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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.

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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.