Your hands and wrists are needed for countless activities, and it’s easy to take them for granted until a condition or an injury sets in. Such happenings are common, accounting for about 8% of work-related injuries alone. Athletes are particularly susceptible to hand and wrist injuries.
Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and the team at our offices in Cumming, Buford, and Braselton, Georgia, are pleased to diagnose and treat hand and wrist pain to help you avoid surgery and get back to a fuller, more active life.
Let’s delve into hand and wrist pain, including four common conditions that cause it.
1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
Your carpal tunnel is a canal that runs through your wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) happens when your median nerve, which runs through the passageway, is compressed. As a result, you can experience numbness, weakness, and tingling in your wrists and hands.
While anyone can develop CTS, it may be more likely if you have particular anatomy and engage in repetitive motions, like typing, sewing, playing guitar, or painting.
2. Fractures and sprains
Fractures and sprains can affect most any ligament or bone in your hands and wrists. A sprain is an injury to soft tissue; a fracture involves a broken bone.
Sprains often stem from suddenly overstretching or tearing a ligament or placing your hand or wrist in an awkward position. Fractures frequently result from sudden trauma, such as falling and landing on your hand.
Both sprains and fractures in your wrist or hand can cause potentially severe pain that makes everyday tasks difficult or impossible.
3. Wrist-thumb arthritis
Arthritis that develops near the base of your thumb is the second most common manifestation of osteoarthritis. This wear-and-tear disease causes the cartilage that supports and cushions your joints to break down.
The pain and inflammation that accompany arthritis often affect your smallest wrist bone, or the trapezium, as well.
Also known as thumb basal joint arthritis, this wrist-thumb condition typically causes an ache that worsens with activity, such as writing, opening jars, or turning doorknobs.
4. Trigger finger
Trigger finger happens when the tendon that controls a particular finger can't glide smoothly into its surrounding sheath. This injury can happen gradually, through repeated use, or suddenly, if you forcefully move a thumb or finger. And it’s most common in women over 50.
Trigger finger and other injuries to the soft tissues in your hand or wrist can result in severe pain, swelling, bruising, and limited range of motion.
What to do about your hand and wrist pain
If you’re experiencing severe, sudden, or long-lasting hand or wrist pain, Dr. Fisher and our team can determine the underlying cause through a comprehensive exam. We may also order an imaging test, such as an X-ray.
Thankfully, most hand and wrist conditions are treated effectively without surgery. That said, you may need a surgical procedure if less-invasive treatments don’t suffice.
Your nonsurgical treatment plan may include:
- Immobilization with a cast or splint
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
The goal of your treatment is to restore function while reducing symptoms, like chronic pain. Effective treatment may also lower your risk for complications, such as nerve damage.
To learn more about hand and wrist pain or to get the care you need, call the office nearest you or book an appointment through our website today.
We offer treatment for shoulder pain, shoulder injury, knee pain, ACL Reconstruction surgery, and more. Call us to book your appointment today.