Hand & Wrist
We rely on our hands everyday. They play an important role in the work we do and how we connect with others. Hands are an amazing piece of anatomical structure, but prone to injury, arthritis and disease. At DFP, our team of specialty-trained hand surgeons and hand-certified therapists are ready to perform everything from hand and wrist treatments to joint reconstruction and replacement to reduce pain, improve function, and get you back to doing the things you love.
Hand & Wrist
Breaks & Fractures
Breaks and fractures are some of the most common injuries to the hand. These injuries tend to occur from impact from a fall or during sports-related activity or by being crushed by a door, window, or machinery. Most fractures are easily repaired without surgery. Our orthopaedist can realign the bones and provide a splint or cast to hold them in place.
However, some fractures do require surgery, especially when fractures break through the skin or when the injury is from a crushing accident.
Delay in treatment could result in ongoing joint pain or permanent stiffness in a finger or joint. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see a DFP orthopaedic physician right away:
- ■ Joint Pain
- ■ Swelling
- ■ Inability to move a finger
- ■ Deformity (finger is crooked or has an unnatural bump in it)
- ■ Finger looks shorter
- ■ Depressed knuckle
- ■ Difficulty forming a fist
There are two common fractures that occur in the wrist: radius and scaphoid fractures.
The radius is the largest of the two bones in your forearm and is the most common broken bone in the arm. The end of the bone, closest to the wrist, is called the distal end. When the radius breaks near the wrist, it is called a distal radius fracture. Typically, this break occurs when someone falls and tries to catch themselves with their outstretched hands. It also can happen in car or bike accidents, or other similar situations. When the other bone in the forearm, the ulna, is broken, it is called a distal ulna fracture.
Another fracture caused by using your outstretched arm to break a fall is in the scaphoid. It is one of the smaller bones in the wrist and is the most prone wrist bone to breaking. It is located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends. If you have a fracture or break, pain or swelling will ensue.
Both of these injuries will cause joint pain the wrist and would require diagnosis by one of our orthopaedic specialists.
Hand & Wrist
The typical candidate for wrist replacement surgery has severe arthritis and is experiencing severe pain as well as losing function in the wrist and hand. While wrist joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement surgery, our team is experienced in the procedure and it is an option for patients with painful arthritis or other serious hand and wrist injuries. Our team will provide a diagnosis to treat your hand and wrist and can perform the proper surgery, whether it’s bone fusion, pins and plates, or wrist joint replacement surgery. In wrist joint replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the wrist bones are removed and replaced with artificial components, called a prosthesis.
One of the most common wrist problems is carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a narrow structure in the wrist that resembles a tunnel that allows the median nerve and the tendons that bend fingers to travel from the forearm into the hand. Symptoms include hand numbness, tingling, or pain. Carpal tunnel pain is caused by pressure being applied to the median nerve, typically feeling like an electric shock in the thumb or nearby fingers, traveling up the arm.
Carpal tunnel can be attributed to a hereditary condition, hand use, hormonal changes including pregnancy, age, and medical conditions such as arthritis, thyroid disease, and diabetes.
If diagnosed early, treatment can be non-surgical by using a brace, steroids, anti-inflammatory medication, or a change in hand usage activities. If symptoms are severe, surgery may be required.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact DFP and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City hand and wrist specialists. They will perform a complete examination, diagnosing and ultimately treating any problem. From simple physical therapy to complicated surgery, you’re in good hands with DFP and we will do what it takes to get you active again.