How Can a Hand and Wrist Specialist Help You?

Our hands and wrists play a vital role every day with typing, buttoning, eating, and holding objects, but we rarely think about them when they’re in use. They’re taken for granted unless injured or painful to use. But if either happens, it can have a big impact on your daily life and your ability to take care of yourself. So keeping your hands and wrists in working order is critical. If you’re experiencing pain, you may need to visit a hand and wrist specialist. When should you go, and what can you expect? Town Center Orthopaedics answers your questions.

Your Top Questions Answered About Hand and Wrist Pain, When to See a Hand and Wrist Specialist, and More

What common symptoms of hand or wrist damage are you experiencing?

In addition to suffering an injury or open wound to your hand or wrist, you may notice:

  • Painful swelling around the joints or tenderness
  • Redness or bruising
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Difficulty gripping objects
  • Loss of strength
  • Pain when pressure is applied

Any of these can be signs of damage or disease. In some instances, they may be handled with over-the-counter medication, but if symptoms worsen or don’t go away, medical attention should be sought.

Why should I see a hand and wrist doctor?

Unlike general practitioners, hand and wrist doctors are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in surgical and nonsurgical treatment of conditions of the fingers, hands, wrists, forearms, and elbows, and they have at least one full year of training in hand surgery after their nine to eleven years of medical school and residency. They will be able to diagnose your symptoms and treat your condition.

Where can I find a hand and wrist specialist near me?

You can find a hand and wrist specialist at one of our four Town Center Orthopaedics locations in Ashburn, Centreville, Fairfax, and Reston, VA.

What is causing my pain or discomfort?

Your hand and wrist doctor will evaluate your symptoms and diagnose if you are suffering from one of several conditions:

  • Overuse and repetitive stress injuries such as:
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A condition that causes numbness, tingling, or pain in one or more fingers, hands, arms, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, or face. It’s caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the carpal canal in your wrist. The nerve manages the muscles that control each digit and sends signals from the hand to the brain.
  • Tendonitis, such as De Quervain tenosynovitis: A painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.
  • Trigger Finger: A condition when your thumb or fingers get stuck in a trigger position.
  • Arthritis: A disease that causes pain, tenderness, and swelling in joints.
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: A condition that causes the fingers to bend toward the palm of the hand.
  • Ulnar Nerve Entrapment: A condition that stretches or puts pressure on the ulnar nerve, the nerve that helps move your forearm, hand, and fingers.
How will my condition be treated?

At Town Center Orthopaedics, our specialists offer the following treatment options for hand and wrist conditions:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: In most cases, your doctor will first treat carpal tunnel syndrome with conservative, nonsurgical methods to relieve pressure or inflammation that’s irritating the median nerve. These include:
  • Wrist splinting
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical and occupational therapy

If the condition doesn’t improve, your orthopedic hand specialist may recommend surgery that cuts through and “releases” the ligament that is putting pressure on the nerve.

  • Trigger Finger: Nonsurgical treatments are pursued first, similar to those mentioned for carpal tunnel syndrome. And, if surgery is recommended, it is also used to “release” the pulley-blocking tendon movement.
  • Ulnar Nerve Entrapment: Nonsurgical treatments may be used first and include:
  • Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce swelling
  • Bracing or splinting at night
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help the ulnar nerve slide easier
  • Thumb Arthritis: Pain relievers and splinting may be recommended first. If those don’t work, then surgery that repositions, fuses, or removes affected bones may be used.
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: Steroid shots can be used to ease pain and discomfort for this condition, but surgery is most often used to remove the thickened section of tissue causing fingers to bend inward.
  • Flexor and Extensor Tendon Repairs: When tendons are torn, the ends must be touching in order for them to heal. Surgery is almost always required.
  • Fractures are set, splinted, and braced as needed, while surgery may be recommended depending on the severity of the break(s).
  • Hand Surgery: At Town Center Orthopaedics, our orthopedic hand surgeons are experts in all the latest surgical advancements to help recover your functionality.
Are there things I can do to help protect my hands and wrists from injury?

While they may not stop some conditions, these four tips could help prevent damage:

  1. Stop Smoking.
    Smoking can be a cause of inflammation in the soft tissues of your hand and wrist, and may increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and tendonitis.
  2. Protect your hands.
    To keep your hands and wrist healthy, use proper lifting techniques, wear appropriate protective equipment, and follow safe practices. You don’t want to put too much strain on your hands and wrist.
  3. Don’t overwork your hands.
    If you spend most of your time typing, using a mouse, or working at a desk, you may be placing too much stress on your hands and wrists. Try to keep them from becoming strained with periods of rest.
  4. Keep your wrist free from stiffness.
    To keep your wrist flexible, make sure you exercise it regularly, following the treatment plan your doctor or physical therapist may prescribe.
How can I make an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment at one of our four locations across Virginia convenient to you by calling (571) 336-2818 or completing this form.

Don’t Let Hand or Wrist Pain Keep You From Work, Play, or Life

At Town Center Orthopaedics, our team of hand and wrist experts is dedicated to providing you with the best outcome through our state-of-the-art, patient-focused orthopedic care. We look forward to helping you soon.

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