Hand & Wrist Specialist

Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, PC

Orthopaedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine Specialists located in West Des Moines, IA, Ankeny, IA, & Indianola, IA

Your hands and wrists are vital to almost everything you do, so having a painful or disabling condition in either can be extremely limiting. If you’re experiencing hand or wrist pain, the highly experienced team at Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, PC, has considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating the causes of these problems to reduce pain and increase function. Call one of their branches in Clive, Ankeny, or Indianola, Iowa, to find out more or book an appointment online.

Hand & Wrist Q & A

What causes hand and wrist problems?

Your hands and wrists contain numerous small bones, as well as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Any of these structures could get damaged, leading to chronic hand and wrist pain.

Your hands and wrists are in almost constant motion during your busy days, regardless of your occupation. Whether you work in an office on a computer, you drive for a living, or you’re a bricklayer, your hands are on the go most of the time.

You expect your hands and wrists to be strong enough to lift heavy weights and carry bulky items. You also expect to be dextrous enough to button your shirt and carry out other delicate movements like playing a tune on the guitar.

This constant usage and the repetitive nature of many of the ways you use your hands means that wrists and hands are vulnerable to damage from injuries and overuse.

What hand and wrist problems are the most common?

Among the most common hand and wrist problems are:

Tendon and ligament problems

Tendons and ligaments can stretch or tear if you bend your wrist, hand, or fingers too far. This often happens when playing sports or getting injured at work. Chronic injuries include tendinitis and tenosynovitis, which develop because of inflammation in the tendon or tendon sheath, causing pain and swelling.

Tendon and ligament problems can cause conditions such as:

  • DeQuervain's tenosynovitis
  • Trigger finger/trigger thumb
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)

Arthritis

Arthritis comes in multiple forms, but the most common is osteoarthritis. It develops as a result of years of wear and tear and can affect any joint, but is especially common in the hands and knees. Another type that’s quite widespread is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. Arthritis causes joint inflammation, which can lead to chronic pain and stiffness.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the median nerve that runs through your wrist comes under pressure from a thickened ligament. Symptoms include pain and weakness in your wrist, thumb, and first fingers. The pain can travel all the way to your shoulder, and your hand and wrist might go numb during the night.

Other conditions that can affect the hands and wrists include writer’s cramp, repetitive motion syndrome, Dupuytren's contracture, ganglion cysts, infections, and lupus.

How are hand and wrist problems treated?

Treatment for hand and wrist problems depends on the cause of your condition. Resting and applying hot or cold treatments can ease the pain and swelling and help the tissues to heal. You might need a splint to hold your hand, wrist, or finger in position, and cortisone injections can be helpful for reducing inflammation that isn’t improving using other methods.

If you need surgery for your hand or wrist problem, the team at Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, PC, excels at using minimally invasive techniques to carry out procedures like joint replacement, ligament repair, and carpal tunnel release.

If you have a hand or wrist problem, call Capital Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, PC, today, or book an appointment online.