CNY Orthopedic Sports Medicine, PC: ItHurts: Hand

Body Zone: Hand: How Badly Are You Hurt?

I have been disgnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I thought that this involved the wrist, so why do my hands get numb and painful?
The condition of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves both the hand and the wrist. The condition gets its name from a tunnel of tissue at the wrist through which nerves and tendons pass. Inflammation or swelling of the structures in this tunnel lead to compression of the large nerve (median nerve) in the tunnel and results in pain, numbness and loss of dexterity of the fingers.

What is "skier's thumb"? What is injured and how is it treated?
The condition refers to injury or rupture of the ligament located on the inside of the thumb (between the thumb and index finger). The ligament is know as the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb and can be sprained or torn if the thumb is forced beyond its normanl range of motion. This can occur, but is not limited to, falling with a ski pole held between the thumb and index finger.

I have heard that bites on the hand from cats and humans are very serious, but that dog bites don't usually cause problems. Please explain.
Dog, cat and human bites can all result in serious injury to the hand. The bite from a dog, however, causes injury by crushing or tearing the hand. The bits from humans or cats are of concern because of the risk of infection from the bacteria found in the mouths of cats and humans. A cat bite may cause an infection from Pasteurella multocida and a human bite may result in an infection from Eikenella corrodens. Dogs also carry the Pasteurella bacteria, but the bite less often causes serious infections due to the type of wound from each animal. Cat bites are puncture wounds and the dog bites are tearing or larger wounds.

I am frequently outside in very cold weather. How do I recognize and prevent frostbite?
Frostbite of the fingers can range from symptoms of mild discomfort to the need for amputation of frozen fingers. The degree of injury just as with burns, may be difficult to determine initially. The best way to prevent and recognize frostbite to the fingers is to wear appropriate clothing such as gloves or mittens. The sensation of cold in the fingers can become quite severe, however, when this sensation begins to become less intense, the fingers are at increasing risk for injury as this suggests the freezing of nerves and blood vessels within the fingers.

What is "buddy-taping" and how is it used to treat finger injuries?
This treatment gets its name from the procedure of using an adjacent finger as a splint for an injured finger. The taping of an injured finger to the healthy finger next to it provides a functional splint that will help protect and control the motion of the injured finger without the need for a bulky splint.

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