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Chronic Hand Pain: Do I Need Surgery?

iStock 174918370 Hand pain can be a concerning problem when it occurs often or never quite goes away. Sometimes, hand pain can indicate a tendon condition that will not go away without proper treatment. The answer is not the same for everyone, but one thing is for certain, hand pain is not a symptom to ignore. If the pain is related to a structural condition, it could progressively worsen without care. The sooner a consultation and examination can be performed, the better chance there is of an excellent outcome through conservative treatment. 

What Could be Causing Hand Pain?

The only way to know for sure what is causing hand pain is to see a specialist. A thorough examination of the hand may include x-rays or other imaging to confirm the suspected diagnosis. While we provide a list of hand pain causes here, they are merely a guide to help you begin to understand what may be behind your symptoms. 

  • Tendonitis

Tendonitis is described as inflammation and irritation in a tendon. This condition is often seen in the hands and wrists. If the inflammation persists, the sheath that surrounds the wrist bones can become rigid and less mobile. While symptoms may require ongoing management, they do not always require surgery. This is reserved for severe immobility and discomfort. 

  • Trigger finger

The medical term for trigger finger is tenosynovitis. As it may sound, it is a condition that affects a finger and/or the thumb. The hands tendons are covered in a membrane called synovium. This sheath may become inflamed, making it less flexible around the tendons. The affected finger then becomes difficult to straighten. Nonsurgical treatments may work in some cases. For more severe immobility, trigger finger surgery may be necessary. 

  • Tendon injury

Any injury to the and can affect the tendons. These include jamming a finger, a deep cut to the hand, or a fracture. Most often, the flexor tendons are what get the impact of hand injuries. Depending on the severity of the tendon damage, surgery may be needed to resolve pain and mobility issues. 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

A common overuse injury, carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult to move the wrist without pain, tingling, or numbness. These symptoms occur due to the compression of the median nerve that travels through the small tunnel in the wrist joint. When carpal tunnel syndrome is mild, conservative therapies including rest, activity or posture modifications, over-the-counter medication, and bracing may help resolve inflammation. Surgery is needed only in severe cases. 

  • Arthritis

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that can affect various joints in the body. The hands are a common area affected by rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease. This condition causes progressive inflammation in the tendons of the hands, leading to deformity and limited mobility if damage becomes severe. Early treatment for arthritis may involve conservative therapies and medication. A minor procedure may be recommended for severe, chronic symptoms. 

Orthopedic Associates of Long Island has multiple locations to serve you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation for hand pain. 

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