Health Tips - Hand, Wrist & Forearm

Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group
Orthopedic Doctors
Physical, Hand & Aquatic Therapy

Two locations:

23456 Hawthorne Blvd.,
Suite 300
Torrance, CA 90505-4716

El Segundo

Phone: 310-316-6190
Fax: 310-540-7362

By Date: Current | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

By Topic: General Orthopedics | Neck, Back & Spine | Shoulder, Elbow & Upper Extremity | Hand, Wrist & Forearm | Hip & Pelvis | Knee & Upper Leg | Foot, Ankle & Lower Leg

January 15, 2017
"My finger got bent backwards and it still hurts A LOT!"

Ball players—volleyball, basketball, football, etc.—see injury from a finger bent backwards more often than others. When the ball forces the fingers to bend the wrong way (toward the wrist), it can cause a volar plate injury. The volar plate is a ligament that attaches the PIP joint (where the finger meets the hand) to the flexor tendons, which are attached to the bones. Acute pain right after the incident, swelling, and bruising at that particular joint are the most common symptoms.

Don't try to diagnose this injury on your own. Finger and hand pain that doesn't get better quickly on its own and/or with ice and rest usually requires medical attention. Treatments are different depending on whether there was just tissue damage (ligaments and tendons) versus a fracture (broken bone). An x-ray will aid your orthopedic doctor in properly diagnosing your injury.

Ligament or tendon damage only is considered a sprain or just soft tissue damage. Treatment often includes splinting or buddy taping to the finger next to it, special finger exercises (hand therapy may be prescribed), ice, and some time avoiding the activity that caused the injury.

Sometimes a small piece of bone will break off the main bone when the injury occurs. This is called an avulsion fracture, and it needs a specialized orthopedic hand surgeon to reattach it with wires or pins. Ignoring a broken finger or splinting it before it's correctly positioned can lead to lifelong pain and mobility problems.

June 23, 2016
Type with Straight Wrists. Jackhammer Less.
(And Cyclists, Change Hand Position Frequently.)

The ulnar nerve is a common culprit for numbness and tingling in the hand. If it's constricted in the wrist area, the pinky side of the hand can become numb and tingly. The thumb and forefinger can lose pinching strength when the muscle between them becomes atrophied as well. These symptoms develop gradually and can be a result of repetitive tasks irritating the nerve (such as typing with bent wrists, jackhammering, and similar actitivites), putting too much prolonged pressure on a bent wrist (such as long bicycle rides), or most often, a small ganglion cyst that develops in the wrist area and puts pressure on the nerve.

This condition is called Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome of the Wrist. It should be properly diagnosed and treated by an orthopedic doctor specializing in hand, wrist, and arm problems. Because the ulnar nerve runs from the neck to the fingers, the doctor will likely examine the elbow as well. Other symptoms he or she may look for during the examination include dry skin between the fingers and tingling in the hand when certain spots are tapped. MRI imaging can show a cyst. X-ray imaging can reveal a bone fragment. Either of these can be blamed for the symptoms. And even if you don't know exactly what's wrong, symptoms that are getting worse are usually worth a trip to the doctor.

Treatment for Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome depends on the cause. Since most cases are caused by a cyst, which must be removed surgically, seeing an experienced, well-trained hand surgeon is recommended. If the condition is brought on by activities, the doctor will likely advise changing them to reduce or eliminate pressure on the nerve. Anti-inflammatory medications, ice, and a period of rest are also common treatments.

December 28, 2015
"I hurt my arm and my fingertips are numb!"

Because our nerve pathways run throughout the body, any orthopedic injury can also be accompanied by nerve problems. A nerve that is pressured or stretched too much can be damaged. While nerve injuries can be permanent in the worst scenarios, most are temporary and will heal after some type of medical treatment, or even after just ice and rest.

Persisting numbness in the fingertips following an arm or elbow injury is cause to see an orthopedic doctor, preferably one specializing in treating the arm area. (Any inflammation through the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder, neck, or spine can affect feeling in the hands.) If the injury is not severe, your doctor will take steps to reduce inflammation. In most cases such treatment will take pressure off the nerves and restore feeling. A "pins and needles" sensation during the healing period is a sign that feeling is coming back.

A more severe arm injury can cause equally severe nerve damage. Not only may the injury itself require surgery, but additional surgery to repair the nerve may be required. This can be done by fixing the existing nerve structure or by grafting in a new section in place of a missing segment. Any of these surgeries are best performed by an orthopedic doctor specializing in the arm area. A post-surgery custom physical therapy program will follow this type of injury.

Numbness or tingling in any part of the body, whether it set in gradually or suddenly, needs medical attention.

July 29, 2015
POP QUIZ: Which finger is most likely to develop arthritis?

There are many different types of arthritis. The most common are osteoarthritis (disease that causes cartilage to wear away) and rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disease that causes joint lining to swell). Both cause pain in the affected joints and if left untreated, worsen over time. Arthritis is more common in women than men, but millions of people of both sexes are afflicted.

Arthritis in the hands can be especially painful because we use them so much. And if you guessed that the thumb (at the joint closest to the wrist) is often the first place arthritis is felt, you were correct. Why makes that joint so vulnerable? It's one of the joints we use the most, it's the finger we most rely on for strength, and it has a wide range of motion.

Arthritis can also develop early in any finger joint as a result of a previous injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. Rheumatoid arthritis in the hands often progresses symmetrically, affecting the same fingers on both hands at the same time.

Symptoms of finger arthritis may include:
• Pain
• Swelling
• Stiffness
• Deformed/bent fingers or fingers stuck in position
• Bony nodules at the joint
• Pain/weakness/inability to perform fine motor skills or gripping tasks
• Grinding feeling in affected joint
• Loose joints
• Increased range of motion in surrounding joints
• Cysts on the joints closest to the fingernail, accompanied by irregularities in the fingernail

An orthopedic doctor specializing in the hand is best qualified to diagnose and treat this type of arthritis. The doctor can use health and family history, a physical exam, x-rays, and sometimes a bone scan or MRI to give a proper diagnosis you and rule out other conditions that may be mimicking the symptoms of arthritis. Once a definitive diagnosis of arthritis is made, he or she can customize a treatment program specific to the patient. This includes considering overall health, whether the dominant hand is affected, how daily activities will be impacted, and needs and goals in returning to a more active and independent lifestyle.

In most cases, treating finger arthritis begins with nonsurgical therapies. Anti-inflammatory medication, injections with or without splinting, activity modification, and hand therapy can reduce the painful symptoms of the disease. Surgery may be an option if conservative therapies don't help. Keeping the original joint is usually preferred, although joint replacement is available for almost every joint in the hand and wrist. A surgeon with special training in these procedures is the best choice.

May 28, 2015
"I fell on my hand and it won't stop hurting!"

Any time pain doesn't go away after a fall or other type of trauma, see a doctor sooner rather than later. The hands and wrists are especially tricky areas to diagnose because of the many bones, nerves, tissues, and tendons in such a small area. One common type of injury that happens after falling on an outstretched hand is a scaphoid fracture.

The scaphoid bone sits just above the thumb. To find this tiny bone, put your thumb in the "hitchhiker's" position. The scaphoid sits in the hollow area created at the base of the thumb. Parts of it have poor blood supply naturally, so when it's injured, it's important to see a doctor right away. Catching this type of fracture early can keep the wrist from healing improperly and becoming a site of lifelong pain and problems.

Symptoms usually include:
• Pain and swelling at the base of the thumb
• Pain while moving the thumb
• Pain when gripping something
A sprained thumb is actually rare. Any pain that persists in this area warrants medical attention, as it has a higher likelihood of being a fracture than a sprain.

Seeing an orthopedic doctor who specializes in hand, wrist, and elbow problems is advised. Since the scaphoid is so small, a doctor without experience diagnosing this type of fracture can easily miss it on an x-ray. A specialist will take an x-ray and likely take an MRI to assess additional damage to surrounding tissues and structures, and to see smaller fractures that did not show on the x-ray.

Scaphoid fractures are notorious for healing improperly. This is another reason to see an experienced specialist. He or she will know what type of treatment to recommend and can give you precise instructions for caring for your injury. This can greatly minimize the recovery complications and promote proper healing.

Because healing after a scaphoid fracture can cause so many complications, this has become an area of new medical solutions. Use of hardware, bone grafts, blood vessel grafts, arthroscopy, protein injections, and more are being used to improve outcomes.

April 10, 2015
Wrist Pain and Overextension from Racquet Sports

Racquet sports, weightlifting, downhill skiing, canoeing, rowing, and even pulling a rake along hard ground repetitively can irritate the tendons in the wrist. As the wrist and thumb curl inward, parts of the wrist tendons rub against the thumb bones, and the area gets inflamed. This can become painful over time and is called Intersection Syndrome.

An orthopedic doctor specializing in the hand and wrist is experienced and qualified in properly diagnosing this condition. Intersection Syndrome can be detected with a physical examination and does not always require x-ray or MRI imaging unless the doctor needs to rule out an internal mass or other deformity or injury as the cause.

Treatment in most cases is to improve wrist positioning during the activity that is causing the pain. A hand therapist can demonstrate proper form and, with guidance from the diagnosing orthopedic doctor, can also treat patients with strengthening, pain relieving, and range of motion exercises. The doctor may also prescribe medications, hot or cold therapy, injections, massage, splints, or surgery. Surgery is only necessary in serious, extremely painful situations when the tendon needs to be released. It can be performed on an outpatient basis and there are a variety of options for anesthetizing the wrist.

January 23, 2015
Hands That Hurt in the Morning

The chances of experiencing arthritis symptoms in the hands increase with age. That's because the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is from "wear and tear" on the joints. Joints have several components, but it's the absence of healthy cartilage that causes the pain associated with arthritis. Age, disease, or injury are the usual cartilage-damaging culprits.

There are several symptoms of arthritis in the hands:
• Pain and stiffness: after an activity that stresses the affected joint, on rainy days, and/or in the morning hours
• Swelling
• Heat radiating from the joint
• Joint "looseness"
• Grating or grinding feeling
• Cysts on the skin that may also cause fingernail deformities

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but an experienced orthopedic hand doctor and surgeon can give the correct diagnosis by conducting an examination and taking x-rays. A bone scan helps detect less advanced arthritis when symptoms are present and x-rays appear normal. MRI imaging is useful in some cases but is not usually necessary.

Arthritis is easier to treat when symptoms are less advanced. Patients in the early stages usually have the option of anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and part-time splinting to slow the progress and relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

People with more advanced arthritis may see little benefit from those types of treatments, and surgery may be discussed at that time. Some patients are good candidates for joint fusion, although almost all of the major joints in the hand and wrist can now be surgically replaced. Fusion should eliminate pain but limits motion. Replacement restores motion and function and should also eliminate arthritis pain. Other surgical options include cartilage reconstruction and replacement, and more recently, stem-cell treatments using the patients own stem cells.

November 6, 2014
Hand Pain and Numbness: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the tissues in the wrist swell and put pressure on the median nerve running into the hand. Feelings of numbness and tingling in the hand, a sharp "shock" feeling in the thumb and adjacent fingers, pain that travels up the arm, and muscle weakness at the base of the thumb are the most common symptoms.

Heredity is an issue with carpal tunnel syndrome because wrist anatomy contributes to symptoms. So if your closely related family members have it, you have a greater chance of also developing it. Repetitive use of stretching and flexing the wrists and hands can also cause the condition, as can hormonal changes during pregnancy, a wrist fracture, and certain chronic or inflammatory medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome is most common in older patients.

Other conditions can cause some carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms, so it's important to see an orthopedic doctor, preferably one specializing the hand and arm area, to get the correct diagnosis. The doctor will get your medical history, do a thorough physical examination with tests, and sometimes take x-rays.

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually gets worse without treatment. If caught early, non-surgical solutions like hand therapy, bracing, splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification, and injection therapy may be sufficient. More advanced or severe cases may require surgery.

August 28, 2014
"Will the big bump on my wrist go away on its own?"

If that big bump is a common problem called a ganglion cyst, it's extra synovial (lubricating) fluid that your body secreted into your soft tissue instead of the nearby joint or tendon. It usually won't go away on its own. People of any age can get a ganglion cyst after being hit hard on the hand, but most ganglion cysts appear in adulthood and are related to repetitive motion. For example, bowlers, racquet sport players, and some musicians are prone to ganglion cysts of the hand and wrist.

See a doctor to find out more about your bump. Proper diagnosis often involves ultrasound or MRI imaging and a thorough medical examination to determine the cause. Once the doctor determines what the bump is, he or she can recommend treatment.

Ganglion cysts can be removed without complications right in the doctor's office. (Don't try this, but...many decades ago a common treatment was to hit the cyst with a bible--the blow would rupture it!) It can return after it's been removed, especially if it's caused by repetitive motion and the patient continues doing that motion. If the cyst causes neurological problems, it must be removed immediately. Anyone with tingling, numbness, or shooting pain should see a doctor right away.

June 27, 2014
"Squeaker's Wrist" (ATTN: tennis/racquet and rowing athletes)...

Squeaker's wrist occurs when the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that rest between the tendons and thumb/forefinger wrist bones become irritated. It's a common condition among people who play racquet sports and do rowing activities.

• Swelling around the carpal bones
• Pain and crepitation (creaking, cracking, grating sounds)

X-rays may be unable to detect the inflammation in the carpals, so often an Ultrasound may be required.

Treatment options:
• Anti-inflammatory medications
• Cortisone injections into the bursae
• Physical therapy to address biomechanics, pain, and swelling.
• Some require cases surgery to remove the bursae
Symptoms are usually relieved immediately after the surgical procedure, and normal activities can be resumed after 6 weeks.

April 14, 2014
Guard Your Wrists!
If you've ever had a broken wrist, you're not alone…it's the most common type of broken arm. Depending on the position of your hand when you got injured, it could be one of these two kinds: Colles or Smith.

Colles fractures happen more often than Smith's fractures. Colles are typically seen in people over the age of 50 and occur in women more than men. The fracture usually happens when the patient falls on an open hand with the palm down. A break occurs on the end of the radius (the larger bone in the forearm) where it meets the thumb bone. There is usually a clear deformity, swelling, and pain at the wrist.

A Smith fracture is less common and occurs mostly in young men. This fracture is also usually caused by a fall, but by landing on the BACK of the hand and wrist instead. Just like Colles fractures, the radius is also broken, but it can be displaced in the opposite direction.

Treatment for both types of fractures depends on the severity of injury. Immobilization by cast or splint is the primary goal early in the healing and rehabilitation phase. Even when casted, it is important to maintain finger range of motion, and to control pain and swelling. Depending on the displacement of the bones or severity of the break, surgery may be needed.

March 20, 2014
Piercing Finger, Hand, or Elbow Pain?

Radial tunnel syndrome occurs when the radial nerve is entrapped in the supinator muscles, which are the muscles helping to rotate the forearm. This condition is common with people who play racket sports like tennis and with spin bowlers.

• Pain around the elbow when resistance is placed on the middle finger during extension (straightening)
• Cutting, stabbing, and piercing pain at the back of the hand or top of forearm

An orthopedic doctor can correctly diagnose radial tunnel syndrome by conducting a thorough physical exam. Images are usually taken to rule out other possible problems.

Stretching, technique modification, physical therapy, and neoprene bracing are common treatment methods. More severe symptoms may require surgery to reduce pressure on the affected nerve.

February 11, 2014
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Tingling Pinky & Ring Finger
The ulnar nerve travels from the neck, down into the hand. It can be entrapped or constricted at several sites along the path.

Whether the entrapment occurs at the elbow, hand or wrist, pain and numbness symptoms are reported. When the constriction occurs at the elbow (medial epicondyle), it's called Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Tingling, numbness, pain, and weakness are some of the symptoms commonly felt on the pinky and half of the ring finger. If symptoms interfere with activities of daily living, we recommend contacting your orthopedic doctor.

Conservative treatments include stopping any activities that cause the symptoms, avoiding leaning on elbow, and keeping the elbow extended during sleep. Other measures involve bracing or splinting, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and physical/occupational therapy.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relocate the nerve or shave a portion of the medial epicondyle.

January 16, 2014
Treat Your Elbows Kindly - Olecranon bursitis
Swelling at the elbow joint can have many causes. Olecranon bursitis is one of them. The olecranon is the tip or end of the elbow joint. Bursitis describes the inflammation of the bursa (a sac of fluid in the joint that decreases friction).

Anyone who spends a lot of time leaning on the tips of their elbows is at particular risk for this sometimes painful condition. An injury or broken skin leading to infection can also cause it.

Local tenderness and swelling are common signs and symptoms associated with this type of bursitis.

Your orthopedic doctor may take images of your elbow to rule out bone spurs and foreign bodies. He or she may want to take a small amount of fluid from the bursa to see if gout or infection play a role.

Conservative treatment includes the use of ice, compression, anti-inflammatory medications, and avoiding direct contact and impact. Surgery is very seldom recommended except in chronic conditions, and even then is often only for cosmetic purposes.

September 23, 2013
Do orthopedic surgeons always want to operate?

An orthopedic surgeon is first and foremost a medical doctor who helps patients get better. Most of the time that doesn't mean actually having surgery. The doctors at TOSMG estimate that for every patient who comes to them with orthopedic problems, less than 1 in 10* will actually have surgery. So what happens to the rest?

Physical therapy, rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, changing habits, injection therapy, and stretching are among the most common prescriptions for our patients. It's only when a combination of these more conservative treatments fail that surgery may be suggested. But the simple fact is that most people get better without it.

*Estimate only. Does not include patients who are referred for a surgical consultation, meaning that another doctor has already determined, and that the TOSMG doctor agrees, that the patient needs a highly trained, expert orthopedic surgeon in order to get the best outcome.

July 29, 2013
Trigger Finger

Have you ever had a finger that seems to get stuck? This could be a disorder called trigger finger.

Characteristics of trigger finger include a locking or snapping sensation. The finger flexor tendon is like a rope that connects the muscles of the forearm to the bones of the fingers. It works like a pulley system is a series of rings that form a tunnel through the tendons. With trigger finger, inflammation or scarring causes the finger flexor tendon to have difficulty pulling through the pulley system. This results in a locking sensation when flexing or extending the finger. Tenderness and discomfort can occur at the base of the finger. Often the triggering occurs more in the morning, at night, and when gripping.

Eliminating the locking and pain while allowing finger mobility is the goal of treatment. To reduce inflammation at the flexor tendon and tendon sheath, a hand therapist can fabricate a splint. Taking anti-inflammatories or a cortisone injection can also be helpful in reducing inflammation.

If conservative treatment does not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be an option. In surgery, the surgeon will open the pulley at the base of the finger to allow the tendon to move more freely. Occupational or physical therapy after surgery can also be helpful to improve function and strength.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about trigger finger or other orthopedic needs. Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group is committed to pursuing the health of each and every patient.

July 15, 2013
Dupuytren's Contracture

Duputren's is a fixed flexion contracture of the hand, which means that the fingers are bent towards the palm and cannot be fully extended or straightened.

As the condition develops, first nodules, then cords form along the tendons of the hand. These cords thicken and shorten, causing finger motion to become restricted. The small and ring fingers are the most commonly affected. The condition progresses slowly over time and affects men more than women.

Treatments for minor cases can involve splinting, physical therapy, or the use of enzymes to break down the cords and nodules. An outpatient procedure called aponeurotomy, where a surgeon releases the cords with a needle, can also be done. More involved cases may require invasive surgery followed by therapy.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about Dupuytren's Contracture or other orthopedic needs. Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group is committed to pursuing the health of each and every patient.

June 3, 2013
Basilar Joint (Thumb Meets Wrist) Arthritis

Basilar joint arthritis (also called 1st CMC joint arthritis) is a degenerative joint disease affecting the area where the thumb meets the wrist. This joint is responsible for thumb swiveling and pivoting motions.

Cartilage, which normally blankets the joint and the base of the thumb bone, is worn away and the bones can no longer glide smoothly. This causes damage to the area.

1. Joint pain, especially when gripping or pinching
2. Joint inflammation
3. Decreased mobility of the thumb
4. Joint grating, cracking, or popping sounds
5. Joint stiffness
6. Weakness while pinching

1. More prevalent in women than men
2. People 45 years or older
3. Family history of basilar joint arthritis
4. Post menopausal

1. Apply heat or cold can assist with pain.
2. Gentle exercises can help maintain mobility.
3. Reduce the amount of stress to the thumb. Common tools such as jar openers and wide-barreled pens may help

1. Therapy: A hand therapist can make a custom splint to support the joint at the base of the thumb.
2. A doctor-administered Cortisone injection will not cure arthritis but can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief.
3. Surgery may be necessary if more conservative treatment does not help.

Please contact Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group with any of your orthopedic needs, where caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.

April 22, 2013
Ganglion Cysts:
Ganglion cysts are small cystic swellings around the tendons or joints, most often found in hand, foot, or knee. They are also known as "bible cysts" because the treatment in the past was to hit the cyst with a bible or large book to cause it to rupture.

Ganglion cysts are most common in the hand, more notably the wrist or fingers. They are often on the back of the hand. It is also common to have swelling at the metacarpophalangeal joint (where the finger meets the hand) and interphalangeal joint (the next joint out from there).

There are various causes of ganglion cysts, but the most common reason is a protruding area due to a weakened portion of a tendon sheath or joint capsule.

The most common treatment for ganglion cysts is surgery. A surgeon will aspirate (drain) the cyst and inject the area with corticosteroid. Stiffness and scar formation can occur from the surgery.

Please contact Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group for any of your orthopedic needs, where caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.

April 15, 2013
Mallet Finger:
A common injury among basketball, volleyball, and baseball players--when to seek orthopedic care

A mallet finger is a deformity of a finger caused when a particular tendon that straightens the finger is damaged. When an object strikes the tip of the finger or thumb, the force can damage the thin tendon. A piece of bone may even be pulled away, depending on the force of the blow. This results in the affected finger being unable to straighten.

A mallet finger may appear to be swollen and bruised, sometimes painful, and the fingertip will almost always be drooping. An x-ray will be ordered to inspect for a major misalignment or fracture.

The typical treatment will include a custom splint to allow for proper healing of the tendon. Surgery is not common unless a severe fracture or misalignment is present. This particular injury is very common among basketball, volleyball and baseball players. Should you suspect this particular diagnosis, see us here at TOSMG for your rehabilitation needs.

October 26, 2012
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Are you one of the 1.3 million in the United States that have rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage the joints of the body. This systemic disease affects the internal organs of the body which in turns, causes inflammation to the joint lining tissue. Pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of functional mobility are all symptoms of RA. The inflammation can affect the body's organs such as the heart and lungs. Smaller joints are more likely to be affected by RA such as joints in the hands, feet and elbows. Many times, the inflammation can cause disuse of the joint and therefore, the muscles surrounding the joint become weak. Although there is no current cure for RA, the disease can be controlled especially if you seek medical help early. If you believe you are having symptoms of rhematoid arthritis, please contact one of our orthopedic specialists at Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. We are here to help you with your wellness journey.

October 5, 2012
Have you ever heard the term "golfer's elbow" or medial epicondlytis? Although many people who have this condition have never actually golfed, the diagnosis occurs in many that use a non-overlapping grip or when throwing objects such as a baseball. The pain usually occurs on the inside of the elbow and can reoocur when the wrist is flexed and palm is facing down. To help relieve the elbow pain, try taking a anti-inflammatory like ibuprofren, use heat and/or ice and purchase a elbow strap from a local drugstore. Once the pain begins to dissipate, try stretching the arm with the elbow bent at 90 degrees at your side, flexing the wrist with the palm down. If you continue to have discomfort, please visit one of our specialists at Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group.

September 14, 2012
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand condition caused by a pinched median nerve in your wrist. Carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway at your wrist that becomes compressed which can cause numbness, pain, weakness and uncoordination. Carpal tunnel is more common in women, symptoms can occur after a wrist fracture, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, inflammatory conditions such as rhemutoid arthritis, changes in body fluid balance such as pregnancy and ergonomic factors. If you begin to feel symptoms, try to rest the hands, icing your wrists throughout the day, taking pain and/or inflammation medication and wearing a wrist neutral brace (that you can purchase from local pharmacy or physcian's office) at night. If you continue to feel symptoms, please visit a physician at Torrance Orthopaedic Sports & Medicine Group and let us help you through your wellness journey.

August 24, 2012
Tennis Elbow:
Tennis elbow (aka lateral epicondlytis) is a common condition where the muscles and tendons of the forearm which attaches to the outside of the bone area (called lateral epicondyle) is injured. You don't have to necessarily play tennis to get tennis elbow. Tennis elbow can occur in either or both arms but more likely, the dominant arm. Symptoms include pain outside of the elbow, pain increases with gripping and with functional mobility (ie: opening jars, lifting groceries). To reduce your pain and inflammation, try to rest your elbow, use a elastic band that you wrap around the forearm (can be purchased at your orthopedic physican's office or local drugstore), apply ice to the area of pain, avoid heavy gripping, ensuring proper body mechanics with movement and taking anti-inflammatories (if your stomach can tolerate it). If you continue to feel aggravation at the elbow and forearm, please make an appointment with a physician at Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group.

July 27, 2012
Nintendo Thumb:
Some videogame users are presenting with thumb and wrist pain that has been termed Nintendo thumb. The Nintendo thumb is a repetitive motion injury where the thumb bone meets the wrist bone. Many videogame users play videogames for hours and hold the video game controller with the wrist bent. The first signs of Nintendo thumb are pain and swelling at the palm near the thumb and pain with gripping and pinching.

In order to prevent the Nintendo thumb, take rest breaks and decrease usage time. Every 30 minutes, the videogame user should take a break and only play for no more than 2 hours per day. The same protocol should follow with IPods when texting, cell phones, tv and computers.

If you see signs of the Nintendo thumb, make an appointment with your doctor.

July 6, 2012
Are you having numbness or tingling in your ring and small finger? It could be an elbow problem. Try using an elbow pad to protect the nerve at the inside of the elbow. This could ease the problem.