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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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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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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