Patient Education

Hand & Elbow Articles

Common Athletic Finger Injuries

Most athletes have had the experience. You are reaching to catch a ball and somehow you mistime it just a little bit. Instead of the ball nestling nicely into your palm, it strikes the tip of your finger. The pain is instantaneous. You reach down, cradle your finger and go back to playing. After the game is over you notice your finger is swollen and painful but you can bend it and think to yourself “it will get better,” but after a few weeks the pain persists, the swelling doesn’t go away and you wonder if you should go to the doctor for something that seems so trivial.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy is defined as the art and science of rehabilitation of upper limb dysfunction. This is defined as disorders of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. Hand therapists are expert in the application of physical medicine principles employing theory and techniques from both Physical and Occupational disciplines. Hand Therapy assists the patient in regaining function and enhancing the individual's ability to fully participate in the demands of daily life, employment and leisure activities.   Hand Therapy at Blue Ridge Bone & Joint is provided by Paul J Bonzani OTR/L CHT. Mr. Bonzani has been a certified...

Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis)

Trigger fingers are a common cause of discomfort in the palm, often associated with a distinct locking of the affected digit. The digits most commonly involved are the ring finger and the thumb, though any digit can be affected. Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome have a higher propensity to develop trigger finger, and again the cause is usually unknown. Symptoms can sometimes resolve spontaneously, and rest and NSAID’s can provide relief. Steroid injections can be curative in about 50% of cases.

Hand Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can affect any synovial joint. Most commonly affected in the hand are the DIP joints, followed by the thumb CMC joint and the PIP joints. The wrist joint can be affected as well, usually as a consequence of prior trauma (fracture or ligament rupture). Hand surgeons have a range of treatments available to help. Treatment is generally symptomatic initially (heat, gentle range of motion, NSAID’s, splints, activity modification.) Steroid injections can provide transient relief.


Ganglions are the most common “lumps” in the hand and wrist. They are fluid-filled synovial cysts generally emanating from a joint or tendon sheath.

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s contracture is the result of a pathological thickening of the superficial palmar fascia of the hand leading to an inability to straighten the finger, usually at the MP joint but sometimes at the PIP or even DIP joints. Although it is usually painless, it can interfere with function. The cause is unknown but there appears to be a genetic component (it is more prevalent in those of northern European heritage) and a loose association with alcoholism and epilepsy.

DeQuervain’s Tendonitis

DeQuervain’s tendonitis is a common condition affecting the tendons of the first dorsal compartment on the radial side of the wrist. It is classically described in new mothers but can affect adult men and women of any age.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve entrapment in the elbow) is the second-most common compressive neuropathy of the upper extremity. Symptoms usually consist of a sensation that the small and ring fingers are asleep and are sometimes associated with discomfort in the elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common compressive neuropathy of the upper extremity. The cause is usually unknown but it can be associated with certain medical conditions (diabetes, thyroid disease) or previous trauma (wrist fractures or ligament injuries). Genetics is increasingly believed to play a role as well. Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that “repetitive motion” causes CTS — a myth that is particularly difficult to dispel, especially since patients often are more aware of their symptoms when they perform those activities.

A Question About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

“I have heard that you can get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, but my symptoms have occurred since beginning to play the guitar. Is there any relationship here?”

Hand & Microvascular

The hand is composed of a sophisticated system of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves designed to perform complex tasks. Diagnosis and treatment of this system allows a return to normal activities. Our team of professionals have the special skills necessary to successfully treat your hand problems.
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