Hand & Wrist
Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal tunnel release is an outpatient procedure performed to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. It is performed in order to reduce carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, which include tingling and numbness in the fingers. Carpal tunnel release helps to restore muscle strength and dexterity to the hand, and is typically performed on patients who have had symptoms that persist for months and have not responded to more conservative treatment methods.
Mallet finger, also known as baseball finger, involves a tear in the finger’s extensor tendon, the tendon that allows the finger to straighten. A finger with this injury droops at its tip. Whenever a fingertip is jammed or forcefully bent down during any activity, the extensor tendon can tear. Because this injury is often caused by a direct blow to the finger from a ball or similar object, baseball and basketball players are especially susceptible. At times, during a mallet finger injury, a piece of bone is torn away with the tendon. This is known as an avulsion fracture.
Trigger finger is a common and painful disorder of a finger’s flexor tendon that causes the finger to “catch” or “lock” when bent or released (if the thumb is affected, the condition is called “trigger thumb”). Trigger finger can be caused by repetitive motion of the finger, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and gout. Grasping something for an extended period of time can also result in trigger finger.
The fingers and thumb are able to bend and straighten because of tendons and muscles in the hands and arms. A tendon usually moves smoothly through the sheath (tissue) that covers it. However, when a finger’s flexor tendon becomes inflamed, it may not be able to move smoothly through the sheath so that, when an attempt is made to bend or release the finger, the pulling of the enlarged tendon through the sheath results in the tendon’s catching or locking. The medical term for trigger finger is “stenosing flexor tenosynovitis.”