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!

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!