Your hand doctor in Mission Viejo is able to help you understand any number of orthopedic conditions, ranging from simple sports injuries to more complex problems. Your hands can be especially tricky to deal with if you are in pain, because resting your hands completely is nearly impossible.
Common Hand Problems
At Orange County Orthopedic Center, we often see patients for hand injuries such as broken fingers, dislocations, sprains, and more. Many of these injuries take place during a sporting activity or an accident, and are pretty straightforward when it comes to treatment. Other hand issues are not as simple – like carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can cause you to experience tingling and numbness in your hand and can require bracing, activity modification, or surgery to treat.
Regardless of the type of hand problem that you are experiencing, our hand surgeons are ready to help you find relief in the easiest way possible.
How do I know when I need to see a doctor?
You might be wondering when exactly you need to see a hand doctor in Mission Viejo. In general, it is best to seek care for any hand issues. What seems like a minor discomfort can actually be the first symptom of a very uncomfortable orthopedic issue, and quick treatment is very important.
You should contact our office if you notice anything wrong with your hand, such as sudden changes to its appearance (redness) or other changes, like weakness, sensitivity to temperatures, discomfort, pain, numbness, etc.
Finally, if you have an injury, you can apply ice for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. There are some minor injuries that occur with physical activity that won’t require anything further, but some sports injuries become worse with more movement. It’s in your best interest to have your hand evaluated after any injury.
How are hand problems diagnosed?
The best diagnostic approach depends on your specific hand issue, but in many cases, a physical examination is all that is necessary to diagnose a hand problem. Your hand doctor in Mission Viejo will ask you questions about your pain or discomfort, such as when it started and if there are any activities that make the pain better or worse. A physical exam can also involve your doctor checking your strength, range of motion, and reflexes.
Sometimes, imaging tests need to be performed in order to find out how severe the injury or condition is, or to get a better idea of the cause. Imaging tests can involve MRIs and x-rays. These tests can also help your doctor to rule out some conditions if the examination doesn’t already provide a full picture of the problem.
The diagnosis of your hand problem is very important, because it helps your doctor determine the best way to treat your discomfort. A wrong diagnosis could mean that you waste time on treatments that are not actually effective for you. That’s why it is very important to cooperate with your orthopedic doctor and bring up any information that you think could be helpful.
Can I treat my hand problems at home?
There are some hand conditions that could benefit from conservative treatments at home. Your hand doctor in Mission Viejo will likely suggest things that you can do at home to manage your injury or condition. It is important to follow all of your doctor’s suggestions for both in-office and at-home care in order to experience complete relief. The best approach to treatment usually involves more than one thing, so coordination is very effective and necessary. Some suggestions might be made for while you are waiting for your appointment with us.
Some things to attempt at home include the R.I.C.E. method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). This is useful for many types of injuries and orthopedic conditions, and helps to relieve pain and reduce swelling. You might also be able to try different exercises and stretches to restore range of motion, strength, and flexibility.
There are some conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, that benefit from the use of a brace to stabilize your hand. Your doctor will let you know if you should attempt using a brace, splint, or other type of equipment for relief while you complete your normal activities.