Disorders of the Hand

Unless you’re a soccer player, you probably use your hands to perform the most important tasks in your life. With their opposable thumbs, your hands are the most basic tools you have, and most others are useless without them.

Unfortunately, hands are susceptible to a number of different disorders that can render them both less useful and more painful. This can have many different causes. Some require an orthopedic hand surgeon Houston to correct, while others may be managed nonsurgically.

Nerve Compression Syndrome

Nerve compression syndrome occurs when something puts pressure on a nerve, affecting its ability to function properly. In the short term, this can cause symptoms of numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations. Nerve compression can also affect movement. If the pressure occurs chronically, it can cause muscle weakness and permanent nerve damage. Examples of nerve compression syndromes affecting the upper extremities include cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, which occur at the elbow and wrist, respectively.

Finger Deformities

The hands contain more bones than most other parts of the body. Disease or trauma to the hands can cause these to assume abnormal positions. The result is deformities of the hands and fingers. Dupuytren’s contracture is a common cause of finger deformities due to tightening of fibrous bands within the palms. Its cause is primarily genetic. Surgery was once necessary to correct Dupuytren’s, but now it can be treated using an injectable and in-clinic procedure.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause progressive deformities of the hands and fingers if left untreated. Swan-neck and boutonniere’s deformity can occur from trauma to the hands.

Nail Infections

A bacterial infection of the skin around the fingernail is called paronychia. It can cause serious pain. Nail infections may also be fungal in nature.

Finger infections do not always involve the nail. A felon is a potentially dangerous infection involving the soft tissue at the tip of the finger.