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General Hands Uncategorized

Smoking & Your Hands: 16 Statistics, Factors, and Facts You Might Not Realize

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Even though cigarette smoking has greatly declined in recent years, nearly 40 million U.S. adults still smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We don’t need to rehash all the dangers of smoking as it relates to your overall health, as we’re sure you have heard them time and time again. What the media might not talk about as much, however, is how smoking affects your hands.

Some of the effects of smoking on your hands are obvious, such as the scent and the stains. You almost couldn’t ignore those if you tried.  And then there are the effects you might certainly feel but not associate with smoking at all.

Consider the following facts, according to sources such as the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

1. Studies show that smokers have decreased blood flow in the skin of their fingers as compared to non-smokers.

2. Smokers have increased vascular resistance, which means the vessels are tighter, most likely because smoking increases the amount of adrenaline in the body.

3. Scleroderma patients who smoke have a four times higher chance of having vascular problems in the fingers.

4. Skin wounds heal slower in fingers exposed to cigarette smoke and nicotine.

5. Smokers are twice as likely have wounds that will not heal.

6. Smokers are twice as likely to have wound infections.

7. Smokers are almost twice as likely to develop infections in the hands.

8. The skin of your hands may wrinkle and age prematurely. This is because the chemicals in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin, which are responsible for making the skin look supple, firm, and healthy.

9. Hand fractures may take longer to heal in smokers vs. non-smokers.

10. Smoking can lead to general tingling, numbness, and pain in your hands.

11. Smokers who have conditions such as diabetes may have even greater tingling, numbness, and pain in their hands.

12. The flame from a cigarette lighter may accidentally burn the tips of your fingers.

13. Congenital hand problems such as extra fingers or fused fingers are more common when the child’s mother smoked while pregnant.

14. Dupuytren’s contracture is more common in smokers.

15. Complex regional pain syndrome may be more likely in smokers.

16. Smoking is a risk factor for psoriasis.

In addition to all these possible effects on your hands, elbow pain may also be more common in smokers.

But here’s the good news: When you stop smoking, many of these effects can be reversed, minimized, or prevented. At the very least, quitting smoking may stop the progression of these effects on the hands.

If you do experience chronic hand pain for any reason, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora in Warren, Howell, Macomb Township, or West Bloomfield.

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General Hands

Claw Hand Deformity: Causes and Treatment Options

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A claw hand deformity can result in many physical and emotional challenges. Feeling insecure about the appearance of the hand, experiencing pain and stiffness, and being unable to complete certain everyday tasks can take their toll on the individuals.

Treatment for claw hand deformity may be possible if it is truly negatively affecting someone’s quality of life. In some cases, surgery for a claw hand may have more negatives than positives, so it’s something you should talk about with Dr. Arora. Make an appointment to speak with the hand doctor in Macomb, Howell, West Bloomfield, or Warren to better understand your options.

In the meantime, following are answers to a few questions you may have about claw hand deformity.

What is a Claw Hand Deformity, and What Causes It?

A claw hand is a deformity in which one or more fingers are bent into a position that makes the hand look like a claw. The condition may affect one or both hands.

It is considered a complete hand deformity when it involves all the fingers due to conditions such as ulnar and median nerve palsy. A partial deformity that affects the two fingers controlled by the ulnar nerve is known as an isolated ulnar nerve palsy.

The condition occurs when there is weakness or paralysis of hand muscles that are responsible for straightening the fingers. It is usually related to damage to a nerve that starts at the neck. However, there are many possible causes of claw hand deformity, which may be present at birth or appear later in life. They include:

  • Nerve damage in the arm, such as ulnar palsy or cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Congenital birth defect
  • Specific genetic diseases
  • Certain bacterial infections
  • Trauma to the hand

A claw hand deformity is sometimes referred to as an “ape hand deformity,” although that term is very insensitive and politically incorrect.

Signs and symptoms of this condition include weakened muscles, numbness along the applicable nerve, and inability to move the thumb outward, straighten the fingers, or move the ring finger and pinky and other fingers that may be affected.

Diagnosing the Condition

Several other conditions have similar signs and symptoms. When you see the hand doctor, he will make efforts to eliminate the other possibilities in order to properly diagnose your condition. Other possibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Dupuytren’s contracture, which can cause lumps and pits in the palm of the hand and force the fingers to bend into the palm.
  • Cervical radiculopathy, which is an umbrella term to describe several conditions related to the inflammation or damage of a nerve root in the neck/cervical spine.
  • Klumpke paralysis, a rare birth injury to the nerves around a newborn’s shoulder.
  • Lower brachial plexopathy, which occurs when a group of nerves in the neck and arms do not operate correctly, resulting in a lack of movement in the arm and shoulder.

In order to diagnose a claw hand deformity, the hand doctor may recommend an electromyography and nerve condition studies.

Claw Hand Treatment Options

Claw hand can be treated through physical therapy, splinting, or surgery, such as a tendon transfer/graft.

Physical therapy has been shown to be highly effective in minimizing the effects of the condition. These include specific types of stretches as well as hand strengthening exercises.

Surgical options may be suitable if they would treat the underlying condition that is causing the claw hand deformity. If the condition is due to a serious burn or injury, for example, treating the burn may help.

However, if the condition was present at birth, surgical options could have negative effects, so talk with Dr. Arora to see if he would advise surgery in this case.

To discuss your options, schedule an appointment to see the hand surgeon at the southeast Michigan location closest to you.

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Hands

Common Causes of Stiff Hands

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Stiff hands can hit you all of a sudden. One minute you’re going about your day and the next, you’re wiggling your wrists in hopes of bringing life back into your fingers.

Certain serious medical conditions can definitely bring this on, but in other cases, your hands may feel stiff for no apparent reason.

Well, there most likely is a reason why your hands are stiff, and self-care may be your first line of treatment and prevention.

5 Common Causes of Stiff Hands

Stiffness in your fingers, thumb, and palm occur when there is a problem in a joint, including the ligaments and muscles.

One of the greatest culprits is arthritis, which isn’t a condition as much of a description of more than 100 types of ailments. Types of arthritis that may lead to stiff hands include:

Other medical conditions that can contribute to the sensation include:

Environmental factors and how you use your hands may lead to stiffness as well, such as gaming for too long or spending too much time outside in freezing temperatures.

Questions and Answers

Whether your hands become stiff temporarily for a few minutes or it’s an ongoing symptom, the reasons why this happens can be mysterious. When you see Dr. Arora, tell him about your symptoms in detail, and he will help identify the source of your problems.

In the meantime, here are some of the common questions we hear about hand and joint stiffness along with the basic answers.

Why do my hands get stiff in the morning?

One of the simplest answers is that you slept on them or leaned on them too much as you were sleeping. Avoid leaning on your wrists or tucking your hands under your head as you sleep. Using a brace at night may help you keep your wrists straight.

Otherwise, a common cause of stiff hands in the morning is worn joints or muscle tightness. This may be an indicator of arthritis, but not necessarily. Over the course of your life, your joints experience a lot of wear-and-tear; specifically, the cartilage in your joints dries out, stiffens, and loses lubrication.

This can lead to weaker muscles and stiff tendons, which may tighten even more as you sleep because you’re not moving. Lack of movement allows fluid to build up, which can stiffen tissues. When we move, bodily fluids move through the body more evenly, which can increase flexibility.

Simple lifestyle changes may help combat stiffness in your hands in the morning, including using proper mattresses and pillows, avoiding cold temperatures, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet. You also should get regular exercise that is ideal for your body’s needs, so talk with Dr. Arora about stretches and exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your hands.

Why are the symptoms bad at night?

Just like our eyes and legs, our hands get a lot of use during the day. For that reason, you may feel more stiffness, pain, or throbbing in your hands in the evenings. Resting your hands will help them recover from the everyday grind. That’s the simple answer.

Otherwise, if your hands get stiff while you sleep, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, so talk with Dr. Arora about your symptoms.

Why does cold weather make my fingers stiff?

Momentarily, that’s actually a good sign; it means your body is working as it should. Our fingers and toes are designed to protect the rest of our bodies. In the cold, our blood vessels constrict to keep the core of our bodies and our vital organs warm. That may leave our fingers and toes colder and stiffer.

If you keep that up too long, though, you may experience frostbite in your extremities, which can be very dangerous. Help your body stay warm in the cold by wearing gloves, thick socks, and boots, as well as hats that can cover your ears. If they become wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. If you are outside shoveling or playing in the snow, go indoors every 15 minutes or so to warm up.

How do you treat stiff hands?

Treatment for stiff hands will depend on its causes, but some home remedies may help.

  1. Ask our hand therapist, Lodia, about hand exercises that can help you stimulate your blood flow in the morning or relieve overuse symptoms in the evening.
  2. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve swelling that is causing stiffness in your hands. Talk with Dr. Arora to determine if this will help you. He may have specific medications that would be preferable in your case.
  3. You can use a brace while you sleep, while participating in hobbies, or at work if your job requires intense use of your hands.
  4. Gently stretch your hand muscles to loosen them. Ask Dr. Arora or Lodia about how to loosen up your hand muscles safely.
  5. Take a lukewarm shower or bath to relieve stiff joints. Avoid water that is too hot, as this can dry your skin, which could make your hands feel tighter.
  6. Use a warm compress or heating pad for only several minutes to relieve stiffness. Be sure to wrap the heating device in a towel before placing it on your skin to avoid burns or swelling.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first step is to determine why you are experiencing stiff hands. Once the cause is identified, we can advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s simple self-care, hand therapy, medication, or the use of support devices. Surgery may be required in some more serious cases when other remedies do not help.

If your stiff hands are regularly causing you discomfort or you are concerned that this may be due to a serious medical condition, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Arora. We will help you identify the cause of your hand symptoms and devise a treatment plan that works for you.

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Conditions General Hands

What is the Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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The differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are significant, but the ability to identify one over the other can be somewhat elusive to the general public. A proper diagnosis is crucial for effective arthritis treatment.

The symptoms of these two common forms of arthritis may be similar, but the conditions are actually very different.

The word “arthritis” itself isn’t as much of a diagnosis as a description of more than 100 different types of ailments that involve joint pain or inflammation. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 32.5 million U.S. adults suffer from osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 1.3 million adults in the U.S.

To help you communicate your concerns to Dr. Arora, we offer the following comparison as a guide.

What is Osteoarthritis?

In very general terms, osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in a joint wears out. It usually begins in one joint and may never affect other joints.

The pain can be mild, moderate, or severe. Moderate or severe osteoarthritis pain can make it difficult for patients to complete everyday activities, such as buttoning a shirt or tying their shoes.

It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older. Other risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, genetics, and joint injury or overuse.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. When this occurs, the immune system essentially “malfunctions” and attacks the synovial membrane that encases and protects the joints. It frequently affect several joints at the same time.

Beyond the pain, inflammation, and swelling common in other forms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may include fever, anemia, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Rheumatoid arthritis may also show signs in the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys, salivary glands, nerve tissue, bone marrow, and blood vessels. It tends to be symmetrical, so symptoms may occur on both sides of the body simultaneously.

This form of arthritis is a chronic condition. There is no cure, and it is likely to progress over time. However, treatment options can reduce pain, make the symptoms manageable, and prevent significant joint damage.

Women are more likely to develop RA than men are. RA can begin at any age but most commonly starts in middle age. Other risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include family history, smoking, and excess weight.

4 Key Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Number of Joints Affected

Osteoarthritis may only affect one joint. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect several at the same time.

2. Symmetry

Rheumatoid arthritis tends to be symmetrical, meaning it affects both elbows, for instance. Osteoarthritis is more centralized, so it might or might not affect both sides of the body.

However, both sides of the body may become affected due to the exertion of too much pressure on one side. For example, if you experience osteoarthritis pain in your left wrist, you may use your right wrist more often, eventually causing the right wrist to act up as well.

3. Duration of Symptoms

The duration and extent of the pain is different.

With RA, joint pain and swelling can come and go, but the disease never really goes away. The goal of rheumatoid arthritis treatment is to make you feel better and get your symptoms under control, known as “remission.”

Osteoarthritis is also permanent and the pain and swelling are similar, but the condition can improve over time.

4. Additional Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis may have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, anemia, and loss of appetite. Osteoarthritis is usually only pain, swelling, and some loss of flexibility in the particular joint that is affected at the time.

If you are experiencing arthritis pain in your hands, wrists, or elbows, it’s important to determine the type of arthritis in order to create the best treatment and prevention plan for you. For an evaluation, diagnosis, and arthritis treatment, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora in Warren, West Bloomfield, Howell, or Macomb Township.

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Conditions Hands

Looking for a West Bloomfield Hand Specialist? Why Experience Makes the Difference

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Are you betting that all hand specialists in the West Bloomfield, Michigan area are the same? We’ll take that bet!

Truly, we can see why you might think that. Typically, people who experience a hand injury go to the first local hand specialist they can find. If you need care for an injury, that makes sense. On the other hand, if you’re looking for effective recovery and long-term treatment, you need to find a local hand doctor who has many years of experience in treating traumatic injuries as well as various other hand conditions.

Why is experience so important when you’re looking for a hand specialist? Let us point out a handful of reasons experience makes the difference.

1. The doctor may have a greater wealth of knowledge regarding various hand conditions.

As you are looking for a hand doctor, it’s important to find one who can diagnose and treat a wide variety of hand conditions. In fact, that’s why it’s ideal to go to a specialist specifically rather than a general doctor. The hand is an intricate, complex system, and any number of issues can cause similar symptoms. An experienced doctor will be more skilled at identifying the exact source of the pain and the condition that’s causing it.

2. The recovery process and results are more optimal.

Our hand surgery team learns something new every day, and the longer we work, the more we learn. It’s as simple as that. We’ve come across stumbling blocks, unexpected excellent outcomes, tremendous successes, and even a few failures, and we’ve learned from them all. Experience leads to knowledge about what to do, what not to do, and how to do it. And nothing can replace “time” in order to gain that expertise.

3. An experienced hand specialist in West Bloomfield may provide more accurate diagnoses.

If a hand doctor has earned his or her title, he or she is likely very familiar with all the various hand conditions a person may experience. There are many great hand specialists in Michigan, it’s true. However, reading about it is much different than seeing it in person or hearing what the patient has to say.

An experienced hand specialist would dig deeper and look beyond the obvious to pinpoint conditions that may mask themselves as something else.

4. The fluctuating Michigan weather may have an effect.

Cold weather can cause conditions such as hand arthritis and Raynaud’s disease to flare up. A local hand specialist who has years of experience in treating patients in Michigan specifically may have a few more helpful tips that can relieve weather-related flareups.

It’s also not all about the winters. Dramatic changes in weather conditions can lead to hand pain, numbness, and tingling as well. If you’re looking for a hand specialist, it’s important to find one who understands what all four seasons in Michigan can do to your body — and maybe even your mind. It all goes together, after all.

5. You gain peace of mind with proper treatment.

When you choose the best hand specialist in the West Bloomfield area, you can have greater confidence in the diagnosis, treatments, and guidance. Skilled hand doctors have most likely successfully treated countless of patients who have your condition, so they are more familiar with its intricacies.

You can also feel free to ask as many questions as necessary and know that you’re getting the thorough answers you deserve.

If the condition is treated properly the first time, you are less likely to have to return to get it treated again, with the exception of basic follow-up appointments. A condition that is improperly diagnosed or treated will likely not go away on its own. You might get temporary relief, but eventually you will have to return for more permanent solutions.

As you are looking for a West Bloomfield hand specialist, you will find that Dr. Arora has the depth of knowledge, expertise, and experience you need for more effective recovery. Contact us to make an appointment to see Dr. Arora at his office on Orchard Lake Road.

 

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Fingers General Hands

Clubbed Thumb Surgery: Is it Possible?

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In many ways, clubbed thumbs or toe thumbs are endearing. They’re short, cute, and would certainly stand out if you’re trying to hitch a ride, so you can leave all those “plain-thumbed” hitchhikers in the dust.

Even though there’s medically nothing wrong with having stubbed thumbs, some of their owners often feel somewhat self-conscious about them.

Truly, there’s no need to feel that way. In fact, Dr. Arora would not advise or perform any type of surgery for clubbed thumbs in 99.99% of the cases he has seen.

However, if you are having trouble gripping or writing or have associated hand conditions, surgery for clubbed thumbs may be possible albeit risky.

Facts About Clubbed Thumb Surgery

Before we get into the basic facts about clubbed thumb surgery, let’s define what a clubbed thumb is.

Also known as a “toe thumb” or “stub thumb,” a clubbed thumb is more formally identified as a Brachydactyly type D skeletal variation. It may also be called “Brachymegalodactylism” . . . such a big word for such a little thumb, right?

Speaking of “little,” a clubbed thumb is simply about 2/3 the size of a longer thumb. The nail bed may be shorter and wider as well. Stub thumbs are genetic, just like the color of someone’s eyes or hair.

There is no simple surgical solution for clubbed thumbs. Risks include scarring, loss of sensation, and abnormal nail growth.

Surgery options for this type of brachydactyly are not formalized in any way in the United States. Some treatments may be completed in other countries, but they are not typical for the U.S.

The primary type of surgery for clubbed thumbs is an osteotomy. During an osteotomy, the bone is cut, and a bone grafting material is used to reshape the thumb, making it longer and narrower as needed.

However, your hand is a complex system. If you were born with clubbed thumbs, they most likely function optimally with the rest of your hand, just like a well-oiled machine. Narrowing the thumb or making it longer may change the dynamics of your hand’s functionality.

Dr. Arora’s philosophy is generally, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Because clubbed thumb surgery is typically not advisable, just keep this in mind. Up to 3 percent of people in any given population have stub thumbs, so you’re not alone. In fact, some very beautiful and famous celebrities have toe thumbs.

If nothing else, consider it a gift — a beautiful feature that highlights how unique you really are.

Schedule a Consultation with our Hand Specialist in Southeast Michigan

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your hands, make an appointment to see Dr. Arora in West Bloomfield, Warren, Macomb Township, or Howell.

To make an appointment, call the hand doctor’s West Bloomfield office or send us a message through our website.

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General Hands

Hand Muscle Anatomy: How Many Muscles are in the Hand?

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Have you ever really stopped to think about how spectacular your hands are? You use them for just about everything in life — from pumping iron at the gym to pumping gas at the gas station. They can be flat, or they can be clenched into fists. You can wiggle your fingers all around, bend them, and use them to point at someone. Our hands are truly a thing of beauty; there aren’t many other areas of our bodies that can take so many different forms. Just how many muscles are in the hand to enable all this power?

The hand muscle anatomy is very intricate, understandably, and most of the hand movements are actually controlled by the forearms.

How Many Muscles are in the Hand?

There are about 30 hand muscles, most of which lead to the wrists and forearms.

The formal terms for the various types of hand muscles are:

  • Dorsal interossei and palmar interossei muscles
  • Lumbrical muscles
  • Hypothenar muscles, which include abductor, flexor, and opponens digiti minimi
  • Thenar muscles, which include abductor pollicis brevis, flexor pollicis brevis, and opponens pollicis muscles

Technically, there are no muscles in the fingers, with the exceptions of the adductor pollicis and abductor pollicis longus at the base of the thumb.

How many muscles are in the hand? About 30 muscles are in the human hand, including lumbrical muscles as shown in this graphic.
Lumbrical muscles

If that all sounds rather foreign to you, don’t worry. We’ll explain.

1. The interosseous muscles are a network of muscles found on and in between the knuckles that enable us to bend the joints in the fingers. The dorsal muscles are used to spread the fingers, while the palmar muscles are used to bend them.

There are four dorsal interosseous muscles in each hand.

Palmar interossei consist of four muscles each that attach to the first, second, fourth, and fifth fingers. The third finger does not have a palmar interosseous muscle.

2. The lumbrical hand muscles extend to underneath each finger. We use them to straighten our fingers and bend the joints. There are four in each hand.

3. The three muscles on the side of each of your hands near the small finger are the hypothenar muscles. They enable you to move the pinky away from the ring finger, bend the pinky, and make a fist.

4. The thenar muscles are perhaps the most recognizable. They are three short muscles in the thick area of your palm under your thumb. These muscles give the thumb the ability to move the way it does, as well as enable us to grasp items.  (If you’re interested in an additional nugget of medical trivia, the bulge under your thumb is known as hypothenar eminence.)

5. The two muscles near the thumb, the adductor pollicis and abductor pollicis longus, enable us to pinch. One is located between the index finger and thumb, and the other passes through the wrist.

Possible Causes of Hand Muscle Pain

If you are reviewing the anatomy of the hand because you are feeling pain in your hand muscles, you may wish to learn about the most common causes of this pain. They include inflammation, nerve damage, basic overuse, and sprains, fractures, or other traumatic injuries.

Chronic health conditions also can lead to hand pain. They include:

If you have pain in your hand, see our hand specialist at our Warren, West Bloomfield, Macomb Township, or Howell office. Dr. Arora can analyze the skin, joints, and muscles of the hand and recommend tests to identify the source.

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General Hands

Protecting Your Hands While Gardening: Tips that May Help Keep You Safer

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May is perhaps the most invigorating month of the entire year. With beautiful gardens, the fragrant scent of freshly tilled dirt, greenery bursting into life all around, and Mother’s Day flowers to color the scene, this month makes you want to get outside to be one with nature. Gardening can be a thrilling and fulfilling hobby, one that we hope you continue to enjoy for many years. For some people, gardening may even bring in the salary.

That’s why we want to remind you about all the ways you should protect your hands while gardening. Oversights or missteps can put a damper on that flowery spirit of yours, but we want to make sure you keep that green thumb up.

Common Gardening-Related Hand Injuries

Some of the most common hand and wrist conditions related to gardening include trigger thumb, wrist tendonitis, hand infections, gamekeeper’s thumb, and minor or traumatic injuries.

  • Trigger Thumb: Trigger thumb occurs when the pulley at the base of the finger becomes too thick, making it hard for the tendon to move freely.
  • Tendonitis: There are several types of tendonitis, which is essentially a torn, pulled, or swollen tendon.
  • Infections: Infections related to gardening include rose thorn disease and Legionnaires’ disease. Other gardening-related concerns are poison oak, poison ivy, and irritation from chemicals.
  • Gamekeeper’s Thumb: Gamekeeper’s thumb occurs when the inner ligament at the base of the thumb is injured due to overuse.
  • Gardening Injuries: Common injuries include cuts, scrapes, and lawnmower or gardening tool accidents. Another is body strain, aches, and pains due to improper posture while gardening.

How to Protect Your Hands While Gardening

Skilled gardeners are familiar with methods of protecting the hands while gardening, as well as how to protect their knees and backs. If you are new to the hobby, however, you should keep the following tips in mind as you head out this May.

  • Wear your gardening gloves, and make sure you choose a high-quality brand. The gloves should be thick and have latex or rubber on the palm side to help prevent splinters and also protect you from the chemicals in soil, Legionnaires’ disease, insect bites, and skin irritants like poison ivy or poison oak. You may even come across rodents underground that might want to take a bite at you. The latex or rubber will also provide support as you grip tools or when you need to use those arm and back muscle to really dig in.
  • Apply sunscreen on your hands, face, ears, neck and other areas of exposed skin before you head out. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 protection or higher. You may also wish to wear thin, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent sunburn.
  • Take frequent breaks. If you get too tired or too hot, step away from the task at hand. Repetitive motion can lead to issues such as cubital tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain.
  • Take all the necessary precautions when using manual hand tools and electric tools. Read the manuals and use the tools according to manufacturers’ directions. Protect your hands, body, and face when using them, and unplug the tools when you are done. Keep your tools clean, sharp, rust-free, and in proper working condition, which will help prevent strain or accidental injury due to malfunction.
  • Whenever possible, rely on your tools, not your fingers. You may be tempted to shovel or pull weeds with your fingers, but buried objects such as tree roots, glass, and metal can cause injury. Overusing your hands could also damage your fingernails, irritate your skin, and strain your back and arms.
  • Watch your posture. In order to ensure a tighter grip, keep your hands and wrists as straight as possible when you use the gardening tools. Without this sturdy grip, you will find yourself overusing your hand, wrist, and arm muscles unnecessarily.
  • In addition to protecting your hands while gardening, it’s important to follow general safety tips.
    • Sip water throughout the day to prevent hydration.
    • Keep children and pets away from dangerous tools.
    • Do not leave dangerous gardening tools in harm’s way.
    • Watch your surroundings before making abrupt movements.
    • Use knee pads if you will be kneeling.

If you do find that you overworked your hands or if you experienced a gardening injury, make an appointment to see our hand specialist in Warren, West Bloomfield, Macomb Township, or Howell. In the event of life-threatening injuries or other emergencies, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

We want you to enjoy your hobby for years to come, so stay safe out there!

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General Hands Treatments

Surgical Arthritis Treatment Recovery Time and Results

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If you are scheduled for surgical arthritis treatment, you likely have many questions. Prior to your procedure, we will explain our preparation recommendations, the surgical procedure itself, and the recovery process, as well as address any of your concerns. The following overview also may help prepare you and answer some of the questions you have about surgical arthritis treatment recovery time and results.

Types of Hand Arthritis Surgeries

There are two main types of surgeries for hand arthritis: fusion (arthrodesis) and total knuckle replacement (arthroplasty).

  • Arthrodesis: This procedure involves fusing the bones of the joint together to create a more stable knuckle. It reduces the pain, but leaves the finger with little flexibility.
  • Arthroplasty: In this procedure, the hand surgeon will remove the damaged joint and replace it with a prosthetic implant. The goal is to relieve pain while restoring shape and some function in the hand.

The main goal is to reduce pain when other treatment options are not effective. Whether arthrodesis or arthroplasty is used depends on the location of the joint, the severity of the condition, and the patient’s age, activity level, and preference.

Preparing for the Procedure

There are a number of things you can do to prepare for your hand arthritis surgery. Taking these steps beforehand will facilitate an easier and more optimal recovery period. Following are only a few suggestions that may help.

  • If necessary, rearrange the living room and bedroom in a manner that will allow you to rest easily. For example, place a nesting table beside your sofa, and leave a throw blanket within easy reach.
  • Purchase any post-surgery recovery items you may need, or obtain them from our hand doctor’s office in Warren, West Bloomfield, Howell, or Macomb Township. These may include such things as hand splints; heating/cooling pads; over-the-counter medications; and additional bandages or gauze you may need.
  • Plan for a ride to and from the doctor’s office on the day of your surgery.
  • Shop for groceries ahead of time, buying foods that don’t need too much preparation.
  • If you live alone, see if a friend or family member can stay with you overnight on the first day. If you have young children who need your care, find a babysitter or caretaker who can help you for a few days.
  • Schedule time off work or school.
Surgical arthritis treatment recovery time and results depend on a variety of factors, including the type of hand surgery that was performed. In this image, a doctor examines a patient's hand.
Surgical arthritis treatment recovery time and results depend on a variety of factors, including the type of hand surgery that was performed.

Results and Recovery Time Following Surgical Arthritis Treatment

You will be advised to rest and avoid strenuous activity immediately following surgical arthritis treatment. Although you will likely be able to move around, you may feel drowsy, so you should take it easy on the day of the surgery.

If you were given a nerve block in your hand, the numbness may last up to 24 hours. You will also likely be given a prescription for pain medication. Start taking this medication as soon as you get home, and follow the directions that were given to you.  You may also be advised to take antibiotics.

To minimize pain and swelling, use a pillow to raise your hand above your heart level as you are sitting at home and during sleep. Do this as often as possible for the first few days.

You should also apply ice packs to your hands for the first several hours to reduce and prevent swelling.

Remember to keep the bandages on your hand dry, including during showering, and change the dressing according to the doctor’s directions.

Overall, it will take two to three weeks for your skin to heal and up to 12 weeks before you have full use of your hand. However, you should be able to resume relatively normal activities within a few days, with the exception of activities that involve extensive use of your hands.

Urgent Care After Surgery & Follow-Up Appointments

Most patients will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment within one week after surgery. At this time, Dr. Arora will evaluate your progress and provide you with any additional guidance.

Some pain, minor swelling, and general discomfort following surgical arthritis treatment is to be expected. However, you should call our office if you experience:

  • Excessive bleeding or pain
  • Wound drainage that lasts longer than four days
  • Bluish color in the fingers, excess swelling, coldness, or paleness
  • Nausea or vomiting that lasts more than one day
  • Numbness or tingling of the hand that lasts more than one day
  • Fever that is greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit

Go to your nearest urgent care facility or emergency department if you need immediate care.

Physical Therapy After a Hand Arthritis Procedure

After your initial recovery period, you may be referred to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist who can tell you how to complete daily activities in ways that are safe for your joints.

Physical therapy will likely involve various exercises to further repair your hand and strengthen your muscles. You may also learn new methods for completing tasks if you have decreased mobility in your hands.

Most patients notice improvement as time goes on. You should take your physical therapy sessions seriously and remain dedicated to your own improvement. The more you train your muscles, the stronger they will become. Strengthening the muscles in your hands will help protect your wrists, elbows, and shoulders as well.

For additional information about surgical arthritis treatment recovery time and results or other treatment options, call one of our southeast Michigan offices.

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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.