At Orange County Orthopedic Center, we see patients for a wide range of orthopedic issues, ranging from problems that can affect your neck and shoulders all the way down to your toes.
Your hands are a common victim of orthopedic injuries, most likely because they are used frequently for nearly every activity, big or small. Unfortunately, hand injuries can also be the most challenging to find relief from. This is because resting your hand following an injury is nearly impossible.
By seeing an orthopedic hand specialist in Orange County, you can find relief and return to your normal activities sooner.
Some of the hand issues that we encounter most frequently at our center include:
- Arthritis of the hand, thumb, and wrist
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Ganglion cysts
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Fractures of the fingers, thumb, hand, or wrist
- Fingertip injuries
- Nerve injuries
Do I need to see an orthopedic hand specialist?
If you are experiencing any hand issues, it is a good idea to contact our orthopedic hand specialist in Orange County. There are a lot of orthopedic hand conditions that can start with minor symptoms, but turn into chronic pain and a lot of mobility issues if you don’t seek early treatment.
You should contact us if you notice any changes to the appearance of your hands, like their coloring, or if you experience anything like numbness, weakness, discomfort, strain, lack of mobility, or anything else.
If you injure your hand during sports or other types of physical activity, try applying ice for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. For minor injuries, no further treatment will be needed. However, it is hard to discern a minor injury from something more serious, especially so early. Contact our office if you have injured your hand.
How are hand problems diagnosed?
The first step in the diagnostic process is a physical exam and consultation with our orthopedic hand specialist in Orange County. In some cases, your doctor can determine the cause of your hand problem with an examination only. During the exam, you will answer questions about your medical history and about your pain, such as when you first noticed it, what you think the cause could be, and if there are any movements that make the discomfort better or worse. Your doctor will also check your range of motion, strength, and reflexes to try and pinpoint areas of concern.
For some situations, imaging tests like x-rays and MRIs are needed in order to rule out some possibilities or to check the extent of the damage if you have been injured. These tests can tell your doctor a lot about your situation.
Diagnosing your condition or injury correctly is a very important aspect of your care, because a correct diagnosis is exactly what you need to start the process of treatment. Without a correct diagnosis, you could be attempting treatment methods that are not going to be helpful in the long run, or could even cause you to experience more pain. You can help with the diagnostic process by working together with your doctor and providing any information that you think could be helpful.
Can I treat orthopedic hand problems at home?
There are some orthopedic conditions that your orthopedic hand specialist in Orange County will recommend that you treat and manage entirely at home. In most cases, however, recommendations for home treatments will be given alongside in-office treatments that are meant to coordinate and provide you with the best approach to relief as possible.
For some hand conditions, the R.I.C.E method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is helpful for relieving pain and reducing swelling. There are also exercises and stretches that you may be able to try at home in order to improve your flexibility and strength.
Some hand conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, involve wearing a brace that can help you complete daily activities without discomfort. Your doctor will let you know if bracing, splinting, or other forms of stabilization are a good choice.
Keep in mind that there is usually not one approach to orthopedic treatment. Instead, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for all types of treatments in order to find complete relief.