Many patients find themselves requiring a visit to a top hand doctor in Costa Mesa. From completing everyday tasks like eating and dressing to carrying out complex movements with precision, your hands perform an assortment of motions often taken for granted.
- It’s only when something makes accomplishing such tasks impossible or difficult to do without pain that most people consider seeing a hand doctor in Costa Mesa
- Consult your doctor about any changes to your hands
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Arthritis of the Hand
Involving some degree of joint-related inflammation and related pain, arthritis of the hand, wrist, or thumb can affect multiple small joints that need to work together to perform fine motor tasks like tying a shoelace or using a screwdriver. Arthritis may be limited to one part of the hand or affect the entire hand, including fingers and any other points where joints are located.
Over time, bones may lose their shape and supporting tissues may become damaged from inflammation and irritation if arthritis isn’t treated shortly after symptoms become noticeable. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis. The role of a hand doctor is to determine the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Often characterized by numbness, tingling sensations in the hand and arm, and pain associated with movement, carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused or aggregated by repetitious motions. Affecting the median nerve in the hand that travels to the wrist, the condition tends to get worse over time, so it’s not something that should be ignored.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to ease pressure on the median nerve to prevent further damage to nearby tissues and joints. If CTS is detected early, a hand doctor may suggest avoiding certain activities or movements, taking anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), wearing a wrist splint, or performing finger stretches to strengthen muscles and tissues.
Chronic Wrist or Hand Pain
Electrodiagnostic testing is one of several methods a hand doctor may use to determine the source of chronic pain affecting any part of the hand or wrist. This particular tests measures the extent of electrical activity between nerves and muscles. Image testing is often a part of the diagnostic process, especially if there is no clear cause of hand or wrist pain.
If an issue inside of a joint in suspected, an arthroscopy involving the use of a fiber optic instrument with a camera attached may be performed to identify the specific source of the resulting pain. The goal with any type of chronic wrist or hand pain is to pinpoint a likely source so treatment can be more effective for the patient.
Hand and Wrist Injuries
Nerve injuries, thumb fractures, broken wrists (distal radius fractures), and wrist sprains are some of the hand and wrist injuries our hand doctor in Costa Mesa treats. Often associated with a fall where the impact is on an outstretched hand, a scaphoid fracture is a type of break that affects the smaller bones of the wrist. Some hand and wrist injuries are associated with specific activities.
Mallet finger, for instance, is an injury to the tendon to the end joint of the thumb or finger where it flexes and straightens out. It’s often linked to baseball or any activity involving pressure on one or more fingers or a thumb beyond normal range of motion. Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury and its location.
Defects and Abnormalities
Compartment syndrome is one of many possible abnormalities that may affect one or both hands and wrists. Occurring in 20 out of every 10,000 births, congenital hand differences can include webbed fingers or two or more fingers that are fused together. For conditions such as webbed fingers, surgery is often necessary to restore normal appearance and function.
Some abnormalities like Dupuytren’s contracture, the development of a thick band of tissue between the palm and fingers, are progressive and appear over time. Treatment depends on the severity of the defect. In some cases, physical therapy may help a patient adapt to the abnormality.
A referral to a hand doctor in Costa Mesa is often made so a more accurate diagnosis can be achieved, but that doesn’t mean surgery is the other treatment option. You may also find yourself visiting a hand doctor if your regular physician suspects a certain condition that requires additional testing to confirm. Other times, a referral may be made when a specialized procedure is necessary.