Hand & Wrist
Information on common injuries treated by Rapid Access Orthopedics
Hand & Finger Fractures
Fractures of the hand and fingers are the most common fracture leading to an emergency room visit. These are often caused by crush injuries, finger-twisting injuries, or axial loading (such as from punching an object). Many of these injuries do not require surgical treatment.
Wrist & Distal Radius Fractures
When someone falls on their outstretched hand, they may sustain a “broken wrist.” The bone that is usually broken is called the radius. It is the larger bone of the forearm. The end of the bone toward the wrist is called the distal end. The medical term for “broken bone” is fracture. Therefore, the medical term for the most common type of “broken wrist” is a distal radius fracture. There are many treatment choices. Your orthopedic surgeon will describe what options are right for you. The choice depends on many factors, such as the nature of your fracture, your age and activity level, and your surgeon’s personal preferences.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition caused by compression, or entrapment, of the motor and sensory nerve in the wrist (median nerve), resulting in pain, muscle weakness, impaired reflexes, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Nerve compression is often associated with repetitive activities that cause stress injury, swelling, and inflammation.
A dislocated finger joint occurs when an injury causes damage to the joint ligaments or capsule, such that the joint forming surface of a finger bone or phalanx is extruded out of the joint. Thus, a finger dislocation leads to failure of joint mobility and causes a stiff, swollen, and painful finger joint. Sometimes, a finger bone may also be broken along with the dislocation, in which case it is called a fracture-dislocation. Another situation is when the dislocation is incomplete and the joint surface glides in and out of the joint, when subjected to force in a particular direction. This is called subluxation, and is due to the laxity of the joint capsule or ligaments after an injury.
Injuries to the fingertips are common in accidents at home, work, and play. They can occur when a fingertip slams in a car door, while chopping vegetables, or even when clearing debris from a lawnmower or snowblower. Fingertip injuries can be crushing, tearing, or amputating injuries to the tips of fingers and thumbs. Injury can include damage to skin and soft tissue, bone (distal phalanx), or to the nail and nailbed. The tips of longer fingers tend to be injured more often because they are last to escape from harm’s way. Fingertips are rich with nerves and are extremely sensitive. Without prompt and proper care, a fingertip injury can disrupt the complex function of the hand, possibly resulting in permanent deformity and disability.
Hand & Wrist Sprains
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue that connect one bone to another. A wrist sprain is a common injury. There are many ligaments in the wrist that can be stretched or torn, resulting in a sprain. This occurs when the wrist is bent forcefully, such as in a fall onto an outstretched hand.
Hand infections can cause severe problems that persist even after the infection has resolved, such as stiffness, loss of strength, and even loss of tissues such as skin, nerve and even bone. Thus early and aggressive treatment of hand infections is essential. When seen early, some infections can be treated with antibiotics, local rest, elevation and other non-operative measures. However, even after a day or two, many infections can cause severe problems, unless treated with a combination of antibiotics, surgical drainage, and removal of infected or dead tissues. Any drainage or pus should be sent for laboratory testing to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and the appropriate antibiotic for treatment. Infections resistant to commonly used antibiotics are increasingly common (known as methicillin-resistant staph aureus infections, MRSA). They may require comprehensive care rendered by hand surgeons, infectious disease specialists, and hand therapists.
The flexor tendon can become irritated as it slides through the tendon sheath tunnel. As it becomes more and more irritated, the tendon may thicken and nodules may form, making its passage through the tunnel more difficult. The tendon sheath may also thicken, causing the opening of the tunnel to become smaller. If you have a trigger finger, the tendon becomes momentarily stuck at the mouth of the tendon sheath tunnel when you try to straighten your finger. You might feel a pop as the tendon slips through the tight area and your finger will suddenly shoot straight out.
Bites are extremely common and can cause significant pain and other problems, especially when associated with an infection. Early recognition of warning signs and appropriate treatment are key in minimizing potential problems from the bite. When an animal bites, bacteria from its mouth can contaminate the wound. These bacteria may grow within the wound and cause an infection. The consequences of infection range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications. The major concern of all bite wounds is subsequent infection. In the United States, about 1% of dog bites and 6% of cat bites require hospitalization. With swift and proper care, the prognosis is usually very good for recovery from these injuries.
401 South Van Brunt St, Englewood, NJ 07631
Located on the 3rd Floor
Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday | 8:30am – 6:00pm