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Month: July 2016

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General Treatments

Arthritis Surgery: What You Should Know

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Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that can cause chronic pain and stiffness, and will generally get worse over time. Fortunately, you and your doctor can discuss different treatment options to deal with your arthritis to help control the pain and other issues it presents. With rest and medication, it can help to deal with the pain. However, it doesnt actually do anything to remove the pain – it merely masks it. In some cases, the doctor may recommend arthritis surgery to help you. Joint surgery on the hands, elbow, and wrist could help to reduce your pain and to return more of your mobility.

Is Surgery Right for You?

Not all patients are good candidates for surgery, so this is something you will need to talk with your doctor about. They want to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery, and that the surgery will actually be able to help you. You and your doctor will also want to discuss other treatment options that are available.

If both of you decide that surgery is the best choice, the doctor will explain the procedure. There are different types of surgery for arthritis. In some cases, the doctors will use fusion techniques, which will fuse the joint, which can relieve the pain, although it may limit some of the mobility. They may also use arthroscopic surgery to remove some of the debris around the joints, which can reduce pain. In severe cases, they may consider replacing all or part of a joint.

Have the doctor explain the surgery, along with the pros, cons, and the risks. Make sure you also understand the recovery time and what types of therapy you will have to do. You can then decide whether you want to proceed and have the surgery.

Getting Ready for the Surgery

As mentioned, you need to be healthy enough to have surgery. Make sure that you and your doctor consider all of your other health issues first. The doctor may want you to change your dietary habits, quit smoking, and to eliminate unhealthy behavior before the surgery to ensure a better healing rate. They will also want to know what medications you are on so that you arent taking anything that could interfere with the procedure, and so you arent taking any conflicting medications after the surgery.

Ask About Follow-Ups

The surgeon will want to see you several times after the surgery to make sure you are healing properly and that the surgery was successful. Make sure you understand the follow-up schedule. Also, make sure you have a way to contact the doctor in case you have any complications after the surgery.

Choosing to have arthritis surgery is a big step, and it is not something that you can take lightly. Make sure you ask your hand surgeon as many questions as you have, and be sure that you really are ready to have this type of surgery. It can be beneficial, as it can relieve a lot of your pain and stiffness, but you still have to make the decision on your own of whether you want to go through with the surgery.

Contact us at one of our hand and wrist surgery offices in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, or Macomb to get in touch with a medical professional.

Categories
Conditions General

A Look at Gamer’s Thumb – Arora Hand Surgery

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Video games are designed for human beings, but human beings are not designed to play video games. Our hands are simply not constructed to manipulate game controllers for hours on end. Most video game controllers require the thumbs to take the brunt of the activity, and that often leads to a condition known, appropriately enough, as Gamers Thumb. This is a type of repetitive stress injury affecting not only the thumb, but the wrist as well.

Symptoms

People afflicted with Gamers thumb will often notice that they dont have the strength in their hands that they once did, or the range of motion. They may also notice a popping sound, or a feeling of snapping, on the outer part of the thumb where it joins the wrist.

The Mechanics

The thumb is designed to move inward toward the wrist, and its overall anatomy makes this possible. This action, the movement of opposable thumbs, is what distinguishes us from animals, enabling us to pick up objects and use tools. The thumb is made to grip, but not to complete complex motions that can put stress on the joint as wells as the tendons and muscles that are attached to it. When non-gripping movements are performed over and over, inflammation in the tendons and in the tenosynovium (a membrane that helps the tendons to slide through the wrist) can occur. The ability to grip is then reduced, and swelling can occur in the thumb, the wrist, and even the forearm. This, at its essence, is Gamers Thumb.

The Pain

Usually, Gamers Thumb pain occurs when the wrist is flexed, or when the sufferer grabs something or makes a fist. It occurs in gamers who play for long periods of time, usually every day. If left untreated, the inflammation can worsen, and the synovial sheaths that protect the tendons can thicken and even deteriorate. In the long term, this can lead to a loss of range of motion, loss of strength, and even permanent damage accompanied by constant pain. Not only will you have trouble performing ordinary activities, your gaming career is going to be over.

Treatment

If Gamers Thumb has not progressed significantly, it can be treated. Treatment is much the same as for other injuries to the hand and wrist. Most importantly, you need to rest, so whether your passion is Minecraft, Call of Duty, vintage games like Super Mario and Tetris, or maybe just Facebook games like Candy Crush or Bejeweled Blitz, you need to take a bit of time out. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk – whatever gets you away from your games.

You can get relief from the pain by applying cold packs to your hand and wrist, and taking over-the-counter pain remedies. Keeping your hand elevated can also ease the discomfort.

Keep in mind that if you have noticeable symptoms, you cant “scale back.” You have to stop for a while. But if you do, youll be back at your gaming console soon, none the worse for the wear.

Categories
General Wrists

How do I treat a sprained wrist?

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Spraining your wrist is one of the most common injuries, and it can happen more easily than you might think. You could be playing sports and have a collision, you could slip and fall walking down the stairs, and receive the injury in countless other ways. A sprained wrist occurs when your outstretch palm hits the floor or another surface and bends backwards momentarily. This causes the ligaments in the wrist to stretch further than they were meant to stretch. Small tears can occur, and in some cases, it is possible to snap the ligament entirely.

Most Common Symptoms

When a person sprains their wrist, there is a substantial amount of pain. In addition, the area tends to swell. The site of the injury will be warm to the touch as it swells. The area will also be extremely tender to the touch – even a light touch can send swells of pain through the body. Bruising tends to occur as well.

At the moment of the sprain, it is common for the injured party to feel the tear as it occurs. This can actually be the most frightening part for many people, as they know that something bad happened … they just do not know the extent of the injuries.

The Diagnosis

While you might suspect that you have a sprained wrist, the only way to know for sure is to speak with a doctor. You do not want to believe that you have a sprained wrist when it is actually broken. The doctor will examine you, and they may require that you have an x-ray as well. This will give them a look “inside” to make sure that there are no fractured bones in the wrist. They may require other imaging tests as well, such as an MRI, to get the entire picture.

Types of Sprains

There are several “grades” of sprains – Grade I, II, and III. The mildest of these is Grade I, which is reserved for those sprains that have only minor ligament damage. The Grade II sprains have more damage, as well as more pain. Some patients might feel as though their wrist joint feels loose. They will also lose proper function of the wrist until it heals. A Grade III sprain is the most serious, as it means that ligament is torn and the patient will not have any use of their wrist.

Treatment Options

When you have a sprain, you will want to follow the acronym RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Keep the wrist resting and add ice to the area to keep the swelling down. Use a bandage to compress the area, which will also help with the swelling. Keep your wrist elevated so it is above heart level.

You can also take over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help to keep the swelling down, and which can provide you with pain relief. Those who suffer from a Grade III sprain may need to have surgery to proper repair.

While most sprains aren’t serious and can heal on their own, you should still get a medical opinion. Contact our hand surgeon’s office in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, or Macomb to get in touch with a medical professional. You need to have a proper diagnosis if you are expected to heal.

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Stories

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Dr. Aroras office from my first call to schedule my appointment was friendly. Walking in the first day, I felt like I was in a nice atmosphere. Dr. Arora was EXCELLENT in taking great care of my hand injury. He was gentle and very understanding to the concerns I had about my hand. His expertise was admirable and I would recommend anyone with an injury to their hand to his office to be under his care. Because of him, I have healed faster than expected and will make an 100% recovery! Thank you Dr.

Jackie S.

I first thought I was going to have to have painful injections or surgery, but Dr. Arora suggested physical therapy may do the trick. I was doubtful, but I agreed to do it. Now, my pain is gone, and with the help of an ergonomic keyboard at work to keep my hands in the correct position, I am virtually pain free. The therapy strengthened my wrists and shoulders, and built more flexibility into my wrists.

Jerry T.

My experience with this doctor was positive from the outset. Dr. Arora was kind and spent a great deal of time with me. Staff was friendly. The office was nice and bright.

Ariel G.

Very friendly and helpful Great staff!!! Doctor Arora was very professional and did great work. I was very happy with everything!

L B.