Joints, such as those in a hand or foot, are common targets for arthritis, a disease that causes pain, swelling and a loss of movement in the joints. Arthritis may create difficulty in performing everyday activities such as holding a cup or a tool. This ailment is best treated through surgery.
Baseball finger or Mallet finger
This condition is caused by a sudden impact or blow to the tip of the finger, such as from a batted baseball. Following the impact, the tip of the finger can't be straightened out. Depending on the severity, this condition may require a finger splint, or sometimes even surgery.
The bone at the base of your big tow connects to a bone in the ball of your foot. Normally, the two bones lie almost in a straight line, with your big toe pointing straight ahead. But sometimes the big toe starts to turn in towards the smaller toe. This will cause the joint to push out causing a bony bump, or a bunion. You can help this condition by wearing low healed comfortable shoes that have lots of room. You can also talk to the physician about pads and inserts to prevent corns that could cause more discomfort. You might also have to consider surgery to eliminate the problem.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
CTS arises when pressure is put on the median nerve of the wrist that runs through a "tunnel" of bone and ligament. Certain medical conditions, wrist injuries, repetitive movements, and pregnancy may all cause CTS. This condition may cause numbness, tingling or pain in the hand. Treatments can range from splinting or exercises to surgery.
This problem can begin with nerves in your foot that don't work well, inhibiting your ability to sense pain. You could even damage or break bones without knowing it. Continuing to walk on an injured foot could lead to a deformity, so inspect your feet often and see a physician if you think you have Chatlot foot, or think you've hurt your foot.
A common injury often resulting from a fall, Colles' Fracture occurs when the lower arm bone fractures right above the wrist. Immobilization or even surgery may be required, depending on the severity, for optimal healing to occur.
Cysts (Ganglions) of the wrist
Cysts commonly grow on the top of the wrist, but can also grow on the underside of the wrist between the thumb and the pulse point. A ganglion grows out of a joint on a stalk and is filled with a thick, slippery fluid. Usually, the more active you are the larger the cyst becomes. It's not really known what triggers the development of a cyst, but they can be painful if they put pressure on a nearby nerve or tendon. Treatment options include observation, immobilization, aspiration, or surgical excision.
Minor infections involving the nail are common, and most can be treated in the office with antibiotics and soaks. Some more serious infections require the removal of all or part of the nail, but permanent nail deformities from infection are uncommon. Unfortunately, deformities of the nail are common after a crush or laceration occur, though proper initial care of the nail bed minimizes the deformity.
Although the occurrence of finger amputations in the workplace has reduced, they still occur. Saws are the biggest culprit. The goal of the surgeon is to properly advise and treat the patient, preserving function of the hand and minimizing long term pain problems. Sometimes the preservation of severely injured and useless tissues can have a negative impact on overall hand function.
A fracture can occur from a fall, tripping over something or even by missing a step. Signs of a broken bone include: swelling, tenderness, deformity, and the inability to move the extremity. Often these injuries can be ignored by the patient, thinking it's a sprain. But left untreated, fractures can cause chronic problems and even arthritis later in life. It is wise to seek the advice of a professional if you feel you have fractured or even sprained your hand or foot.
Ligaments are the fibrous bands that provide support to all the joints. Ligament injuries are often classified as sprains. Following injury to a ligament most people will experience pain and swelling around the specific joint. Because x-rays don't usually show the irritation, these conditions may seem minor and are often ignored. But it is essential these injuries be evaluated properly and as soon as possible. Proper splinting and therapy will provide the best opportunity to return to normal function, while the delay in treatment often results in protracted stiffness, limited motion and pain.
Mallet, Hammer and Claw toes
These deformities can be caused by wearing shoes that are to small or have high heals. This jams the toe against the shoe and can cause the toe to bend. It is best to evaluate the type of shoes you're wearing and to see your physician for assistance in what to do to fix the problem.
Nerves are the ‘electrical wiring system' that carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Some of these messages are sent to muscles to make the body move, while others provide information about pain, pressure and temperature. Nerves are very fragile structures and can be damaged by pressure, stretching or lacerations, which can result in significant pain and dysfunction. The sooner you see a specialist, the sooner these injuries can be identified and treated.
Force or friction against the bottom of your foot causes the skin to thicken, forming a callus. If you let this go the callus can thicken and press up into the foot. This will cause pain. As the skin around this callus dies, an ulcer forms. If you think you have an ulcer developing, seek your physician's care.
Sprains can be caused by a fall or sudden twist, and the injuries can vary from a minor injury causing brief pain to a major injury resulting in damage to a ligament or even a broken bone. Early diagnosis of the problem is key to treatment and usually includes testing and x-rays. Treatment ranges from splints and therapy to sometimes surgery.
When you use a set of muscles too much, you're likely to strain the tendons that connect those muscles to your bones. At first, pain or swelling may come and go quickly, but if you continue your muscles may overtire again. This could cause a tendon's outer covering to swell or small fibers to pull apart. If you keep pushing, the damage can build up. Over time, the pain and swelling may limit your activities. Your best way to manage this is to see your physician and develop a plan together to manage your inflammation.
Tennis elbow is an inflammation around the bony knob on the outside of the elbow. Playing a racket sport can cause tennis elbow and so can anything that involves extending your wrist or rotating your forearm. For example, twisting a screwdriver or lifting heavy objects can cause tennis elbow.
Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome (UTS)
UTS are a common disorder where the ulnar nerve loses blood flow as it spans the inner bony part of the elbow. This is the spot people refer to as the ‘funny bone'. UTS can result in numb fingers as well as weakness of the hand muscles. It will often bother you while sleeping, driving, working or when the elbow is bent.
We often see patients with work-related injuries. These injuries can range from something minor to extreme, involving case managers from your Workman's Compensation claim. Our goal is to work as a team to rehabilitate you fully and return you to work. Please reference the Workman's Compensation link to review our expectations and policies.