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In the upper extremities, pain can be the cause of significant distress and can make simple movements and completion of daily activities very difficult. The wrist and arm are among the most frequently used body parts, and even a minor injury in these delicate areas can affect your quality of life. Pain in the hand and wrists is frequently related to underlying ligament injuries or damage to the join surfaces known as arthritis. The expert reconstructive hand surgeons at the Institute for Hand Surgery at LIPSG can provide you with comprehensive care that can reduce the symptoms of your condition and help restore function lost in your hand or wrist.

Ligament Tears

Ligaments are the connective tissues that join the bones together. Ligament injuries can range from partial or minor tears, commonly referred to as a sprain, to complete tears that will result in unstable joints. The most common reason for a ligament tear is trauma to the wrist experienced after an injury, or the sudden impact of a fall. Because we often use our hands to catch us as we fall forward or backward, the palm, wrist, and thumb are some of the most common sites of a ligament tear. While minor sprains may only stretch the ligament, more severe injuries will completely tear the ligament and can lead to additional injuries, such as hand and wrist fractures or arthritis. In the wrists, ligament tears are a very common injury and typically cause pain, tenderness, and weakness at the site of the injury.

Signs & Symptoms

Ligament tears most often result in swelling, bruising, pain, and instability in the affected area. This can make moving and using the body part difficult. Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish a ligament tear from a fracture because many of the symptoms overlap. An X-ray, physical examination, or MRI may be required to properly diagnose a ligament tear.

Treatment

Depending on the extent of your injury, ligament tears can be treated with a number of solutions. Treatment options include:

Wrist Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition in which the gliding cartilage surfaces of the joints are worn away causing inflammation, pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the wrist. While arthritis can be suffered in many different areas, the wrist is one of the most common areas to develop the condition. Wrist arthritis typically occurs after a prior injury to the joint, or due to an inflammatory, auto-immune condition. The amount of joint damage typically varies on a case-by-case basis; however, wrist arthritis typically gets worse over time, and symptoms can become severe if left untreated.

Signs & Symptoms

There are many different types of arthritis that can be suffered in the wrist, but all can make it difficult to perform simple daily tasks. Symptoms of wrist arthritis typically include:

If you are experiencing these symptoms, one of our reconstructive hand surgeons can help you determine the type of arthritis in your wrist and create a personalized treatment plan that will effectively address your condition. Proactive treatment can often relieve symptoms of wrist arthritis and slow the progression of joint damage.

Causes

The reason why arthritis develops in the wrist is largely dependent on the type of arthritis that you have—a factor that your doctor can help you determine. In general, the following may contribute to the gradual swelling of wrist joints:

Treatment

There are many different ways to manage the symptoms of wrist arthritis, and at the Institute for Hand Surgery at LIPSG, one of our doctors can help determine which course of action is best suited to your needs. Non-surgical remedies for arthritis in the wrist may include:

In some cases, non-surgical treatment may not be enough to relieve the symptoms of wrist arthritis. If the condition begins to significantly reduce your quality of life, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatment may involve:

While more conservative methods of treatment are recommended before resorting to surgery, your doctor will be able to discuss further details of your procedure during your appointment.

At the Institute for Hand Surgery at LIPSG, one of our experienced reconstructive hand surgeons can develop a unique treatment plan designed to reduce your symptoms and help you regain function and mobility in your wrist.

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