By contacting the top orthopedic hand specialist in Costa Mesa, you will be able to have access to top of the line care. Given how often hands are used on a daily basis, occasional aches and pains are expected. Fortunately, such discomfort is often temporary.
- For pain that persists or is linked to a chronic condition or sudden injury, you may be referred to an orthopedic hand specialist in Costa Mesa
- There are many ways this type of specialist assists patients looking to regain pain-free use of their hands or wrists
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Finding a Source of Hand or Wrist Pain
A hand specialist may start the diagnostic process by asking patients to make passive and active movements of the affected finger, hand, or wrist. Passive movements are those made by the specialist while active movements are motions the patient is asked to make on their own. For mild conditions with a clear likely source, there’s usually no need for further tests unless treatment suggestions aren’t successful.
If further investigation is necessary, testing may include X-rays. Standard X-rays are more useful for bone fractures or other structural issues. CT or MRI scans provide a closer look at bones, joints, and tissues of the hand and wrist. Electrodiagnostic testing may be done when nerve damage is suspected to determine which nerves of the hand or wrist or affected. Electromyographies (EMG) and nerve conduction studies are the two most common types of electrodiagnostic tests.
Suggesting Non-Surgical Treatments
When muscle or tendon injuries to the hand or wrist are incomplete, meaning there is no damage requiring surgical intervention, treatment often involves rest of the affected hand and modification of activities until healing has occurred. Bracing or splinting may be recommended to keep the affected hand as immobile as possible. Patients are usually encouraged to refrain from repetitious movements and heavy activities until tendons, muscles, and joints are fully functional again. Non-surgical remedies may also include:
- Steroid injections directly into the affected area
- Occupational or physical therapy
- Massage therapy
Offering Customized Pain Management Techniques
The muscles and tissues that move joints within the hand and wrist can be affected by inflammation from underlying conditions such as diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, and arthritis. If this is the case, it may not be possible to completely relieve pain due to the extent of damage to tissues and nerves. Your hand specialist may be able to recommend pain management techniques.
Pain management recommendations typically include performing hand or wrist stretches to strengthen muscles and tendons and finding a better combination of medications. Vitamins supplements can sometimes make up for nutritional deficiencies that often affect tissues within the hand. Some patients experience relief from a diet that includes foods with known anti-inflammatory properties.
Repairing Damage from Injuries
Bones and tissues of the hand can be damaged from a hard impact, as is often the case with sports-related injuries, or an accidental cut with a sharp object. For these types of injuries, a hand specialist will determine how much damage was done to the affected finger, thumb, hand, or wrist. In many cases, severed fingers can be reattached if proper steps are taken at the time of injury. Delicate or complex surgery may be necessary to repair severe muscle and tissue damage.
Correcting Progressive Joint or Tissue Damage
Arthritis and carpal and cubical tunnel syndrome are among the more common progressive conditions likely to affect some parts of the hand. Damage to tissues and joints from such conditions is often progressive, meaning damage occurs over time. Age-related changes to bones and tissues can also be a source of pain that becomes progressively bothersome over time. A hand specialist may perform surgery to repair damage to parts of the hand if other treatments are no longer effective.
For arthritis damage, a fusion (arthrodesis) may be performed to connect the bones of the joint together to improve stability and reduce movement-related pain. Hinged finger implants are sometimes used. Implants may be inserted to correct damage to proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints near the base of the hands. When possible, an effort is made to preserve joints and correct tissue damage with surgical repairs.
The goal of your orthopedic hand specialist in Costa Mesa is to restore quality of life for patients by providing access to a wide range of diagnostic tools, treatment possibilities, and pain management techniques. Prevention is another priority. Patients often receive tips on how to avoid re-injury after surgery or how to minimize future issues with hands, fingers, or wrists once pain has been relieved or reduced to a point where it’s manageable.