Our hands are one of the most important attributes of the human body. Unfortunately, our hands are susceptible to a lot of strain, and care must be taken to address all types of issues that allow critical function.
The basis of hand surgery revolves around issues relating to the hand, wrist, and forearm. Dr. Eric Spencer of Westchester Orthopedics focuses on orthopedic care to treat the following common conditions of the hand:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wrist pain
- Sports injuries to the hand or wrist
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
The Effects of Arthritis on Your Joints
The dynamics of the hand is composed of several small joints that work together to produce motion. A common factor for disrupting this orchestra of joints is arthritis. Arthritis of the hands can be difficult to work with and make the simplest of tasks difficult to handle. As cartilage begins to wear way due to arthritis, the body's natural remedy is to fill the void of lost cartilage with a fluid to act as a substitute cushion. Unfortunately, this substitute causes the joints to swell, thus restricting motion and causing pain. If left untreated for a certain period of time, the bones will begin to deform, causing further pain and complete restriction of flexibility. The two most common forms of arthritis to affect the hands are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the more common form of arthritis that preys on individuals over the age of 50. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can present a variety of symptoms and can be a result of injury or genetics.
Pain and an inability to grip or grasp an object should be enough of an indication that something might be wrong with your hand. Arthritis can be deceiving since the pain is not always constant. In fact, you may have days when you don't feel anything at all. The symptoms depend on the strain you apply to your joints during use. Earlier symptoms include numbing and burning sensations, but these symptoms can increase to swelling of the affected joints and deformity in some advanced cases.
To best evaluate the seriousness of your conditions, Dr. Spencer can perform an extensive evaluation of your condition through an examination of the affected hand, accompanied with an X-ray to examine the extent of damage from the arthritis.
If you are suffering from mild or early forms of arthritis, Dr. Spencer may recommend non-surgical procedures to help you manage pain caused by the wear and tear of your joints. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, the following treatment options can be taken advantage of:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid epidural injection
- Splinting of the affected joint
If non-surgical treatment options were not effective in alleviating pain, Dr. Spencer may recommend arthroscopic surgical treatment or evaluation of chronic pain or fractures. Arthroscopic treatment utilizes a tiny camera to provide a real-time feed of the affected area that will guide the doctor's surgical equipment, while he replaces damaged cartilage with prosthetic implants. In the event of fractures, Dr. Spencer will implant wires, plates, or screws to mend fractured bones together. Another common surgical method utilized when non-surgical treatments are not effective is fusion. Depending on the seriousness of the affected area, partial or full fusion of carpal bones may be needed to retain wrist motion.
Higher Quality of Orthopedic Care
Southern Westchester Orthopedics & Sports Medicine takes pride in providing the highest quality of orthopedic care through the utilization of latest technologies. Our highly esteemed surgeons are some of the best in the region and strive to provide personal, quality services that will get you back to doing what you love. Conveniently located at three different offices in Yonkers, Bronx, and Mamaroneck, we are never far away. Come on in to any one of our locations or call one of our offices to schedule an appointment.