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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 Uncategorized

Up and Running: Arora Hand Surgery Opens Office in Warren, Michigan

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We’re finally getting all settled into our newest office, located in Warren, and we hope you love it as much as we do!

Patients from our St. Clair Shores location, which is now closed, are welcome to visit our hand specialty team at our new office at 28295 Schoenherr Road, Suite B. Located between 12 Mile and I-696, the location is convenient for residents of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.  The phone number remains the same: (586) 209-3210.

You may also visit us at any of our other offices, located in Oakland, Macomb, and Livingston counties.

  • 7011 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 220, in West Bloomfield
  • 1225 S. Latson Road, Suite 380, in Howell
  • 46591 Romeo Plank Road, Suite 105, in Macomb Township

No matter which location is most convenient for you, you can feel confident in our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, testing procedures, and friendly, caring team. We will make every effort to keep you informed, comfortable, and safe before, during, and after appointments and treatments.

By the way, since we’re telling you about new changes at Arora Hand Surgery, have you met our new physician assistant, Ashley Delzer (PA-C)? With more than 10 years of experience as an orthopedic surgery physician assistant, she is working hand-in-hand with Dr. Arora to provide our patients with comprehensive diagnoses and treatment. Ashley will be assisting with injections, X-rays, casts, and follow-up and post-operative visits.

When you visit our hand surgery office in Warren or any of our other locations, be sure to say hi! She’s looking forward to getting to know you all better!

Contact us if you want to know more about our new office or any of our services.

 

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Occupational Therapy Rewards: Building Personal Connections that Make an Impact

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Occupational therapist Lodia’s first traumatic amputation experience taught her profound lessons that she carries with her decades later.

After an M-80 firecracker exploded in his hand, a 13-year-old patient’s index finger and thumb were amputated, but Lodia’s support helped him rebuild his strength.

And she found lifelong friends in the process.

Personal Connections

The boy’s rehabilitation spanned about three months, and today Lodia recalls that she learned so much from this experience.

“By discharge, he had regained full use of his hand despite the partial loss of his index finger and thumb,” Lodia recalls. “His mother came to every therapy session even while in her third trimester of pregnancy. The three of us got to know one another very well. A couple of months after his discharge I received a note that the mother had her baby girl.”

This news also came with what Lodia considers an incredible honor.

“She named her after me,” Lodia said. “I still have the notes with her name, birthdate, and weight. I took this as the highest compliment possible.

“In addition to honing my therapy skills, I realized that the personal connections made with patients/families are one of the biggest rewards of being an occupational therapist.”

Occupational Therapy as a Career

Lodia always knew she wanted to go into the medical field and had volunteered in the field in high school.

“I observed a variety of disciplines, but occupational therapy really impressed me,” she said. “The therapy was so purposeful and specific for getting the patient back to their highest level of function, and OTs are trained in the psychological as well as the physical impacts of injury/disease.”

She also was very inspired by the orthotist she met at the Detroit Medical Center.

“The specialty of hand therapy allows me to treat patients and fabricate splints — two things I really enjoy doing,” she said.

Fabricating splints allows her to be creative and inventive, which she describes as an “awesome adjunct to therapy.”

With 31 years of experience as an occupational therapist, Lodia says she loves the diversity of her caseload, as well as the close interaction with the physician.

Lodia has been the occupational therapist at Arora Hand Surgery for about a year, and she has enjoyed building relationships with her new patients.

“The best part of my job is the personal growth that I have gained through the years from interacting with patients of all ages and experiences,” she said. “I have had the pleasure of teaching and guiding them throughout their rehab process while learning so many lessons from them.”

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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.