People value the use of their hands and any loss of function through injury or accident may have a devastating effect on their lives. Anyone with an injury wants the very best of treatment to assure maximal recovery. Our hand therapists work closely with physicians and patients to provide the best possible care. Treatment often begins within days of the injury or surgery and continues until the patient has returned to work and/or a productive lifestyle.
Repetitive Motion / Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Along the paths that nerves follow are anatomic areas of narrowing. When a nerve compresses for an extended period as it passes underneath or through one of these narrow regions, it can become irritated and inflamed. Unless steps are taken to relieve the pressure being exerted upon it, the nerve can begin to die.
In carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), the median nerve compresses within the carpal tunnel, the space at the base of the wrist formed by eight carpal bones and a ligament. Highly repetitive hand or finger movements—and sometimes systemic or hormonal factors—can cause this condition.
DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis causes pain in the wrist, forearm, and thumb and is a result of irritation of the tendons that move the thumb sideways away from the palm. Pain is worsened with particular positions and movements of the wrist.
Fractures / Dislocations
Fractures and dislocations often cause a limb or joint to look twisted, bent out of shape, or out of its normal position.They can also cause severe pain, swelling and bruising, a loose or unstable joint, abnormal movement or a locked joint.
An evaluation by your physician may be needed immediately. Early referral to therapy is very important to maintain range of motion and joint fluid flow, reduce edema, and stimulate reflexes and coordination. Immobilizing the hand must be done with extreme caution and considerable harm can be done to the whole hand by keeping the hand tied up for an extended period of time.
Arthritis: Inflammatory and Degenerative
Arthritis is a general term for inflammation in the joints. Arthritis can occur in numerous forms. The most common is osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage, the protective cushioning between the joints, wears out. When this happens, the bones rub directly against other bones. This causes structural changes that can be seen on X-rays. Bone deposits or bone spurs known as osteophytes may develop on the edges of the joints. The soft tissues that stabilize joints may also show signs of wear. Arthritis is often painful, but not always. Over time, arthritis can limit the motion and function of joints.
Wrist and Digit Sprains
A sprain may cause so much swelling that it may be difficult to tell whether an additional underlying injury is present. Sprains can be mild, moderate, or severe. An evaluation by your physician may be needed immediately. Early referral to therapy is very important to maintain range of motion and joint fluid flow, reduce edema, and stimulate reflexes and coordination. Immobilizing the hand must be done with extreme caution and considerable harm can be done to the whole hand by keeping the hand tied up for an extended period of time.
Skier’s thumb commonly refers to a torn or sprained ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb. The ligament runs along the inside of the base of the thumb and assists in grasping, pinching and stabilizing.