Common Hand and Wrist Problems: What You Need to Know

October 03, 2023

Senior Asian woman rubbing her hands in discomfort

Hand and wrist conditions can keep you from the activities you love. And hand pain can make it hard to go about your day-to-day life. At Riverside, our hand surgeon can help correct your hand dysfunction and relieve your pain.

“You use your hands to interact with the world,” says James C. Kyriakedes, M.D., a Riverside orthopedic hand and wrist surgeon. “When pain or stiffness stops you from using your hands, it can disrupt your entire life.”

A fellowship-trained surgeon, Dr. Kyriakedes treats a wide range of hand and wrist conditions, including:

1. Carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome

Carpal or cubital tunnel syndrome happen when a nerve in your wrist or elbow is compressed by ligaments and other structures. As a result, you might experience pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand.

2. Joint damage caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis 

Arthritis in your hand can make it hard or painful to move and use your fingers, thumb, or wrist. Painful joint destruction can be caused by wear-and-tear (osteoarthritis) or when the immune system attacks a joint (rheumatoid arthritis).

3. Dupuytren’s disease

Your fascia is a layer of connective tissue under your skin. If you have Dupuytren’s disease, the fascia of your palm becomes disorganized and tightens. This can cause painful or painless nodules in the palm, and in some causes contracture of the fingers or thumb that prevent full extension. Most individuals have a connection to Northern Europe sometime in their ancestry.

4. Trigger finger and thumb

If your fingers dynamically stick in a flexed position, then snap straight, you may have a trigger finger or trigger thumb. This condition can be painful, and even make it difficult to use your hands in your daily activities.

5. DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis

This condition causes wrist pain with repetitive activities using the thumb and wrist. It happens when two tendons controlling your thumb become inflamed and constricted. 

6. Sports injuries 

Many sports put our fingers, thumb, and wrists at wrist from extreme forces, impacts, or positions. Some sports cause injuries from repetitive actions or pressure on these structures. Hand surgeons treat a variety of injuries and overuse syndromes resulting from sports. 

7. Fractures 

A fracture is a broken bone, which may be displaced (significantly shifted) or nondisplaced (“hairline fracture”). Broken bones in the hand, wrist and forearm are common injuries. They often happen when you put out your arm to catch yourself when you fall.

8. Nerve and tendon injuries 

Nerve or tendon injuries anywhere from the elbow down can cause pain or weakness in your hand or wrist. You can lose the ability to feel or perform certain functions with your fingers, thumbs, or wrists. They might be caused by sports injuries, accidents, or wounds.

9. Tumors and cysts 

Tumors and cysts in the hand, wrist and forearm are typically not cancerous. However, they can cause pain, be unsightly, or make it difficult to use your hand or wrist during your daily activities. 

10. Finger deformities like swan neck and boutonniere deformities

Finger deformities can be caused by health conditions or by injuries. They may affect how your fingers bend or straighten.

The expert hand surgeons at Riverside Health System can help relieve pain and dysfunction in your hand and wrist. Learn more about Riverside Orthopedic Specialists.

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