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Anatomy of the hand

The hand is composed of many different bones, muscles, and ligaments that allow for a large amount of movement and dexterity. There are 3 major types of bones in the hand itself, including:

  • Phalanges. The 14 bones that are found in the fingers of each hand and also in the toes of each foot. Each finger has 3 phalanges (the distal, middle, and proximal); the thumb only has 2.

  • Metacarpal bones. The 5 bones that compose the middle part of the hand.

  • Carpal bones. The 8 bones that create the wrist. The carpal bones are connected to 2 bones of the arm, the ulnar bone and the radius bone.

Numerous muscles, ligaments, and sheaths can be found within the hand. The muscles are the structures that can contract, allowing movement of the bones in the hand. The ligaments are fibrous tissues that help bind together the joints in the hand. The sheaths are tubular structures that surround part of the fingers.

What are some common hand problems?

There are many common hand problems that can interfere with activities of daily living (ADLs), including the following:

Arthritis

Arthritis is joint inflammation and can occur in multiple areas of the hand and wrist. Arthritis of the hand can be very painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that can attack joints throughout the body, commonly affects the joints and surrounding tendons of the wrist and fingers. It can cause the joints to become swollen, painful and possibly deformed. This can interfere with normal hand function. It can significantly impact a person''s quality of life. There are two main types of hand arthritis: primary generalized osteoarthritis and erosive osteoarthritis, and they affect the hands differently.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, a narrow confined space. Since the median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and 3 middle fingers, many symptoms may result. The following are the most common symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Trouble gripping objects with the hand(s)

  • Pain or for 1 last update 2020/05/27 numbness in the hand(s)Pain or numbness in the hand(s)

  • "" feeling in the fingers

  • Swollen feeling in the 1 last update 2020/05/27 the fingersSwollen feeling in the fingers

  • Burning or tingling in the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may look like other conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Treatment may include:

  • Splinting of the hand (to help prevent wrist movement and decrease the compression of the nerves inside the tunnel)

  • Oral or injected (into the carpal tunnel space) anti-inflammatory medications (to reduce the swelling)

  • Surgery (to relieve compression on the nerves in the carpal tunnel)

  • Changing position of a computer keyboard, or for 1 last update 2020/05/27 other ergonomic changesChanging position of a computer keyboard, or other ergonomic changes

This condition is a painful compression of a nerve in the wrist that can interfere with a person''s or baseball elbow). A condition characterized by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the palm side of the forearm. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm.

  • Rotator cuff tendonitisA shoulder disorder characterized by the inflammation of the shoulder capsule and related tendons.

  • DeQuervain's tenosynovitis.The most common type of tenosynovitis disorder characterized by the tendon sheath swelling in the tendons of the thumb.

  • Trigger finger/trigger thumb. A tenosynovitis condition in which the tendon sheath becomes inflamed and thickened, thus preventing the smooth extension or flexion of the finger/thumb. The finger/thumb may lock or "" suddenly.

  • Treatment for most tendon problems may include:

    • msnbc breaking news today globalhow to msnbc breaking news today global for Activity modification

    • Ice

    • Splinting or immobilization

    • Steroid injections

    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications

    • Surgery

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