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Month: September 2016

Categories
Conditions General

Syndactyly Causes and Treatment

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Everyone has a little web of flesh between their thumb and their forefinger. If there are fleshy webs between your fingers as well, though, you may have a condition known as syndactyly.

What Is Syndactyly?

Simply stated, syndactyly is a condition in which adjacent fingers have grown together and appear webbed. If the fingers are completely joined, the condition is known as “complete syndactyly.” If only part of the fingers are involved, this is “incomplete syndactyly.” If both the flesh and the skin are involved, the condition is referred to as “simple syndactyly,” although sufferers would probably argue that there is nothing simple about it. Complete syndactyly is a joining of the bones. Fingers may also be joined at the tips, but have separate bones. This is complete simple syndactyly.

Causes

Syndactyly is a birth defect. The condition is sometimes genetic, passed down from one generation to the next. Other times, it occurs for no apparent reason. What is known, though, is that syndactyly has nothing to do with anything the mother may have done or neglected to do throughout her pregnancy. There is no need for a mother to feel guilty if her child is born with syndactyly.

Treatment

If it appears that syndactyly may interfere with function, it can be surgically corrected. Otherwise, parents can make the decision based on aesthetics. Most cases of syndactyly actually will not impair function. If surgery is done, though, therapy will be required post-surgery. Usually this involves wearing spacers between the fingers while the child is sleeping, in order to prevent the fingers from growing together again. The hand will also need to be bandaged for some time – perhaps even months. There may also be a need for follow-up surgery in years to come.

Success of Treatment

The goal of the surgery for syndactyly is to improve appearance, and also prevent the deformity from progressing. Usually, this is successful, although the appearance of the hand may not be completely what we would consider to be “normal.” It is important to remember that unless the appearance of the hand is extremely abnormal, what most people notice about the hand is not how it looks, but how it works. As long as a person is using their hand in a natural manner, deformities will usually be overlooked by the casual observer.

Refusing Treatment

If you have a child who has syndactyly, treatment is generally optional. Syndactyly does not usually present a health risk unless the fingers are joined toward the tips – in that case, they will bend in undesirable directions over the course of time. In such situations, surgery should be performed in the early years so the child can adapt to the changes in his or her hand. If delayed beyond the early childhood years, the results of syndactyly surgery are usually less than satisfactory.

If the condition is likely to result only in aesthetic issues, then surgery can be foregone without fear of complications down the road.

Categories
Elbows General Treatments

How To Treat A Broken Elbow

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How a broken elbow is treated depends largely on the type of injury. Treatment could involve nothing more than applying a splint to the arm and keeping it elevated as much as possible. On the other hand, it could involve surgery to repair not only damaged bones, but damaged blood vessels and nerves.

Treatment will also depend on your age. As an example, children and adults usually injure their elbows in different ways, and they also heal differently.

Medication

If you have broken your elbow, at some point you will almost certainly require medication. Oral medications are frequently used for mild pain, whereas injections may be needed for pain that is moderate to severe – this type of medication can be delivered directly into the joint. If the elbow needs to be re-set, you will probably require a sedative to help you relax while the doctor re-sets the bone.

Re-setting the bone not only puts it back into its correct position, but it will also go a long way toward relieving pain. Frequently, broken bones can cut blood vessels and nerves, or press on them. Re-setting the bones stops this sort of damage. Medications can be provided during the re-setting process, as well as afterward to help with pain relief as healing progresses.

Surgery

If you have a compound injury (an injury in which at least one of the bones at your elbow is protruding through the skin), you may need an operation. With this type of injury, there is a good chance that blood vessels and nerves have been damaged. Additionally, the bone and surrounding tissue will need to be cleaned before the bone is put back in place, in order to prevent infection.

Draining

If the elbow joint is filled with fluid, it can be drained. This will relieve pain and pressure.

Splints, Slings and Casts

Splints are used for a variety of elbow injuries. They are usually made from plaster, and placed on the back of your arm in order to hold your elbow in a fixed position. Usually, the splint will extend from your hand to your shoulder, so that the hand cannot turn and the elbow will not bend, possibly preventing a fracture from healing or further dislocating the elbow.

You may also require a sling so that your arm can rest. You may be asked to remove it when you are at home, and elevate your arm in order to alleviate the swelling.

In most cases, you will not be fitted with a cast. This is because casts cover the arm completely, and if there is swelling under the cast, it could damage blood vessels and nerves.

Follow Up

Some joints can be fairly “forgiving” as they heal. The elbow, however, will not forgive and could heal badly, causing you to experience discomfort down the road. So make sure to follow your doctors advice to the letter if you are diagnosed with a broken elbow, and also be sure to keep any follow up appointments that are scheduled.

If you have any specific questions, please visit one of our offices or contact us at our offices in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, or Macomb.

Categories
Fingers General

The Facts About Nail Psoriasis

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When you hear the term “psoriasis,” you no doubt think about your skin or your scalp. You know about itching, flaking and discomfort in other areas, but probably the very last thing you think about is your fingernails. The fact is, though, psoriasis can also affect your nails. It changes the way that your nails look, often causing thickening or a change in shape or color, and it can also be painful. Fortunately, nail psoriasis is very treatable.

Symptoms

If you have nail psoriasis, your nails may become very unsightly, turning brown, yellow or green, or developing white or red spots. You may also notice grooves or ridges, or little holes on the surface of the nail. You might also find that there is a buildup of white, chalky material under the nail that could even cause it to become detached from the skin. Needless to say, this is painful. Brittle or broken nails are also a symptom of nail psoriasis. In its advanced stages, nail psoriasis may make it difficult for you to move your fingers. This loss of functionality can impair your ability to work and to socialize effectively.

Preventing Nail Psoriasis

As is the case with many illnesses and disorders, prevention is far better than a cure. In order to prevent nail psoriasis, you should do the following:

  • Keep your nails short.
  • Wear gloves when you are working with your hands.
  • Use a nail file to make sure that your nails are always smooth.
  • Moisturize your hands morning and evening, and whenever they have been in water.
  • Use clear nail polish to protect the surface of your nails, but be sure that you are not allergic to any of the chemicals in the polish.

Remember that taking care of your nails is part of your daily hygiene, just the same as washing your face or brushing your teeth.

Treating Nail Psoriasis

Generally speaking, the same treatments that work on scalp and skin psoriasis can also work on nail psoriasis. However, because nails grow slowly, you may not see improvement right away. Treatments for nail psoriasis include:

  • Medication that is either taken orally or applied directly to the nails
  • Phototherapy using ultraviolet light
  • Protective lacquers to strengthen and hydrate your nails – used in the same way as nail polish
  • Antibiotic creams that work to ease the discomfort of nail psoriasis and cure any infection that may have resulted from the condition
  • Coricosteroid injections applied under the nails every few months, under local anesthetic

The Final Word

Nail psoriasis is unsightly, and can also be very painful. Fortunately, there are remedies available that can ease the discomfort and correct the condition. If you have symptoms of nail psoriasis, you should see your doctor immediately. The condition will not get better on its own, and if left untreated, it can cause significant and permanent damage to your nail bed.

If you have any specific questions, please visit or contact our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, or Macomb.

Categories
General

Top Questions to Ask Your Hand Surgeon

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If you are in need of hand surgery, you will need to set up a consultation with the hand surgeon. During the consultation, they will provide you with information about the procedure, and you will have the opportunity to ask a number of questions to get a better understanding of the entire process. Lets look at some of the questions you should be asking.

Why Is the Doctor Choosing This Procedure?

There are many different types of hand surgery, and the doctor will choose the one thats best for your particular condition. However, you can still ask for clarification as to why they feel it is the best option. In addition, you can ask the doctor if there are any alternatives to the procedure.

Ask the doctor what benefits the procedure offers over the other options, and what you can reasonably expect after surgery. How much of your pain will it relieve? Will it help to return mobility and flexibility to your hand? You will also want to ask the doctor if this is the only procedure you will need, or if it might need to be repeated later.

What Happens During the Procedure?

How is the procedure performed and what is involved with it? Does it require a large incision or will the doctor be using arthroscopic tools that only require small incisions? The doctor should ask you whether you have any allergies to medication or have had any allergies to anesthesia. Always be forthcoming with your medical history so there are no unexpected complications.

What Are the Risks?

While it is certainly important to know the benefits that the surgery can provide, you also need to make sure you understand the risks. Even safe surgeries will have some element of risk, and you need the doctor to be very clear about the potential risks and issues associated with the surgery.

How Do I Get Ready for Surgery?

Before the day of your surgery, you need to ask the doctor about what procedures you need to follow before you arrive. Depending on the type of surgery, and your particular case, they might have different requirements, so talk with the pre-op nurse so you understand what you will have to do.

How Long Is the Healing Process?

While patients will heal at different rates, even those who have the same procedure, your doctor should be able to give you a good estimate of how much time it will take to heal. Understand the doctors orders when it comes to recovery and follow them. If they are unclear, ask them about what you can and cant do during the recovery time. Will you need to have help at home after the surgery? The discharge instructions should be clear, and if they are not, have them clarified before you head home.

Will I Need Therapy?

Some patients may find that they need to have therapy after surgery so they can improve the mobility and flexibility of their hands. Get instructions from the doctor on what types of therapy you need.

If you have any specific questions, please visit or contact our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, St. Clair Shores, or Macomb.

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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.