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Hand Conditions

The fingers help us to hold objects and to do this they need to be able to fully straighten up but also firmly make a fist. The fingers have 3 joints: the MCPJ metacarpophalangeal joint; the PIPJ proximal interphalangeal joint and the DIPJ – the distal interphalangeal joint which enable the fingers to straighten out but also bend to form a fist.

Normally the bone surfaces in the wrist are lined with cartilage, which allows smooth movements between the base of the thumb and the wrist bone (trapezium). In base of thumb osteoarthritis (OA) the cartilage degenerates or wears out and the movement between the joints becomes painful as the bony surfaces are now in contact with each other.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the sensation of numbness, tingling and pain in the hand due to the compression of the median nerve at the wrist.

CRPS is a chronic pain condition which usually means it lasts more than 6 months. It can be referred to by many other names such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Sudeck’s Atrophy, Algodystrophy, causalgia and Abnormal Pain Response.

Dupuytren’s disease is the thickening of the fascia beneath the skin in the palm of the hand. The fascia is like a think canvas which acts to protect the vital structures in your hand and also to firmly keep hold of overlying skin – preventing it sliding and tearing off. The thickening of the fascia causes a contracture of fingers known as Dupuytren’s contracture. Note that the finger tendons lie deep to the fascia and are NOT involved in the disease.

A fracture is any kind of break in the bone. The fingers are made up of 3 bones; the thumb has 2. The individual bones are called phalanges. Ligaments connect the individual bones by bridging across the joints between the individual bones.

A fracture is any kind of break in the bone. The metacarpal bones are long cylindrical bones in the hand that sit between the carpus (wrist) and the fingers.

Mallet finger is an injury to the tendon, which straightens the end joint (the distal inter-phalangeal joint or DIPJ) of a finger or thumb. It is sometimes referred to as baseball finger. Tendons are structures, which attach muscles to bone enabling us to move our joints.

Artificial joints are continuing to be developed for the hand and wrist. These are usually used as a method of managing a painful joint arthritis (hyperlink to wrist, finger, thumb arthritis).

A mucous cyst is a small swelling, containing a jelly like material, found overlying the end joint of a finger. The cyst may fluctuate in size and occasionally burst spontaneously before reforming.

The nail bed is the fleshy part of the fingertip upon which the nail (technically referred to as the nail plate) sits. New nail grows from a special part of the nail bed which is called the germinal matrix. The rest of the nail bed supports and holds the nail down on the fingertip, this part is called the sterile matrix.

The nail area is a complicated structure comprising the nail (called the nail plate) and the nail bed from which the nail grows and which also keeps the nail attached. Surrounding the nail is the cuticle, which encases the nail.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own joints mistakenly. It affects many other parts of the body besides the joints.

Rugger Jersey finger is an injury to the deep (flexor) tendon at the tip of the finger. The deep flexor tendon (known as the FDP) runs along the palm surface of the finger and its job is to bring your finger tip into your palm when you make a fist. Tendons are structures, which attach muscles to bone enabling us to move our joints.

Skier’s Thumb is an injury to a ligament situated on the inner aspect of the base of the thumb known as the ulnar collateral ligament. The ulnar collateral ligament connects the inner aspects of the thumb metacarpal and thumb proximal phalanx (these are the two bones that make up the thumb). It is essential to maintaining stability of the thumb, and especially important for normal pinching and gripping movements.

Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, trigger finger (or thumb) is the inflammation and thickening of the tissues surrounding the tendons that allow bending movements of the fingers.

A tumour is a medical term to mean growth of an abnormal structure (tissue) in the body. This tissue or structure can be solid or fluid filled and does not necessarily mean that it is malignant or cancerous.

Lumps in the hand and wrist are common. There are many different causes and overwhelmingly they are benign or non-malignant.

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