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Hand and wrist pain can be mild and irritating or severe and debilitating. Even a small amount of pain can significantly interfere with normal activities, so it is worth seeing a specialist. Orthopedists specializing in hands, fingers, and wrists can evaluate you, diagnose the underlying condition, and provide treatment options.

EmergeOrtho specialists always strive to manage conditions non-surgically. If your condition requires surgery, our experienced orthopedic surgeons can provide minimally invasive procedures with shorter recovery times.

Symptoms of Hand and Wrist Injuries and Conditions

Injuries and conditions occurring in the hand and wrist often cause pain. The range of symptoms depends on the location and type of problem. For instance, if the issue includes a compressed nerve, you might have numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the wrist, a hand, or even arm.

Damage or injuries in the wrist and hand can also cause swelling and inflammation, leading to reduced mobility in the joints and weakness in the wrist.

What Causes Hand and Wrist Pain?

There are many potential causes of pain and other symptoms in the hand and wrist. Common causes include injuries, arthritis, tendinitis, cysts, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The symptoms you have will depend on the specific underlying cause.

  • Acute Injuries. A sudden impact, such as catching a fall with your hands or a car accident, can cause injuries. This includes sprains or strains, stretching of the ligaments and tendons, and bone fractures. These injuries typically cause acute pain.
  • Repetitive Injuries. Any type of repetitive wrist or hand movement can lead to irritation in tissues that causes pain and swelling. Often, rest, icing, and changing the activity are adequate to heal these injuries. More severe cases might require surgery.
  • Arthritis. Arthritis, the deterioration of cushioning tissue in joints, is one of the most common reasons for joint pain. Osteoarthritis is the natural wear and tear that occurs with age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Posttraumatic arthritis often occurs in the wrist years after an injury. All types of arthritis cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in the wrist through which the median nerve travels from the neck to the hand. The flexor tendons attached to the thumb and fingers also go through the tunnel. If the carpal tunnel narrows, it puts pressure on the median nerve, causing hand and finger numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. Carpal tunnel syndrome does not always have an identifiable cause, but repetitive motion, heredity, and conditions that cause swelling often play a role.
  • De Quervain’s Tendinitis. Inflammation in the tendons of the hand and wrist is a common source of pain. De Quervain’s is a particular type of tendinitis that affects the connective tissue near the thumb. This condition makes it difficult to move the wrist, use the thumb, or grip an object. Wrist tendinitis can cause finger pain, but the pain is usually more in the wrist.
  • Ulnar Wrist Tendinitis. This type of tendinitis occurs on the other side of the wrist, by the pinkie finger. Ulnar wrist pain treatment depends on the underlying cause but usually begins with conservative treatments like splinting, medication, and physical therapy.
  • Trigger Finger. You might have trigger finger if your finger feels stiff and painful and feels like it locks or pops when you try to straighten it. This happens when the flexor tendon along the finger gets inflamed or thickened. It can be caused by repetitive gripping of an object and is more common in people with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Treatments include both non-surgical and surgical options.
  • Ganglion Cyst. Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled, non-cancerous lumps that most often grow on the back of the wrist. They can appear and disappear without treatment and do not typically cause symptoms. If you are wondering if a ganglion cyst in the wrist can also cause arm pain, the answer is yes. If it compresses a nerve, the cyst can cause local pain that radiates up the arm.

Anyone can have wrist and hand pain resulting from one of these conditions. Those at risk of hand and wrist pain often participate in sports and are more likely to suffer related injuries. Others at risk include people who do repetitive work with their hands, like cutting hair, sewing, or typing.What Kind of Doctor Should I See for Wrist Pain?

Injuries and conditions of the wrist and hands involve the bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Orthopedists specialize in the musculoskeletal system and are best qualified to help you with related issues, like arthritis, bone fractures, tendinitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Your primary doctor might see you for hand and wrist pain, but they will most likely suggest you see an orthopedic specialist.

How Do Hand and Wrist Specialists Treat Pain?

The orthopedic hand and wrist specialists at EmergeOrtho will evaluate your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and run diagnostic tests before determining treatment options. They always start with conservative, non-surgical options. These include medications, splints, and physical therapy.

If non-surgical interventions fail to provide adequate relief, orthopedists then recommend surgery. Some of the many hand and wrist procedures our specialists provide at EmergeOrtho include:

  • Bone spur at distal joint release
  • Carpal tunnel surgery
  • Distal joint fusions
  • Ganglion cyst removal
  • Hand and wrist urgent care
  • Joint arthroplasty
  • Joint replacement
  • Surgical repair of fractures
  • Wrist arthroscopy

EmergeOrtho’s multiple North Carolina locations include orthopedic surgeons and hand and wrist specialists who can provide urgent and ongoing care. They provide diagnosis, treatment, surgery, and rehabilitation to relieve the pain and stiffness of injuries and conditions and restore mobility. To consult with one of our specialists, submit a request for an appointment.

Find a Hand & Wrist Specialist Near You Today

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