Responsible for bending, turning, and flexing your hand, the wrist provides essential functionality that, when impaired, can diminish your quality of life. At the Hand Center of Nevada, our experienced orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. George Gluck, Dr. James Vahey, and Dr. Alan Micev, offer a broad selection of advanced treatment options for common and advanced wrist conditions that can cause stiffness, pain, or debilitation. We offer minimally invasive surgical and non-surgical modalities designed to achieve the best result in the safest manner possible. If you’re experiencing discomfort or limited mobility due to a wrist concern, we can diagnose the issue and customize a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
If you would like to learn more about the wrist conditions and treatment options we offer at our practice, follow the links below. If you would like additional information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our extensively trained physicians, please contact our office today.
- Scaphoid Fracture
- Distal Radius Fracture
- De Quervain’s Tendinitis
- Ganglion Cysts
- Kienbock’s Disease
- TFCC Tears/Wrist Arthroscopy
- Scapholunate/Ligament Injuries
There are several bones that make up the wrist, and the scaphoid is the one located at the base of the thumb. Typically, this bone breaks as a result of stopping a fall by stretching out the hands so that the impact is delivered onto the palms; however, injuries can also occur in other ways. If you believe you may have a scaphoid fracture, due to the pain, swelling, and reduced mobility in the affected area, an X-ray can diagnose this condition. In most cases, non-surgical treatment, which may include a cast and physical therapy, can effectively address this injury. Fractures closer to the thumb bone typically heal faster than the ones that occur nearer the forearm. Surgery may be necessary in the event of a severe or compound (when the bone pushes through the skin) fracture.
Distal Radius Fracture
Technically, the distal radius fracture affects the bone of the forearm rather than the wrist, and there are several different fracture types. The radius is the larger of the two bones that make up the forearm, and the distal end is the part closest to the wrist. This is the most commonly broken bone in the arm, and simply falling onto your outstretched arm can cause this fracture. Severe pain, tenderness, bruising, and swelling are common symptoms, and if the bone has broken through the skin, it’s important for you to seek out medical attention immediately, as the risk for infection is elevated. Dr. Gluck, Dr. Vahey, and Dr. Micev can diagnose the type and the degree of injury and offer personalized treatment to suit your unique needs.
De Quervain’s Tendinitis
Generally caused by overuse but also associated with pregnancy, De Quervain’s Tendinitis, also called tendinosis (swelling), develops when the tendons near the base of the thumb become inflamed and swollen, limiting their ability to slide smoothly through the tendon sheaths that hold them in alignment. Most common in middle-aged women, this condition can cause pain and swelling in the wrist and forearm and reduce function of the thumb and wrist. Fortunately, minimally invasive options, including splints, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and steroid injections can often alleviate the pain associated with this concern. If your symptoms don’t improve with non-surgical treatment, an endoscopic operation may help to improve function and to alleviate discomfort.
Typically completely harmless, ganglion cysts are the most common type of bump that can develop on the hand, and they’re filled with a similar slippery fluid that coats your joints, much like a mucus cyst. Usually found on the back of the wrist, though they may occur in other locations, these lumps may appear and disappear quickly or change in size; however, they often can be left untreated without concern. In many cases, immobilization will help to clear the lump since activity seems to cause further growth. If the cyst causes discomfort or if you dislike the appearance, Drs. Gluck, Vahey, or Micev can drain the fluid or excise (surgically remove) the cyst.
Your bones need blood to live. If the blood supply is interrupted, tissue begins to die and break down. Kienbock’s disease occurs when the blood supply to the lunate, one of the small bones of the wrist, becomes disrupted, which can occur as a result of injury, anatomical defect, or gradual wear and tear. Similar in sensation to a wrist sprain, the symptoms include swelling, tenderness, stiffness, reduced grip strength, and the eventual development of arthritis. There are surgical and non-surgical options to restore blood flow, and many methods can help to retain range of motion. Keinbock’s disease is progressive and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Similar to other types of hand arthritis, wrist arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints of the wrist, which can result in swelling, stiffness, discomfort, and reduced mobility of the wrist and occasionally the knuckles of the hand. There are several types of arthritis, and Dr. Gluck, Dr. Vahey, or Dr. Micev can diagnose your condition during your initial consultation. Non-surgical treatment of wrist arthritis may include changes in activity or immobilization, anti-inflammatory medication, and exercises. Minimally invasive surgery, if necessary, can help to alleviate pain and to regain function by removing, fusing, or replacing the affected bones.
TFCC Tears/Wrist Arthroscopy
The Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex, or TFCC, is a cushioning structure made up of several ligaments on the outside edge (little pinky side) of the wrist, which can be injured as a result of a fall or other trauma or can degenerate with time. When torn, the TFCC can cause discomfort similar to a sprain and may result in limited function. A clicking sound during movement may also be noticeable. Partial tears may be addressed through non-surgical treatment. However, if surgery is necessary, arthroscopic techniques, which utilize several small incisions, can help to locate the area of concern and to repair the affected ligaments with a lower risk of complications and shorter recovery time than with traditional open surgery.
Scapholunate Ligament Injuries
As the ligament that connects the scaphoid and lunate wrist bones together, the scapholunate ligament helps to stabilize the wrist during movement. When this tissue becomes torn, whether fully or partially, common symptoms include pain, reduced mobility, swelling, and tenderness. If the concern is minor in nature, sometimes rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and other minimally invasive options can be sufficient to address the issue. If the ligament has ruptured (fully torn), then surgical intervention may be necessary.
There are many types of wrist injuries and even more methods to address them. If you have additional questions about wrist conditions and their treatments, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gluck, Dr. Vahey, or Dr. Micev, please contact us today.