Hand, Wrist and Elbow treatments
Injuries or arthritis in your hand, wrist or elbow can cause great discomfort and may eventually require surgery. These areas of the upper body play a vital role in the everyday activities you do such as lifting objects, writing and gripping items.
The hand, wrist and elbow all have a variety of movements and are made up of a number of ligaments, bones and muscles – the elbow in particular is made up of two joints.
These areas of the body can commonly become injured or develop arthritis, which can be very painful. Non-surgical treatments can be tried as the first step to reducing the pain and discomfort you experience (e.g. painkillers and physiotherapy), however some symptoms may be too severe or prolonged and will therefore require surgery.
Patients of York and its surrounding areas can access appointments at Clifton Park Hospital Outpatient Department with 11 consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, x-ray facilities and additional car parking.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that causes the fingers to curl into the palm causing pain and discomfort. This is due to a scar-like tissue forming beneath the skin of the fingers and palm of the hand therefore causing the deformity.
Depending on the severity of your condition, there are many methods to treat Dupuytren’s contracture. For more severe cases your surgeon can replace all the affected skin with a skin graft and for minor cases, a simple cut to the fibrous band in the palm of your hand can work.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the nerves passing over the carpal bone in a tight tunnel become compacted and therefore creates a feeling of a tingling sensation/weakness in your hand/forearm.
The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic and takes roughly quarter of an hour. The surgeon will cut the tight ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel therefore relieving the compressed nerve.
The ‘basal’ joint in the thumb can commonly be affected by arthritis – osteoarthritis in particular. Arthritis usually occurs due to general ‘wear and tear’ in the hands and can be very uncomfortable and painful.
Non-surgical treatments can be tried at the first stages of arthritis, however if the condition does not respond, then surgery may be the most suitable option to relieve the pain.
The surgeon can replace most of the joint with graft from other tendons or may just cut and reposition the bones.
Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) often occurs after strenuous overuse of the tendons and muscles near your elbow – commonly when playing tennis – causing pain and discomfort to the bony area of the outer elbow.
This condition can be treated without surgery (physiotherapy and painkillers) however you may find you have been suffering for more than 6 months meaning surgery may be the most suitable choice. The surgeon will work to remove or repair the damaged part of the tendon during surgery.
A similar condition is golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis), the only difference being that it causes pain to the inner side of the elbow as opposed to the outer (like with tennis elbow).
This condition is not limited to golfers and generally occurs through strenuous overuse. Golfer’s elbow surgery involves cutting, moving and/or removing tendons/tissues surrounding the affected area.
Ganglion surgery surgically cuts away a lump under your skin called a ganglion that is causing pain, preventing you from doing daily activities and looks unsightly with the aim of alleviating these ganglion problems.
A ganglion, also known as a ganglion cyst, is a swelling that tends to appear around the joints on your wrist, hand, fingers, ankle and foot. The size of a ganglion can vary from a pea to ping pong ball.
These non-cancerous lumps are filled with a thick jelly-like fluid similar to synovial fluid that is found around your joints and tendons
Ganglions may disappear on their own. Others may push on a nerve and cause pain or make some movements difficult. They can also be a cosmetic problem because of their size.
Trigger Finger Release
Trigger finger, also called stenosing tenosynovitis or sticky fingers, is a common condition where the tendons in your hand become swollen or irritated and/or the tendon sheath thickens. This can cause the tendon sheath tunnel to narrow and become constricting. As your tendon can’t glide through the sheath easily, your finger catches in a bent position before popping straight. With each catch, your tendon becomes more irritated and inflamed making the problem worse.
Often the cause of trigger finger is not known. The risk of trigger finger is greater in people with certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Repetitive and strong gripping actions may lead to trigger finger.