WRIST: Injuries & Conditions

DeQuervain’s Tendonitis

DeQuervain’s Tendonitis is the irritation and swelling of the tendons at the base of the thumb. The swollen tendons become compressed as they pass through a narrow tunnel. This causes pain along the thumb side of the wrist when clinching the hand into a fist and gripping or grasping objects. “Tendonitis” actually means the swelling of tendons. DeQuervain’s Tendonitis is a common overuse condition seen in middle-aged women, but is also associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis and can occur during pregnancy.

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Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion Cysts are tumors, or swelling, located at the top of a joint. Resembling a cyst, they may be either spongy or firm and frequently occur at the wrist joint. Ganglion Cysts are seen most often in patients between the ages of 20 and 40. The cause is unclear and the cysts may resolve on their own.

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Distal Radius Fractures

Distal Radius Fractures are common wrist fractures affecting the lower part of one of the forearm bones known as the radius. Often occurring when an outstretched hand is used to break a fall, Distal Radius Fractures may sometimes result in instability to the distal radio ulnar joint (DRUJ) or damage to a carpal bone, such as the scaphoid.

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Scaphoid Fractures

Scaphoid fractures are among the most common types of fractures involving the carpal (wrist) bones.  This is the larger bone on the thumb side of the wrist. Scaphoid Fractures frequently occur as the result of a fall or other strong force placed on an outstretched hand. These types of fractures require the special attention of a hand specialist because of the unique anatomy of the scaphoid and potential disruption in blood flow to the fractured bones. Improper healing may increase risk for wrist arthritis.

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Wrist Arthritis

Wrist Arthritis is usually classified as either osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks its own tissue, such as cartilage and ligaments in the small joints of the hand and wrist. RA is usually symmetrical – and may affect both wrists. OA is a progressive condition that destroys the smooth articular cartilage usually from ‘wear and tear’.

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