People don’t pay as much attention to the health of their hands and wrists, but these body parts are workhorses that enable everyone to perform different things—be it cooking, playing an instrument, making art, or something as simple as typing. Once your hands or wrists start to develop painful conditions, it can disrupt important functions in your everyday routine, which can ultimately lead to a lower quality of life.
Many hands and wrist conditions can be alleviated with physical therapy and pain-relieving exercises, but some debilitating conditions may require the expertise of a hand surgeon. With that in mind, here are some common hand and wrist problems that require surgery:
Hand and Wrist Conditions that Need Surgical Treatment
1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition that can impede hand and wrist function, though it can be addressed with minor treatments such as a nightly brace or an oral steroid if it’s addressed during its earlier stages. This condition happens when the traverse carpal ligament receives undue pressure on the median nerve, which is found along the length of the arm to the hand.
When the median nerve connecting the arm to the base of the wrist and into the hand becomes too compressed, it causes a tingling, numbing sensation. When left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to weakness in the thumb muscle, which will require surgery to bring back the hand’s sense of touch. It may take up to six months for the sensation to fully recover.
2. Trigger Finger
Trigger finger often occurs in women more than men, along with adults who suffer from diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. It starts to manifest when the flexor tendons that run along the length of the forearm muscles to the palm of your hands become inflamed, causing it to narrow and create a fiction that prevents the tendons from gliding smoothly.
Think of the flexor tendons as like a pulley system. When it thickens due to inflammation, it will cause the finger to bend backward in a “trigger” position, hence its name,
3. Basal Joint Arthritis
People often lead hectic lives, so all the physical strain can cause the lining between your joints to wear and tear. When the lining starts to deteriorate, it can cause basal joint arthritis, which leads to painful, bone-to-bone friction. This can make it difficult to do normal physical activities due to a loss of motion, weakness, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Basal joint arthritis can be treated with over-the-counter medications, injections, and other supplements, though it will need surgery when it worsens as it calls for a complete ligament reconstruction tendon interposition.
The Bottom Line: Hand and Wrist Problems that Need Surgical Solutions
Your hands and wrists are important parts of your body, so once you start to feel aches and pains, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately so you can prevent conditions from worsening to a point that requires surgical treatment.
How Can We Help You?
Dealing with body conditions can be stressful, especially when you don’t have the right doctor with you. If you’re dealing with hand conditions, like trigger fingers or carpal tunnel, you want to ensure you visit a reputable hand doctor right away.
Led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, North Florida Hand & Wrist Center is a team of expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing the best care possible to their patients. Have your hands and wrist checked today—book an appointment with us!