Carpometacarpal Boss: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 24. April 2017 10:16

Carpometacarpal Boss or Carpal Boss is a condition that occurs due to deterioration of the joints situated at the back of the basal joints of the middle or index fingers. A bony overgrowth forms on the back of the wrist at the base of the metacarpal bones of either of the two fingers. Generally seen in people aged between 20 to 40 years, this condition can affect anyone.

Causes

  • Traumatic injury
  • Activities that involve repetitive wrist motion
  • Frequently playing sports such as badminton, tennis or golf
  • Wear and tear of the cartilage lining
  • Thickening of the soft tissue

Symptoms

  • Inflammation at the back of the hand in the index or middle fingers
  • Pain in the affected area
  • A hard, immovable bump on the back of the wrist
  • Breaking of the tendons that aid in straightening the fingers

Diagnosis

  • The orthopedic doctor will note down the complete medical history of the patient along with the visible symptoms
  • He will also ask questions regarding any physical injury or trauma to the hand or wrist
  • A detailed physical examination of the wrist and hand is also done to look for pain and tenderness
  • Imaging tests such as X-Ray can be conducted by the doctor to confirm the diagnosis of Carpal Boss
  • EMG or nerve conduction studies can be done to have a clear picture of the nerve damage in the affected area

Treatment

Initial treatment for Carpal Boss generally include conservative options.

Non-surgical treatment

  • The patient is advised to modify or limit the activities associated with wrist and hand
  • Pain medications might be recommended by the doctor to reduce discomfort and ease the symptoms
  • Application of ice packs can reduce swelling in the affected area
  • Muscle relaxants also aid in providing relief from pain and inflammation to a certain extent
  • Gentle massage in the affected area might also prove to be beneficial
  • Steroid injections can also calm down the painful symptoms
  • The doctor can use a wrist splint for immobilization of the hand till swelling subsides

Surgical Treatment

  • Surgery may be necessary if any of the above treatment methods fail to provide relief
  • A procedure known as Carpal Boss excision is performed after administering local anesthesia to the patient
  • The surgical procedure involves creating a small incision in the affected area of the wrist
  • Any soft tissue abnormality or arthritic joint is removed
  • If the pain still does not go away, a separate medical procedure is conducted
  • It involves fusing the joints for complete relief

For comprehensive treatment of Carpometacarpal Boss and other orthopedic conditions of the hand, consult Dr. Christopher D. Allmon. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries Of The Thumb

by Administrator 27. March 2017 06:32

Ulnar collateral ligament is a band of tissues attached to the middle joint (metacarpophalangeal joint) of the thumb. Any disruption or damage to this ligament is termed as UCL Injury. The condition leads to an unstable thumb and is also referred to as a Gamekeeper’s Thumb.

Causes

  • An extreme force that pulls away the thumb from the palm during a fall or accident
  • Injuries while playing sports

Symptoms

  • Pain and swelling
  • Weakness in the thumb
  • Bruise like discolorations on the skin and around the joint
  • Bump at the edge of the thumb
  • Difficulty in holding and squeezing things between your thumb and index finger

Diagnosis

  • The doctor may conduct a valgus stress test to evaluate the severity of joint damage. The patient may be given a local anesthetic prior to this test. During the evaluation, the doctor may push the thumb backwards in different directions to determine joint’s stability. If the joint holds steady, it may reflect a slight sprain or a partial tear. In case the joint appears to be loose, it may be a sign of a complete rupture.
  • He may also ask the patient to get an X-ray test to have a clearer picture of the condition.

Treatment –

Non-Surgical Treatment

If there is a minor injury, the doctor may immobilize the thumb by putting it in a special cast (thumb spica cast). The patient may also be asked to do some exercises to restore thumb’s strength and range of motion.

Surgical Treatment

  • Suture Repair: An outpatient surgery may be performed by the orthopedic surgeon to treat the injury. In this, the surgeon may make a small V or S-shaped cut at the back of the thumb joint. He may then reach out to the joint by cutting a sheet of tissue called adductor aponeurosis. Following this, stitches are made to join the torn ligaments and anchor them back to the bone.
  • Fusion Surgery: An unstable thumb may eventually lead to Arthritis, so it is important that the condition is prevented. For this, the doctor may conduct a fusion surgery, in which the thumb joints are fused together to restrict their excessive motion.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of ulnar collateral ligament injuries, visit Dr. Christopher D. Allmon. He is board certified hand and wrist surgeon practising in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the surgeon, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Mallet Finger: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:31

Mallet Finger, often referred to as Baseball Finger, is a medical condition which involves an involuntary bending or flexion of the fingertip beyond its range of motion. This usually occurs when a high speed ball hits the finger tip and ruptures the tendon of the joint. A ‘tendon’ is a strong, white, fibrous and inelastic chord that connects the bones as well as muscles. Players involved in sports such as baseball and basketball are at higher risk of having this condition.

The following injuries can occur during this condition:

  • When the tendon gets damaged but there is no crack or break in bone
  • There is rupturing of the tendon along with a small fracture
  • A large fracture takes place

Causes:

  • Sports injuries
  • Direct blow or trauma to the finger
  • Fractures

Symptoms

  • A droopy finger, that does not straighten on its own
  • Inability or difficulty in extending the finger without assistance
  • Redness around the affected area
  • Pain and numbness
  • Bruised, swollen finger, probably due to a fracture
  • Detached nail from the skin, usually coupled with a blood clot underneath

Diagnosis

  • To diagnose Mallet Finger, the doctor may conduct a physical examination and ask the patient about his medical history. He may also ask about the cause of trauma, the extent of pain as well as its location.
  • Imaging tests like an X-Ray may be recommended to check the bone alignment.

Treatment

Non- Surgical Treatment

  • Ice pack and elevation: For immediate relief, an ice pack may be applied on the affected finger, followed by elevating the arm above the heart level to restrict blood circulation to the finger.
  • Casting: The doctor may suggest wearing a cast or splint for about 6 to 8 weeks to repair the damaged tendon. This helps in immobilizing and realigning the finger to its original position.
  • Exercises: Certain physical exercises may be recommended to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility of the joint. These exercises may help to provide strength to the hand and wrist.
  • Medication: Depending on the severity of the condition, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by the orthopedic doctor. Cortisone injections may be administered in case of severe pain.

Surgical Treatment

  • Surgery may involve insertion of pins, wires and screws to realign the drooping finger
  • The treatment may also include tightening or fusing of the tendons.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Mallet Finger, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 N Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.

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Boxer’s Fracture: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 27. April 2016 12:23

Boxer’s Fractureor Brawler’s Fracture, refers to a break or crack in the metacarpal bones that form the knuckles of the hand.

There are 5 metacarpal bones in each hand with same structure (base, shaft, neck and head). The head of the metacarpal bone joins with the proximal phalangeal bone of each finger and forms the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint or the knuckles. A break or fracture in the neck part of the metacarpal bone is termed as a Boxer’s Fracture.

Though the fracture can be seen in any of the MCP joints, it most commonly affects the little and ring finger.

Causes:

  • Punching (a hard object)
  • Hand striking forcefully on an immovable surface

Symptoms:

  • Severe Pain
  • Swollen hand
  • Bruising or localised discoloration near the knuckles
  • Clicking or snapping sound at the time of injury
  • Painful movements of the hand
  • Limited range of movement
  • Misalignment of the bones when trying to make a fist
  • Open wound, in case of injury due to animal bite or hitting a sharp object
  • Little finger may bend inwards
  • Inability to bend or straighten the finger

Diagnosis:

A complete physical examination may reveal tenderness at the joint, misaligned bones, etc. X-ray or CT scan may be conducted byt the orthopedic doctor to diagnose the severity of the fracture and identify the presence of any foreign body, in case of an open wound in the hand.

Treatment:

The initial course of treatment may involve:

  1. Ice packs to reduce the pain and swelling
  2. Immobilization
  3. Elevation of the hand
  • Splinting may be done to support the hand and allow the bones to heal.
  • Open fractures may require stitches to avoid any infection. The doctor may also remove any foreign objects present in the hand.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to ease pain and discomfort
  • After the swelling has subsides, physical therapy may help to restore the range of motion of the hand.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed in case of an open wound or pus formation is noted in the hand.
  • Surgery may be needed if the metacarpal bone undergoes angulation, i.e. it moves from its normal position.

Dr. Allmon is a leading hand and wrist surgeon providing treatment for boxer’s fracture. To schedule an appointment with the Carrollton, TX based surgeon, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Elbow Arthritis: Orthopedic Treatment In Carrollton

by Administrator 23. November 2015 13:22

Elbow is a complex joint that connects the upper arm and lower arm. It mainly comprises of three bones -the ulna, humerus and radius. Elbow Arthritis is a debilitating condition wherein the cartilage covering any of these bones gets damaged. The condition can be divided into 3 categories - Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post-Traumatic Arthritis.

Causes:

  • Injury to the elbow joint
  • Wear and tear that occurs with progression of age
  • Sports activities that put pressure on the elbow joint
  • Elbow dislocation or fracture
  • Automobile accidents
  • History of persistent elbow injuries

Symptoms:

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness in the elbow
  • Warm feeling in the elbow joint
  • Difficulty in bending or stretching out the arm
  • Instability in the joint along with weakness
  • Pain that elevates with lifting objects
  • Locking of the elbow

Diagnosis:

An orthopedic doctor may conduct a physical examination of the joint to detect any visible signs of injury or damage. The patient may be asked to move his elbow to assess the range of motion. Imaging tests such as X-ray and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan may also be recommended to have a clearer view of the damage caused by Elbow Arthritis.

Treatment:

Depending on the severity of the condition, the orthopedic doctor may recommend any the following treatment methods:

  • Avoid strenuous activities: The doctor may advise the patient to immediately stop indulging in activities that put any kind of strain on the elbow. Even when exercising, adequate rest is required so as to relieve pressure.
  • Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to provide relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Compression packs: Ice and heat packs are also an effective treatment method to relax and loosen stiffness in the muscles.
  • Physical therapy: Certain stretching exercises may be advised by a physical therapist to get relief from pain and limited range of motion.
  • Brace or splint: Elbow braces or splints can be worn to provide support to the elbow while performing any physical activity.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention may be required if conventional treatment methods do not provide relief. The recovery period may depend on the extent of injury and fitness levels of the patient.

For complete treatment of Elbow Arthritis or any other medical condition of the elbow, hand or wrist, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Hand Fracture: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 26. October 2015 05:12

Hand fracture refers to a crack or break in any of the several small bones of the fingers (phalanges) or the long bones (metacarpals). The fracture can occur in different locations of the hand such as on the knuckle, in the shaft, or at the base of the bone. The injury is more common among sports persons who perform repetitive hand/wrist movements.

Causes

  • Work related Injury
  • Trauma or Car accident
  • Direct contact in sports
  • Falling on the outstretched hand on the hard surface
  • Sudden twisting of hand
  • Repeated or overuse of hand
  • Osteoporosis or calcium deficiency increases the risk of fracture

Symptoms

  • Pain that worsens with the movement of hand
  • Inability to hold or grab anything
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Inability to move the hand
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Deformity
  • Misalignment of fingers

Diagnosis

The physician conducts thorough physical examination to check the affected area for deformity, open wound, nerve damage, swelling or impaired blood flow. The doctor may recommend X-ray or other imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI to determine the extent of condition.

Treatment

The physician will align the broken bones properly to promote healing. The process of manipulating the pieces to join them together is called fracture reduction. Depending upon the severity of the fracture, the patient may be treated either non-surgically or surgically. The non-surgical treatment involves immobilizing the broken hand by using cast or a splint so that the bones can heal quickly. If the patient will not restrict the movement, the bones will not join rightly and it can lead to deformity.  The patient may be prescribed some pain relievers to offer relief from the pain.

Surgery may be required in case of an open fracture. In the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon will repair the multiple fractures or replace the displaced bones. He may have to implant plates, screws or wires to hold the broken bone pieces together and promote healing.

The patient needs to perform some stretching and strengthening exercises to restore the movement in wrist and hand.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of hand or wrist fracture, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon in Carrollton, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 N Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 8. September 2015 11:14

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a compressive injury to the median nerve that runs through the wrist. Activities that involve repetitive hand or wrist movements such as typing, painting, weight lifting, etc. may increase the risk of developing the condition. However, by making certain lifestyle changes, you can reduce the pressure on your hand and wrist, thereby, preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here are some tips to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Relax The Grip: You should relax your grip and use less force while writing for long, hitting the keys and doing any other job. To avoid any stress to the wrist, do not use your thumb and index finger to lift or grasp anything; rather grasp using the whole hand.
  • Keep Neutral Wrist Position: Keep your wrist straight and avoid using it in bent or flexed position. Make sure your wrist is relaxed while typing, writing or doing any other task. Place the keyboard at lower position or at elbow height.
  • Reduce Repetitive Movement: Avoid holding any object for long time and repetitively moving your arms or hands. Switch hands after sometime or alternate between tasks to offer relief to the hands. Make sure you do some warm up exercises before working and avoid overexerting your hands.
  • Take Breaks Frequently: Take short breaks after sometime and perform some stretching or bending exercises of wrists as well as hands. It is important to take breaks more frequently, if your work involves exerting a great amount of force.
  • Use Ergonomic Furniture: Make sure you have an ergonomic workstation that does not put strain on your arms, shoulders or wrists. The chair should be adjustable so that you can alter its height at a comfortable position. It is better to have a chair that offers proper back support.
  • Keep Hands Warm: People often develop hand stiffness and pain while working in the cold environment. Make sure you regulate the temperature of the room and if is not possible, wear gloves to keep the hands warm.
  • Slow Down The Speed: While working, follow a reasonable speed and offer your wrists the time to relax. Whenever required, use power tools to reduce the manual force.
  • Strengthen The Wrist And Hand Muscles: Weak muscles may also lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so do exercises to make your hands, arm, neck and shoulder muscles stronger. Exercises also improve the blood circulation and keep the hands and wrists stable.

By following these preventive measures, you can easily avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 N Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.

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Elbow Pain: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 23. July 2015 12:53

Elbow pain is a common complaint, which can occur due to various reasons, diseases and injuries. The elbow joint is a complex joint made of three long bones namely, Ulna, Radius and Humerus. This joint facilitates the movement of the forearm. In case of elbow pain, it is important seek professional medical assistance for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Causes

  • Tendonitis
  • Overuse of wrist and arm
  • Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Epicondylitis or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • Strain
  • Infection of the elbow
  • Pinched nerve
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repeated twisting motion
  • Elbow fracture or dislocation
  • Sprain

Symptoms

  • Pain that aggravates at night
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Inability to use the arm
  • Any deformity of the joint
  • Inability to flex or straighten the arm
  • Bruising around the arm
  • A protruding bone
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Warmth

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose the cause of elbow pain the orthopedic surgeon may physically examine the elbow. He may ask you certain questions regarding the symptoms and about your medical history. To determine the exact cause of elbow pain, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, bone scan, CT-scan, etc. These tests will help the doctor identify if the pain is due to a fracture, dislocation or other injuries.

Treatment

The orthopedic surgeon will devise a treatment plan after determining the extent of the condition. The orthopedic doctor may advise resting the joint and allowing the swelling to subside. Applying cold and hot packs can provide relief from pain and swelling.
Stretching the tendons and muscles of the joint is effective in treating many causes of elbow pain. Physiotherapy assists in the healing process and the physiotherapist may recommend certain exercises that focus on increasing strength, regaining mobility and helping you resume your activities or daily routine. The physician may also prescribe certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling and pain.

In severe cases of elbow pain such as fractures or dislocation, where non-surgical treatment options do not offer relief, the surgeon may recommend surgery. Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery is a treatment option for many elbow pain conditions. However, post surgery it is essential to follow rehabilitation instructions provided by the doctor and visit him for regular check ups.

Certain preventive measures such as wearing proper gear or equipment when playing a sport, using an elbow pad and taking regular breaks while performing repetitive tasks can help prevent elbow pain.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 19. June 2015 04:07

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, also known as Ulnar Nerve Entrapment, occurs due to trapping, compression or impingement of the ulnar nerve in the elbow. The condition is caused due to an increased pressure on the joint and is the second most common nerve entrapment syndrome in the human body. The ulnar nerve runs from the neck down to the hand and lies directly next to the elbow bone. Any forceful hit on this bone may affect the working of the nerve and create pressure on it, causing pain in the hand, elbow, neck or wrist.

Causes

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by activities that put pressure on the ulnar nerve or the elbow bone. These activities may include leaning on the elbow on a hard surface or bending the joint for prolonged duration.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the elbow
  • Numbness and tingling feeling
  • Decreased hand grip and strength
  • Decreased motion of the fingers and thumb
  • Deformity of the hand
  • Weakness in the fingers

Diagnosis

The orthopedic doctor may physically examine the elbow to check for symptoms and muscle weakness. He may bend the joint to examine the activity of the nerve. The doctor may also recommend Electromyography to observe the areas of nerve damage and check the severity of the condition.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

  • Exercises: The doctor may suggest the patient to do regular exercises after activities which strain the ulnar nerve like holding the phone to the ear for a long time, writing, carrying heavy bags etc. Various stretching exercises can help to distribute the pressure from one point of the elbow, which can ease pain.
  • Medication: The patient may be prescribed some anti-inflammatory medications to minimize pain and inflammation in the elbow.
  • Rest: The doctor may also advise the patient to rest the affected joint and lessen the activities that may cause irritation in the nerve.
  • Ice/heat: Applying ice and heat packs on the affected area can ease pain and reduce inflammation in the joint. It can soothe the nerves and help restore its normal functioning.
  • Splint: The doctor may recommend the patient to wear a splint during the night. This will limit the movement of the elbow and allow the nerve to heal effectively.

Surgical treatment

In severe cases, the doctors may also recommend surgery to prevent any further damage to the ulnar nerve.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, consult Dr. Allmon. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Tips To Prevent Hand Pain

by Administrator 21. May 2015 08:05

Hands are responsible for major tasks like, reaching distant things, grabbing, writing, touching, holding, lifting heavy objects etc. Each human hand consists of 27 bones including fingers, palm, wrist and arm. Hand pain can be triggered due to various causes like bruises, nerve disorders, fractures, infections, dislocated wrist, Arthritis, Tendinitis, etc. Following are some tips which can be helpful in the prevention of hand pain.

  • Prevent injuries: Hand pain that is caused by injuries like cuts and bruises can be easily prevented by taking more care of your hands. Handling objects that are potentially injuring, like knife, heavy objects etc. carefully can also help in saving your hand from an injury. Also, avoiding falls can be helpful in preventing injuries to the hand.
  • Wear protective gear while athletic activities: Injuries like wrist fractures and sprains are very common with people who get indulged in sports and athletic activities. You must wear proper protective gear at the time of these activities to reduce the risk of hand pain.
  • Build bone strength: One can also prevent the risk of hand and wrist pain by building bone strength. It can be built by taking measures like doing regular exercises, drinking milk and eating food that is rich in calcium.
  • Avoid straining the muscles: Repetitive movements of the hand or wrist can exhaust the muscles and tendons of the hand which can result in their inflammation. Proper rest should be provided to the muscles in order to prevent hand pain. It is recommended to take regular breaks while long sessions of activities like writing, knitting, etc. to prevent stress in the wrist and fingers.
  • Regular exercises: Hand pain can be prevented by doing regular exercises to build strength and regulate the flow of blood. Various stretching exercises of wrists and fingers can be helpful in releasing the stress from the muscles.
  • Proper posture: It is recommended to use proper posture while doing everyday activities like typing, chopping vegetables, carrying heavy things, holding the steering, etc. It can help in the prevention of muscle or tendon pulls and sprains.
  • Improve grip: For athletes, it is recommended to improve the grip while holding the gymnasium training bars at the time of workouts. This can reduce the possibility of injuries. It is suggested to use full hand while gripping as using only the thumb and index finger can strain the wrist. Gripping objects like pen, spoon, stair supports, etc. gently can also help in preventing muscle stress.

These preventive measures should be taken to prevent hand and wrist pain. In case of hand pain, visit your nearest hand/wrist doctor immediately.

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