Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an injury to the tendons along the outer elbow. The inflammation from this injury can cause pain, weakness, aching and tightness. The muscles that open the fingers and extend the wrist all combine to form a common tendon along the outside of the elbow. In tennis elbow, inflammation or tearing of this tendon causes pain with use of the hand and arm.
Many patients will ask the question: “Did I develop carpal tunnel syndrome from too much time spent using a computer or keyboard?” The answer to this question is typically: “Maybe”. For most individuals, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. However, there are several risk factors that have been identified, one of which is computer work.
Trigger fingers are one of the most common conditions seen among hand surgeons. I personally see several patients with a trigger finger every day in my office. The focus of this blog is to answer some of the most common questions patients ask me.
One of the most common reasons for which a patient will come see me in my office is due to a tingling sensation in their hands. This oftentimes happens at night when sleeping, and can severely disrupt the quality of their sleep. These patients oftentimes say that a burning sensation, or pain in their hands wakes them up throughout the night, and they either need to 1) shake the hand, 2) hang it off the side of the bed, or 3) raise the hand up in the air to alleviate the symptoms.
A fall onto an outstretched hand can result in several different injuries to that arm. Among the most common injuries is a broken wrist. There are several different fractures that can occur throughout the wrist, the most common is a break at the end of the radius bone. This is often referred to as a “distal radius fracture”. This is the most commonly broken bone in the body, with over 600,000 breaks in the United States per year. The injury is commonly seen both in kids and adults.
It's not uncommon that I see a patient who complains of pain along the back side of the wrist, which is worse (and usually only present) when the wrist is fully extended (or bent backwards). These individuals feel a pinching discomfort in the wrist while doing activities such as yoga, pushups, or simply lifting themselves from a chair.
The American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) had their 2017 annual meeting last week in Waikoloa, Hawaii. A research study that I have been working on with colleagues at Stanford University was presented, and was fortunate enough to have been selected as the winner of the meeting’s “Outstanding Paper” award. The goal of the study was to try and find an easy way for hand surgeons to diagnose osteoporosis in their office.
Dupuytren disease, known by the medical term “palmar fibromatosis,” bears the name of Guillaume Dupuytren – a French surgeon, and private physician of Napoleon Bonaparte – who famously described its surgical treatment in 1831. It is a genetic disorder most commonly seen in people of northern European descent, hence the colloquial term of “Viking disease”.