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.
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.
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”.