06 March 2017
The hand is one of the most complex areas of the body with 29 bones and joints, 34 muscles, and over 100 ligaments.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed where it passes through a short tunnel at the wrist. The tunnel contains the tendons that bend the fingers and thumb as well as the nerve. It commonly affects women in middle age but can occur at any age in either sex. In most cases, the cause is not identifiable.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a common condition that usually arises in middle age or later and is more common in men than women. Firm nodules appear in the ligaments just beneath the skin of the palm of the hand, and in some cases they extend to form cords that can prevent the finger straightening completely.
Trigger finger is a painful condition in which a finger or thumb clicks or locks as it is bent towards the palm. Triggering occasionally appears to start after an injury such as a knock on the hand. There is little evidence that it is caused by work activities, but the pain can certainly be aggravated by hand use at work, at home, in the garden or at sport. It is not caused by osteoarthritis.
Ganglion cysts are the commonest type of swelling in the hand. They contain a thick clear liquid called synovial fluid, which is the body's lubricant in joints and in the tunnels through which some tendons run. Cysts can arise from any joint or tendon tunnel around the hand and wrist.
Treatment of hand and wrist conditions include the avoidance of provocative activity, the use of splints, steroidal injections and sometimes surgery. Patients in and around Worcester now have fast access to a dedicated team of doctors and therapists specialising in hand injuries. On the day of appointment patients can expect to be diagnosed and a treatment plan formulated.