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Injuries, Symptoms & Treatments
Get a grip on your wrist pain.
They’re made of an incredible network of bones, cartilage, nerves, connective tissues and joint fluid — all working together to perform some of the strongest and most intricate movements on a daily basis. And yet, they’re surprisingly delicate. When your wrists hurt — whether from carpal tunnel, a sprain or worse — it often seems like you can’t focus on anything else.
Wrist pain can be caused by overuse, traumatic injuries, or arthritis and other diseases. Some issues can be treated at home with anti-inflammatory medications and hot or cold treatments, but you should always be checked out by a hand doctor first. Depending upon the severity of your condition, orthopaedic care may be needed to avoid long-term complications. Your treatment may range from physical therapy to corticosteroid injections to surgery.
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Use the convenient search tool to find information on orthpedic conditions and treatments offered by our practice.. his assures that the information you are researching has been confirmed by Dr. Bellapianta as well as The American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons.
Diseases/Conditions of the wrist
Conditions of the Wrist
Our wrist is a complex joint made up of eight small bones arranged in two rows between the bones in your forearm and the bones in your hand. Tough bands of ligament connect your wrist bones to each other and to your forearm bones and hand bones. Tendons attach muscles to bones. Damage to any of the parts of your wrist can cause pain and affect your ability to use your wrist and hand.
Sudden impacts. Wrist injuries often occur when you fall forward onto your outstretched hand. This can cause sprains, strains and even fractures. A scaphoid fracture involves a bone on the thumb side of the wrist. This type of fracture may not show up on X-rays immediately following the injury.
Repetitive stress. Any activity that involves repetitive wrist motion — from hitting a tennis ball or bowing a cello to driving cross-country — can inflame the tissues around joints or cause stress fractures, especially when you perform the movement for hours on end without a break. De Quervain's disease is a repetitive stress injury that causes pain at the base of the thumb.
Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones deteriorates over time. Osteoarthritis in the wrist is uncommon and usually occurs only in people who have injured that wrist in the past.
Rheumatoid arthritis. A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, rheumatoid arthritis commonly involves the wrist. If one wrist is affected, the other one usually is, too.
Other Diseases and Conditions
Carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when there's increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel, a passageway in the palm side of your wrist.
Ganglion cysts. These soft tissue cysts occur most often on the part of your wrist opposite your palm. Smaller ganglion cysts seem to cause more pain than larger ones do.
Kienbock's disease. This disorder typically affects young adults and involves the progressive collapse of one of the small bones in the wrist. Kienbock's disease occurs when the blood supply to this bone is compromised.
A fracture of the distal end of the radius - the end nearest the wrist -is one of the most common types of fractures. It may be part of a complex injury that involves other tissues, nerves and bones of the wrist.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
This condition, also called stenosing tenosynovitis of the first dorsal compartment of the wrist, is an inflammation of the sheath that wraps around the tendons at the thumb side of the wrist.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pain, numbness and tingling in your hand may be from carpal tunnel syndrome. It happens when the area around the main nerve to your hand is too tight.
Kienbock's disease is the death and deterioration of the lunate, one of the small bones in the wrist. It usually occurs in young adults and causes wrist pain, weakness, and loss of motion.
Common Treatments of General Orthopedics
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat problems inside a joint.
Arthroscopy utilizes a small fiber optic instrument called an arthroscope that enables the surgeon to see inside the joint without making large incisions into the muscle and tissue.
The wrist is a complex joint with eight small bones and many connecting ligaments. Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat a number of conditions of the wrist, including chronic wrist pain, wrist fractures, ganglion cysts, and ligament tears.
The surgeon makes small incisions (called portals) through the skin in specific locations around a joint.
These incisions are less than half an inch long. The arthroscope, which is approximately the size of a pencil, is inserted through these incisions. The arthroscope contains a small lens, a miniature camera, and a lighting system.
The three-dimensional images of the joint are projected through the camera onto a television monitor. The surgeon watches the monitor as he or she moves the instrument within the joint.
Probes, forceps, knives, and shavers at the ends of the arthroscope are used to correct problems uncovered by the surgeon.
Diagnostic arthroscopy might be used if it is not clear what is causing wrist pain. It might also be used if wrist pain continues for several months despite nonsurgical treatment.
Before arthroscopic surgery, your doctor will do the following.
Usually, arthroscopic surgery requires only that the hand and arm are numbed (regional anesthesia). A sedative may be given to further relax the patient.
Two or more small incisions (portals) are made on the back of the wrist. The arthroscope and instruments are inserted through those portals and the joint is observed through the camera on the end of the arthroscope.
After the surgery, the incisions are closed with a small stitch and a dressing is applied. Sometimes a splint is used.
Arthroscopic Surgical Treatment
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to treat a number of conditions of the wrist.
For the first 2 or 3 days after surgery, the wrist should be elevated and the bandage should be kept clean and dry. Ice may help keep swelling down. There are exercises that can be used to help maintain motion and rebuild your strength. Although pain after surgery is usually mild, analgesic medications will help relieve any pain.
Carpal Tunnel Release
This surgical procedure treats the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. It relieves pressure on a nerve that travels through your wrist. This nerve is called the "median" nerve.
This minimally invasive outpatient procedure allows the surgeon to evaluate and treat injuries and disorders of the ligaments, cartilage, and bones of the wrist.
Distal Radius Fracture Repair
This procedure uses a metal implant to stabilize a fracture in the radius near the wrist. The radius is the largest of the two bones of the forearm.
This surgical procedure relieves pain and corrects deformities of the wrist caused by injury, trauma, arthritis, or genetic defect. The procedure fuses the radius, the carpal and metacarpal bones.
Experience the latest in orthopedic care
We offer the latest in non-invasive treatments including Regenerative Cell and Platelet Rich Injections.
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