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Hand

Causes of pain & recommended treatments

This is a hereditary condition whereby abnormal fibrous tissue is deposited, usually within the palm and fingers. Initially this consists of nodules or skin pits. This early stage can be painful. At a later stage the nodules coalesce to form a fibrous cord which contracts. This is what causes the deformity and limitation of movement within the digits.

Dupuytren’s disease 

What is it? 

This is a hereditary condition whereby abnormal fibrous tissue is deposited, usually within the palm and fingers. Initially this consists of nodules or skin pits. This early stage can be painful. At a later stage the nodules coalesce to form a fibrous cord which contracts. This is what causes the deformity and limitation of movement within the digits.

The median nerve runs in a tunnel at the front of the wrist. Pressure on the nerve cuts off its blood supply and changes the way it works, causing unpleasant numbness, tingling and pain in the thumb and fingers – excluding the little finger. The problem is most noticeable at night or during activities, for example driving, doing housework or using tools. Fine movements such as doing up buttons may become difficult. In severe cases there may be permanent loss of feeling and muscle weakness.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is it? 

The median nerve runs in a tunnel at the front of the wrist. Pressure on the nerve cuts off its blood supply and changes the way it works, causing unpleasant numbness, tingling and pain in the thumb and fingers – excluding the little finger. The problem is most noticeable at night or during activities, for example driving, doing housework or using tools. Fine movements such as doing up buttons may become difficult. In severe cases there may be permanent loss of feeling and muscle weakness.

The flexor tendons move inside a tunnel system within the finger. Thickening of the tendon or a narrowing of the tunnel may interfere with tendon gliding – resulting in pain, loss of flexion, clicking or locking of the digit.

Trigger finger

Flexor tendinosis/Stenosing tenovaginitis.

What is it? 

The flexor tendons move inside a tunnel system within the finger. Thickening of the tendon or a narrowing of the tunnel may interfere with tendon gliding – resulting in pain, loss of flexion, clicking or locking of the digit.

In a normal joint the articulating bone ends are covered with a smooth layer of cartilage which allows free and painless movement. In osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) the cartilage thins and eventually the bone ends articulate against each other. The joint capsule may also thicken and there may be additional bone formation. The result is pain, stiffness, loss of movement and deformity.

Osteoarthritis of the far knuckle joint

DIPJ (distal interphalangeal joint) - Heberden's node.

What is it? 

In a normal joint the articulating bone ends are covered with a smooth layer of cartilage which allows free and painless movement. In osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) the cartilage thins and eventually the bone ends articulate against each other. The joint capsule may also thicken and there may be additional bone formation. The result is pain, stiffness, loss of movement and deformity.

A ganglion is a thin walled cyst containing jelly like material. It can arise from a joint or tendon sheath. It is usually degenerative. Occasionally it may follow trauma. This ganglion usually arises from a degenerative knuckle joint at the end of the finger. The cyst is itself harmless although it may be painful. Pressure on the nail growth plate can result in a deformed nail. On occasion the skin breaks down resulting in a discharge or infection.

Pearl ganglion

Mucous cyst.

What is it? 

A ganglion is a thin walled cyst containing jelly like material. It can arise from a joint or tendon sheath. It is usually degenerative. Occasionally it may follow trauma. This ganglion usually arises from a degenerative knuckle joint at the end of the finger. The cyst is itself harmless although it may be painful. Pressure on the nail growth plate can result in a deformed nail. On occasion the skin breaks down resulting in a discharge or infection.

A ganglion is a thin walled cyst containing jelly like material. It can arise from a joint or tendon sheath. It is usually degenerative. Occasionally it may follow trauma. This ganglion is normally located at the base of the finger in the palm and may cause pain when gripping objects.

Flexor sheath ganglion

What is it? 

A ganglion is a thin walled cyst containing jelly like material. It can arise from a joint or tendon sheath. It is usually degenerative. Occasionally it may follow trauma. This ganglion is normally located at the base of the finger in the palm and may cause pain when gripping objects.

The extensor tendons to the fingers and thumb begin in the forearm and attach near the fingertip (terminal phalanx). A direct blow or strain to the tendon may cause it to rupture thus resulting in finger deformity.  

Mallet finger

What is it? 

The extensor tendons to the fingers and thumb begin in the forearm and attach near the fingertip (terminal phalanx). A direct blow or strain to the tendon may cause it to rupture thus resulting in finger deformity.