At Orange County Orthopedic Center, you will find that our surgeons are prepared to diagnose and treat orthopedic problems located in any area of the body. When it comes to managing your pain and handling daily tasks, you might find that hand injuries are among the most frustrating. This is because your hands are used for nearly every activity throughout your day – in fact, there are a number of ways that you could have injured your hand. This also makes it almost impossible to really rest your hand if you are experiencing pain.
You can turn to an orthopedic hand specialist in Mission Viejo at our office for any hand or wrist issue, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Nerve injuries
- Fractures, breaks, and sprains in the fingers or thumb
- Fingertip injuries
- Arthritis of the hand or thumb
- “Baseball” finger
- Flexor tendon injuries
- Ganglion cysts
Should I see an orthopedic hand specialist?
You might be wondering when you need to see an orthopedic hand specialist in Mission Viejo. Generally, it is a good idea to see a specialist if you have any issues with your hand at all. Your primary physician might recommend that you see an orthopedic specialist, or you might notice signs on your own.
Contact our office for a consultation if you notice any sudden changes to your hands, such as numbness, lack of mobility, weakness, pain, etc. Determining the cause of your hand issue is an important first step in treating your symptoms, and there are a lot of orthopedic hand issues that start with just minor symptoms.
If you injure your hand, it is a good idea to have us take a look at it. Even if the injury seems minor and swelling goes down with ice therapy, there could be an underlying injury that causes a lot of pain later on.
How are hand problems diagnosed?
Diagnosing hand problems can involve a few steps, depending on what the ultimate problem is. The very first step is a consultation and physical examination in our office. This is an appointment where an orthopedic hand specialist in Mission Viejo can ask you questions about your medical history and about the pain or discomfort that you are experiencing. You can expect the doctor to ask you questions about when your pain started, what you think the cause could be, and if there are any movements or activities that make the discomfort better or worse. Your doctor will also check your range of motion and examine your hand.
In some cases, an imaging test is needed, such as an x-ray or MRI. In orthopedics, imaging tests are often used to rule out certain possibilities for pain or to see the severity of an injury. Often, these imaging tests can be performed at the same appointment as the physical exam.
Regardless of how your doctor needs to arrive at your diagnosis, it is very important to work together and cooperate at every step so that you can start your treatment as early as possible for maximum relief. Without all of the information, you could get a wrong diagnosis that puts you on a path for treatment that is not going to be helpful. Be sure to provide your doctor with any information you can think of.
Can I treat orthopedic hand issues at home?
Depending on the hand condition you are dealing with, there are likely some treatments or conservative methods that you can try at home in order to find relief. One of the most commonly used orthopedic approaches to care is the R.I.C.E. method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This method helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain, and is even a good option if you have injured your hand and are waiting for your scheduled appointment.
Some hand conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, can benefit from the use of a brace or splint. There are several types of home equipment that help your hand to be stabilized and to make it easier for you to go about regular activities. Your orthopedic hand specialist in Mission Viejo will also probably suggest stretches or exercises you can do at home to help regain strength and range of motion. Be sure to follow your doctor’s suggestions for the best results.