treated at home with ice, rest and compression bands. More serious cases may require physical therapy.

Broken Bones

Broken wrists account for 10 percent of broken bones in the United States. The term “broken wrist” usually applies to a fracture of the radius in the forearm that occurs at the lower, or distal, end near where it connect to the hand bones on the thumb side. Broken wrists are usually caused by falling with outstretched arms or getting hit very hard. Symptoms of a broken wrist include severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and a deformity that makes it appear bent. People who suspect they have a broken wrist should consult a doctor immediately so treatment can begin.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The eight bones of the wrist are called carpals, and the tube that runs through them is called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel contains nerves and tendons, and when those tendons swell or become irritated it narrows the canal and puts pressure on the nerves that causes them to compress. This causes numbness, and as it worsens people may have trouble grasping things. Treatments include rest, splints and medications for pain and to reduce inflammation. Severe cases require surgery in order for people to regain normal wrist movement.

If you or someone you know needs more information on wrist injuries or needs wrist surgery, contact the team at Michigan Hand and Wrist today for help.