Treatment Options for your hand and wrist
As a specialist in all conditions affecting the hand and wrist I am able to offer a rage of treatment options tailored to your needs. I work closely with a team of Hand Therapists in order to ensure the fastest possible recovery from your injury or condition. In addition to this I am also able to offer the use of injection therapy where indicated or surgical intervention if required.
If your condition does require surgery then we are able to utilise the newest and safest Anaesthetic techniques. By collaborating closely with my Anaesthetic colleagues we have developed an ambulatory day case pathway. This means that in most cases you will be able to go home once your surgery is completed but because of the techniques used you shouldn’t feel any discomfort for the first 24 hours allowing a rapid recovery.
Treatment for arthritis affecting the hand
Painful arthritis of the hand is a common condition and can affect any of the small joints of the fingers and at the base of the thumb. Pain and stiffness can interfere in with all activities and prevent you from carrying out even the most simple tasks.
There is a wide spectrum of treatment options available. In early arthritis injections into the joints can be an extremely effective way of managing the symptoms. the injections can often be done in the clinic and can provide many months of pain free function. In the later stages of the arthritis process injections are less successful and at this point other options need to be considered.
For thumb base arthritis splints can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms. These are usually custom made by our Hand Therapists to ensure the best possible fit and symptom control. Surgically there are also very good options for painful thumb base arthritis. Surgery removes the worn out bone surfaces to allow a pain free range of movement and allow you to get back to full function.
Finger joint arthritis
For the small joints of the fingers where function is limited by stiffness and pain I am able to perform finger joint replacements. Surgery will remove the worn out joint surfaces and replace them with a new flexible joint. The tendons that bend and straighten the finger are left in tact during the procedure to allow early movement following the operation. For more details please see the blog post on finger joint replacement where you can read a patients journey through the experience.
Treatment of joint contractures
There are many causes of finger joint contracture and treatment will be aimed at the cause. The list below covers some of the more common conditions, if you require any further information please contact me.
For post traumatic contractures the treatment will often involve the use of splints, usually worn at night, to help straighten your finger and specialist Hand Physiotherapy to restore your function.
This is a common cause of finger contractures. you can often feel a thickened cord of tissue running from the palm of the hand into the finger. Treatment options will vary depending on the anatomy of the cord and the degree of the contracture. The treatment options range from using a hypodermic needle to divide the cord under the skin to allow your finger to come out straight to more formal open surgery to correct the deformity. The optimum time to seek treatment is when you can no longer place your hand flat on to the top of a table. At this point the range of treatment options is usually available and the contracture is usually fully correctable.
Triggering occurs when a nodule in the tendon that bends your finger causes it to get stuck in a bent position. It is often worse first thing in the morning and can ease off through the day. It is often painful as well. Trigger finger or thumb is often successfully treated by injection of an anti-inflammatory (cortisone) around the tendon. This simple procedure is often curative but if the problem recurs then you may require a small operation under a local anaesthetic to release the tendon.
Treatment for Nerve problems in the hand
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects one of the main nerves that supplies the hand. The treatment options available will depend on the severity of the symptoms. In the early stages the use of a splint at night can alleviate the pain and tingling in your fingers. Injections can also be helpful in the early stages to settle down the symptoms. If these simple steps fail to settle the symptoms down or they are becoming increasingly intrusive in day to day activities then a small operation under local anaesthetic can be done. This will usually completely relieve the pain and symptoms form the first day after the operation. For more details on the procedure or recovery please contact me.
I am continuing to develop these pages and more information will be available soon
Arthritis Surgery Facts
- Very common as we age
- Pain and stiffness are the main symptoms
- Can make you drop things
- Surgical and injection treatments are available