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: The doctor may recommend certain exercises 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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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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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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Wrist Pain: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 19. March 2015 09:12

Wrist is a complex joint that is made of a number of bones, which are connected with various ligaments, joints, muscle and nerves. Damage to any of these structures can lead to wrist injury. Wrist pain commonly occurs due to an injury or fracture, repeated stress, carpal tunnel syndrome, Arthritis and various other reasons.

Causes:

Wrist pain occurs due to an array of reasons including

  • Injury and fracture that occurs because of falling on the outstretched hand
  • With age the bones become weak and susceptible to injury
  • Tendonitis and bursitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which may affect one or both the wrists
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome that results due to compression of median nerve
  • Repetitive movement of wrist such as typing on keyboard, sewing, etc
  • Overuse of wrist
  • Infection
  • Gout
  • Ganglion cyst

Symptoms:

Some of the common symptoms of wrist pain include:

  • Pain of varying intensity
  • Burning sensation
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Lumps
  • Bruises
  • Inability to move the joint
  • Muscle weakness
  • Wrist deformity
  • Inflammation

Diagnosis:

In order to treat the wrist pain effectively, it is important to diagnose the condition and determine the cause of the pain. The orthopedic doctor will physically examine the wrist and question the patient about his medical history. Certain imaging tests such as MRI, X-ray, CT scan, bone scan, also assist in determining the extent of the condition.

Treatment:

Depending upon the cause of the pain, patient’s age and the general health of the patient, the orthopedic surgeon will decide a course of treatment. In order to manage pain and improve mobility of the wrist, the doctor recommends various treatments.

The patient can be advised to use ice packs, cold compression and elastic bandage to get relief from the injury. The physician usually also prescribes anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation and pain. The patients are also advised to use wrist support such as braces, splints, or cast in order to support the wrist. In case the symptoms are severe like a fracture or symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, then the orthopedic surgeon may need to repair the tendons and ligaments surgically. The surgeon frees the trapped tendons, removes damaged tissues and fuses the wrist.

For rehabilitation and post surgery care, the physician could refer the patient to an occupational or physical therapist. The physiotherapist will help the patient rebuild the strength with different exercises and recover from the surgery.

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