Your hands are constantly in motion and therefore vulnerable to injury. Repetitive motion or overuse injuries such as tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) is among the most common hand conditions. Your hands can also be affected by normal wear and tear on the joints, resulting in arthritis. Due to the intricate anatomy of the hand, a hand surgeon should be consulted to evaluate and treat conditions involving your hands. Dr. Besh is an expert in upper extremity and hand conditions. He is fellowship trained and has a subspecialty certificate in surgery of the hand. Your hands should be cared for by an expert with over 15 years of focused experience in orthopaedic hand conditions.
The following are just a few of the common hand conditions. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your hands or fingers, or have additional concerns, contact our office for an appointment.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Basal Joint Arthritis (Thumb Arthritis)
- Trigger Fingers
- Dupuytren’s Contracture
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist condition that occurs when the median nerve is pinched in the wrist. The median nerve travels the carpal tunnel, which is a nerve passageway that consists of three sides of bone and one side of a very hard ligament. Nine tendons also travel through the carpal tunnel and when those tendons are swollen from overuse or repetitive use, the median nerve can get compressed causing pain and other symptoms such as numbness, weakness, tingling, and cramping/aching. People often find that the pain from carpal tunnel becomes worse when hands are used for daily activities such as typing or writing. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated by a number of different methods including wrist braces, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. In cases where the symptoms persist, cortisone injections or minimally invasive surgery should resolve carpal tunnel. It is important to treat carpal tunnel or it may lead to permanent injury.
Basal Joint Arthritis (Thumb Arthritis)
Thumb arthritis or basal joint arthritis is caused by a combination of many factors such as age, weight, and previous injuries. One of the major causes of thumb arthritis is repetitive use of the carpometacarpal joint between the thumb and the wrist. Over time this use causes wear and tear of cartilage that the body cannot repair quickly enough. The degeneration of cartilage causes bones to rub against each other which in turn causes joint damage and pain. Some of the common symptoms of thumb or basal joint arthritis include thumb pain, loss of strength in the thumb, swelling of the thumb, and/or grinding of the thumb. Since the carpometacarpal joint controls grasping, weakness of the hands and inability to grasp objects is a common symptom of thumb arthritis. Thumb or basal joint arthritis is usually treated by anti-inflammatory medications, splinting, and/or resting the hand. If that does not alleviate the symptoms of thumb arthritis, then cortisone injections or minimally invasive surgery may be other treatment options.
Trigger fingers or sclerosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that affects the movement of the tendons through their tunnels in one of more of the fingers. If the tendon becomes swollen from overuse such as grasping that occurs with typing or texting, the tendon has a difficult time moving through the tunnel. The finger with the affected tendon can become bent with limited range of motion. Common symptoms of trigger fingers include bent fingers, pain in fingers or palm of hand, stiffness in fingers, and/or swollen bumps at the base of the finger. Trigger fingers or sclerosing tenosynovitis can be treated using splinting, exercises, and resting the affected area. In more severe conditions, cortisone injections and minimally invasive surgery can be used to treat trigger finger symptoms.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that affects the nodules and cords of connective tissue, or palmar fascia, to the palm. The tightening of the tissue causes the fingers to become bent down, which may become permanent if not treated. The tightening usually starts on the pinky finger and then travels down to the thumb as time goes on. The cause of Dupuytren’s contracture is still unknown. Common symptoms of Dupuytren’s contracture include nodules in the palm, fingers bent down toward palms, and difficulty using hands. In most cases minimally invasive surgery is the best option for Dupuytren’s contracture, but the best way to know for sure is to seek medical treatment at the onset of the symptoms listed above.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis which is a condition caused by the swelling of the joints. Symptoms occur when the cartilage that surrounds the joints is worn down over time. High risk factors for osteoarthritis include repetitive use, age, weight, genetics, joint infections, and/or an injury to the body such as a fracture. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint pain, restricted motion of the joint, tenderness or stiffness of the joint and/or bone spurs; excess bone that can form around the affected joint. There is no known cure for osteoarthritis, however there are many treatment options that can help to alleviate osteoarthritis symptoms. Some of these treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and lifestyle changes. If those treatments do not help to alleviate symptoms, then cortisone injections, joint replacement surgery, or joint fusion surgery are other possible options.