When To See A Hand Doctor: Common Injuries Requiring Medical Care
Everyone knows that two hands are better than one, so it is very important that you take care of them. Learn the most common injuries involving the hands that require you to see a hand doctor.
Since your hands are such a vital part of your daily life, it is hard to imagine how difficult it would be if you had to get along without them, even temporarily. Thankfully, there are specialized doctors available to treat any injuries you might sustain. With that in mind, here are some of the most common injuries for which you might need to seek medical treatment.
One of the most common injuries involves a broken bone of the hand, wrist, or fingers. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and inability to move the joint. A bone can also be dislocated, meaning pushed out of place, and sometimes it can even poke through the skin. If you feel you may have suffered a fracture or dislocation, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention from a hand doctor. If an x-ray and exam reveals any broken bones, the joint will be re-set into proper position followed by the application of a splint or cast, with physical therapy also prescribed if necessary.
Burns are another common injury due to accidents while cooking, tending a fireplace or campfire, or working with electricity. If you suffer such a burn, you should immediately run cold water over the affected area, which stops the burn from spreading to nearby tissues. Do not put butter or grease on the area because this traps the heat in the burned tissue and causes more skin damage. Cover the burn with a clean cloth and take ibuprofen for any pain when necessary.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition mainly affecting the median nerve in the wrists, with symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness of your hands and arms. Causes include diseases like arthritis or diabetes, the repetitive use of machinery such as a computer keyboard, and obesity. Treatment involves using a splint or brace, taking anti-inflammatory medicine, applying ice to the area, and avoiding the activities that caused the syndrome in the first place. Surgery is sometimes performed as a last resort, although the results are often suboptimal and your symptoms may return.
When a sprain occurs, that means you have injured a joint capsule or ligament, which is the tissue that connects one bone to another. Sprains are usually the result of a traumatic event, such as falling or tripping, or can occur when you are playing sports. Sprains can vary in degree, ranging all the way from a minor tear to a complete rupture. Ligament tear symptoms include pain and swelling but signs of a rupture are loss of stability and joint dislocation. Minor sprains typically respond to treatment with rest, ice, compression, and elevation; more severe sprains or ruptures usually need to be surgically repaired by a hand doctor.
Since having the use of your hands is extremely important to being able to enjoy life, you should not ignore any symptoms you may have following any traumatic injury involving them. Prompt treatment by a qualified hand doctor can help ensure a quick recovery with no further problems.
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