Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand problem resulting from pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. Symptoms, which often get worse at night, consist of numbness and/or pain in the wrist and fingers. Eventually there is loss of strength, fine motor control, and sensation. Early treatment consists of splinting and anti-inflammatory medication. If symptoms do not improve, an outpatient surgical procedure to relieve the pressure on the nerve is suggested.
Tendonitis on the thumb side of the wrist can be a very painful and disabling condition. Simple pinching and twisting activities can be almost impossible. The tendons to the thumb become inflamed as they pass under a ligament, and the slightest motion of the wrist can cause pain. Treatment consists of rest, medication, and occasionally the use of a steroid injection. If these treatments do not provide relief over time, the tendons can be surgically released.
A deep cut on the palm side of your fingers, hand, wrist, or forearm can damage your flexor tendons which are the tissues that help control movement in your hand. A flexor tendon injury can make it impossible to bend your fingers or thumb. After examining your hand, your doctor may place your hand in a splint for protection. Tendons cannot heal unless the ends are touching, which does not occur with a complete tear. In most cases, a cut or torn tendon must be repaired by surgery.
Ganglion cysts are the most common mass or lump in the hand. They are not cancerous and, in most cases, are harmless. They occur in various locations but most frequently develop on the back of the wrist. These fluid-filled cysts can quickly appear, disappear, and change size. Many ganglion cysts do not require treatment. However, if the cyst is painful, interferes with function, or has an unacceptable appearance, there are several treatment options available.
Kienböck's disease is a condition where the blood supply to one of the small bones in the wrist, the lunate, is interrupted. Bone is living tissue that requires a regular supply of blood for nourishment. If the blood supply to a bone stops, the bone can die. This is called osteonecrosis. Damage to the lunate causes a painful, stiff wrist and, over time, can lead to arthritis. Although there is no complete cure for Kienböck's disease, there are several nonsurgical and surgical options for treating it. The goals of treatment are to relieve the pressure on the lunate and to try to restore blood flow within the bone.
Ulnar tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed at the wrist. When pressure on the nerve occurs at the wrist, it causes numbness and tingling in the little finger and along the outside of the ring finger. It can also cause weakness of hand pinch and grip. Most cases of ulnar tunnel syndrome are caused by a growth at the wrist. The growth must be removed surgically.
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