Safe Summer Activities for Hands & Wrists

Warmer weather means more time outside with family, friends, and pets. Outdoor activities generally include lots of hand and wrist movement, which can equate to joint pain. Pool time, backyard barbecues, or cornhole tournaments can be challenging for people who suffer from hand and wrist issues. Thankfully, there are ways around these hurdles. 

Carole Dodge, a certified hand therapist at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan said, “Activity promotes activity. You get more lethargic when you don’t move and engaging with others is fun.” 

Read on to discover some fun ways to ensure your hands and wrists are feeling good this summer. 

Water Resistance
Pools are great for water resistance, which helps with achy joints. Dodge says, “The pool is great for swimming, walking back-and-forth, or any kind of upper- or lower-body exercise. Try playing ring toss or diving for pennies. If you have a pool noodle, you can squeeze it for hand-strengthening exercises. It’s a great way to focus on the fun and not the exercise so much.” 

Backyard Games
Ping-pong and cornhole are popular backyard games and can be fun for all ages. According to Dodge, “If you have hand pain, look for firmer bean bags. Some can be squishy, but the ones that are more filled are easier to grip. Utilizing the bigger joints and muscles will be less painful,” when it comes to using your whole arm versus only wrists or hands. Look for paddles or rackets that have a larger or wider handle for a more ergonomic grip. 

Board Game, Anyone?
Checkers, jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble, and the like are all great outdoor patio games. They’re a good distraction away from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens. Since the pieces for these games are small and light, people who suffer from hand or wrist joint pain should be able to play with ease. 

Flower Therapy
Gardening can be challenging for those who suffer from hand and wrist pain, but it’s one of the most easily modifiable. Raised beds put much less stress on the body, as kneeling on the ground is unnecessary. Avoid twisting your body or stretching in awkward positions if you choose to sit. Make sure you take ample breaks and utilize joint-friendly tools such as gloves with rubberized palms or wet the soil to ensure pulling weeds is easier. Use a hose nozzle that does not require squeezing and lightweight hoses that can move around easily.    

Do you suffer from hand and/or wrist pain? If so, call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Identifying, Treating Skier’s Thumb

An Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injury is better known as skier’s thumb. It is identified as an injury, tear, or other damage done to the soft tissue connecting the bones of the thumb that provide stability to the thumb joint. Many skiers experience this injury while partaking in the sport. 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “A partial or complete rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the metacarpophalangeal joint of the thumb, skier’s thumb, is an often-encountered problem. It concerns 86% of all injuries to the base of the thumb. The estimated incidence in the US is approximately 200,000 patients per year. The incidence in the Netherlands is not known. In the last four years, we have diagnosed approximately 85 patients in our own hospital.” 

When the ligament on the inside portion of the thumb joint is torn from the bone, the pinch strength of the thumb is affected. It often takes place with a dislocation or pulling outward of the thumb. 

To diagnose skier’s thumb, specialists analyze the patient history and perform a thorough exam. Patients often report a thumb injury where it was pulled backward or to the side. Swelling is also present, combined with the thumb ligament showing instability. X-rays are typically performed to further gain insight, and an MRI to confirm diagnosis. 

Cast immobilization is generally the treatment for skier’s thumb, with minimal surgical options available. If the injury is treated early on, the ligament might have the potential to be repaired and brought back to the bone. An internal brace allows for a swift recovery. However, if a strong ligament is absent, a tendon can be taken from the wrist to reconstruct the ligament. 

Generally, the recommended immobilization period varies between four and six weeks, usually followed by physical therapy. After roughly three months, the thumb should be completely functional again. 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

World’s First Double Hand Transplant is Performed

The National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system throughout England, recently performed the world’s first double hand transplant to treat scleroderma. 

Steven Gallagher suffered from scleroderma, a severe condition that affects the skin and internal organs. For Gallagher, the disease forced his hands to close into a fist position after 13 years of initially presenting itself as a rash. 

Gallagher underwent a 12-hour surgery. Afterward, he said, “After the operation, I woke up and it was quite surreal because before it I had my hands and then when I woke up from the operation, I still had hands so in my head I never really lost any hands. These hands are amazing, everything has happened so quickly. From the moment I woke up from the operation I could move them. It has given me a new lease of life. I’m still finding things hard just now, but things are getting better every week with the physio and the occupational therapists, everything is just slowly getting better. The pain is the big thing. The pain before the operation was horrendous, I was on so much pain relief it was unbelievable, but now I’ve no pain at all.” 

At first, the double hand transplant was dismissed by Gallagher. Once the pain became intolerable, he decided to go ahead with the surgery despite the risks. 

“My hands started to close; it got to the point where it was basically two firsts, my hands were unusable, I couldn’t do a thing apart from lift things with two hands. I could not grab anything; it was a struggle to get dressed and things like that.” 

Professor Simon Kay of Leeds teaching hospitals’ NHS trust said the surgery was “A huge team effort” with over 30 healthcare employees. 

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Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Arthritis Surgery Expectations

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term arthritis refers to over 100 conditions that affect the joints. Generally, arthritis is characterized by pain, inflammation, or swelling of a joint, surrounding, and other connective tissues. 

Typical arthritis treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, physical or occupational therapy, assistive aids, and remedies without medication. If these treatments do not work, surgery might be recommended to help remediate the damaged joint, decrease pain, and improve joint functionality. 

Arthritis surgery benefits include: 

  • Minimizing joint pain
  • Increasing joint functionality
  • Reducing future joint damage
  • Lowering the patient’s use of medications
  • Increasing mobility
  • Improving daily activities
  • Bettering quality of life
  • Avoiding more intensive future surgeries

Some different types of arthritis surgery are:

  • Joint Resurfacing: replacing part of a damaged joint with an implant
  • Arthroscopy: fixing tiny tears within the joint’s soft tissue
  • Synovectomy: removing most – or all – of the inflamed joint tissue lining
  • Osteotomy: cutting off a piece of bone or adding a wedge near a damaged joint
  • Arthrodesis aka Fusion: joining two or more bones using pins, plates, or rods
  • Total Joint Replacement aka Arthroplasty: removing sections of damaged joints, replacing them with a metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthesis 
  • Joint revision: replacing an old, damaged joint implant and replacing with a new one

The complications associated with arthritis surgery include: 

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced healing time

Do you experience pain or arthritis in your hands or wrists? Contact the Michigan Hand & Wrist experts to receive a consultation and get relief today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Treating Thumb Arthritis

The basal joint, also known as the CMC (Carpometacarpal) joint, is one of the most versatile parts of our hand: the thumb. Due to its versatility, the thumb can deteriorate quickly and develop arthritis early in life.

People who suffer from osteoarthritis typically also develop basal joint arthritis, as well as women over 40. Even with normal pinching and gripping, the thumb joint is especially prone to issues from normal use. It is not uncommon for people to only have basal joint arthritis without any other forms.

Some of the treatments for thumb arthritis include nonoperative and surgical reconstruction. Read on to learn more about both options.

Nonoperative Treatments

  • Ice: Applying cold for five- to 15 minutes to the most swollen or tender areas can help to reduce inflammation.
  • Brace or Splint: Make sure your splint or brace supports the thumb.
  • Massage
  • Cortisone Injections
  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications): Examples of these pharmaceuticals include aspirin, ibuprofen, Naprosyn, or meloxicam. Ensure you check with your pharmacist before taking new medications to reduce the chance of drug interactions.

Surgical Reconstruction

  • Total Joint Reconstruction: also known as CMC Arthroplasty or LRTI (Ligament Reconstruction Tendon Interposition) procedure.
  • Capsulodesis: meant to tighten the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint
  • Arthrodesis: Surgically fusing the MCP joint

If you or someone you know has thumb pain, contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Wrist Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention

The wrist comprises several joints that help you perform many essential functions like cooking, self-care, computer work, and much more. Pain in the wrist can interfere with your ability to perform day-to-day tasks and should be addressed immediately. Read on to learn more about common wrist problems, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention.

 Common Causes

There are quite a few reasons for pain in the wrist. These can range from simple fatigue to an injury. Some of the most common reasons you may experience wrist pain include:

  • Carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • De Quervain’s disease
  • Triangular fibrocartilage complex injury
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Wrist tendonitis or bursitis
  • Repetitive strain injury
  • Wrist sprain

Visit your physician to get a thorough examination and diagnosis so you can pursue the correct treatment path.

Symptoms

Pain is the most reported symptom of wrist problems, and it can range from dull to sharp or achy, depending upon the cause. Other symptoms are:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Clicking sounds
  • Difficulty gripping

If the wrist isn’t treated, pain often increases in intensity and frequency. Always contact your doctor if the pain makes daily activities difficult, causes a limited range of motion, or if you experience worsening weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Treatment Options

Your doctor will examine your wrist and ask questions about your symptoms to reach a diagnosis. Possible treatments include:

  • Home treatment with rest, ice, and pain-relievers
  • Splints to immobilize the wrist
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Exercises to manage pain, stretch, and strengthen the wrist
  • Surgery for more severe problems

You may require imaging, arthroscopy, or nerve conduction studies in addition to an exam to pinpoint the problem.

Preventative Measures

Protect yourself from trauma by taking measures to prevent wrist pain and injury. You can do this by using good posture while working at your desk, investing in a keyboard that reduces wrist strain, and taking regular breaks. It also helps to learn and use tools and equipment properly to limit stress on the wrist and wear guards when engaging in sports or high-impact activities.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Easing Arthritis Pain with Hand & Wrist Exercises

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes pain, inflammation, joint deformity, and eventually, deterioration. The body attacks its own joints, particularly the hands and fingers, which can ultimately lead to loss of hand function. Exercising or moving joints can help alleviate pain, strengthen muscles, increase fine motor skills, grip strength, and more. Try some of these hand and finger exercises below to prevent arthritis-related deformities.

Putty Squeeze – improve grip strength

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Place the putty tube in the palm of your hand
  • Squeeze fingers to make a fist around the putty tube
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Putty Pinch – improve thumb muscles and pinch grip

  • Roll a piece of putty into a ball
  • Place the putty between your thumb and pointer finger
  • Press your thumb into the putty ball in a pinching motion
  • Squeeze your fingers and thumb together
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Finger Adduction – improve finger mobility and stabilize joints

  • Roll a piece of putty into a tube
  • Weave the putty tube between each of your four fingers
  • Squeeze fingers together into the putty, bringing them as close as possible
  • Maintain for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Rubber Band Finger Abduction – improve finger mobility

  • Touch your thumb and four fingers together
  • Place a rubber band around them
  • Push your fingers out against the rubber band, stretching the rubber band
  • Maintain outstretched fingers for five seconds
  • Repeat ten times

Sequential Finger Extension – improve finger mobility and coordination

  • Place your fingers and palm on a flat surface
  • Isolate just the index finger and lift it up off of the surface
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Bring your index finger back down, then isolate and lift your middle finger
  • Keep your palm and the rest of your fingers flat
  • Repeat these steps for your ring and pinky fingers
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

Thumb Abduction – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face each other
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out toward the opposite hand
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Flexion and Extension – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands out in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Isolate your thumbs and extend them out away from your palms
  • Relax your thumbs by bringing them in line with your other fingers
  • Repeat ten times

Thumb Opposition – strengthen your thumb

  • Hold your hands in front of your body
  • Twist your hands so your palms face upward
  • Bring your thumb and pointer finger to touch, tip to tip
  • Relax your thumb and pointer finger by placing them back in line with your palms
  • Repeat this process with your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger
  • Do ten repetitions for each finger

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Hand Injuries Resulting from Smartphones

The world is at our fingertips with help from smartphones. With this novel invention, we can easily connect with family, friends, read recipes, browse through photos, play games, control other electronics, watch movies, and more. Now that smartphones have been around for quite some time, we’re seeing some common injuries in the hand which are directly caused by these devices.

Text Claw
Though this condition has been around since the typewriter era, text claw is a growing issue with people who use their smartphones to communicate. Text claw is marked by cramping and pain in the fingers. The typical treatment for text claw is to immobilize the hand and fingers with a brace, massage, or stretch the area.

Cellphone Elbow
Similar to those who complain of carpal tunnel after using keyboards excessively, smartphone users are susceptible to cubital-tunnel syndrome. Those who use their smartphone to watch a video and hold it in the air for two or more hours might experience pain in the elbow, numbing, tingling, etc., in the forearm and hand, which are all telltale signs of cellphone elbow. Switching hands is an easy solution, along with using a pillow or pad to prop up your smartphone.

Smartphone Pinkie
Smartphones are sometimes large, bulky, and awkward for some people to get a good grip on. Add to that the fact that most people do not want to drop or lose their smartphones; they’re holding on to them reasonably tightly. This grip can cause calluses on certain fingers, along with numbness or painful pinky fingers. To treat this issue, change the position of your hand and try to shift your grip often.

Cuts and Glass Slivers
Quite possibly the most apparent problems with smartphones, cracked screens or cameras can cause small lesions in the hand. Tiny slivers of glass can break off and puncture your skin; these tiny shards can also end up in your pocket, purse, or bed, creating another potential injury site. If broken or cracked, replace your smartphone whenever possible, as well as take advantage of screen protectors.

Texting Thumb
While texting, do you use all your fingers or just your thumbs? Most people use their thumbs to text or scroll through their phones, leading to texting thumb, trigger thumb, or arthritis. To remedy this situation, change your behavior by using a stylus to text, voice-to-text, or use more of your other fingers.

Hand, wrist, and elbow problems can result from ignoring smartphone hand injuries. If you suspect something is brewing in your hand or wrist, contact the experts at Michigan Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

All About Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery

Did you know the thumb joint is the most mobile in the hand? It can move up and down, in and out, and rotate; our thumbs move hundreds of times daily. When we use a hammer or hold a glass, the thumb joint helps grip the object and stabilize the other fingers while writing or counting money.

Because our thumbs are used so much, the joint can deteriorate over time, causing arthritis in some individuals. Osteoarthritis can cause the smooth cartilage to become rough, resulting in pain, swelling, limited motion, and a grinding or popping sensation.

After a physician diagnoses arthritis and joint deterioration, non-surgical treatments will be recommended, including pain relief through medications, cortisone injections, and rest through splinting. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses in time for some individuals. After non-surgical methods are exhausted, a joint reconstructive surgery called Arthroplasty is recommended.

Arthroplasty can be done as an outpatient procedure or require an overnight stay. There are several different ways surgeons can replace the thumb joint. Once the surgery is complete, a splint is applied to the thumb to promote healing and rest. Discomfort and swelling are normal; pain medication will be prescribed to alleviate them.

It generally takes roughly six weeks for patients to recover from Arthroplasty completely. After immobilization is deemed sufficient by the surgeon, physical therapy is recommended.

Risks associated with thumb joint replacement surgery include tendon injury, vascular injury, and possible infection, though extremely rare.

Do you have arthritis in your thumb? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to experience relief today!

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New Nerve Cell Discovered in Retina

A new type of neuron, or nerve cell, has been discovered in the retina by scientists at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

A complex group of neurons communicate with each other in the central nervous system, relaying sensory and motor information. These interneurons are an essential aspect of communication. This finding marks a breakthrough for scientists who are working toward a better understanding of the central nervous system. By identifying and classifying all neurons, researchers can more easily distinguish between different aspects.

A research team led by Ning Tian, Ph.D., identified the interneuron in the mammalian retina. Tian said, “Based on its morphology, physiology, and genetic properties, this cell doesn’t fit into the five classes of retinal neurons first identified more than 100 years ago. We propose they might belong to a new retinal neuron class by themselves.”

The new neuron is dubbed Campana after a handbell, resembling its shape. Campana cells are able to transmit visual signals in the retina, but the exact function is yet to be determined.

Tian said, “In the brain, persistent firing cells are believed to be involved in memory and learning. Since Campana cells have a similar behavior, we theorize they could play a role in prompting a temporal ‘memory’ of a recent situation.”

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.