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Hand FAQ

The muscles on the back of my hand and the inside pad of my palm have shrunk. My grip is weak, and my hand seems clumsy. My doctor says it's from thoracic outlet syndrome. I've started doing exercises. Will the muscles heal, and will my strength come back?

One doctor thinks the symptoms in my arm and hand are coming from carpal tunnel syndrome. Another says the problem is thoracic outlet syndrome. Who is right?

I type all day at work. Is there any equipment that will help me avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

I just got a split computer keyboard at work. What's the best way to set it up to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?

I've seen some strange-looking computer keyboards around the office. These boards are actually split in half. I already have a wrist pad by my keyboard. Would it make a difference if I got one of the fancy new keyboards?

I've been having problems off and on now for several years with my hand. My doctor says the weakness and numbness in my hand is from carpal tunnel syndrome. Can exercise prevent or reverse my symptoms?

I've never seen a non-white person with Dupuytren's disease in my practice. Does it ever show up in other ethnic groups?

Is Dupuytren's disease caused by your genes?

Is Dupuytren's disease the same as Dupuytren's contracture?

I've heard that a damaged joint can sometimes become arthritic. Could I avoid arthritis in the base of my thumb if I follow my doctor's advice to have my injured thumb ligaments rebuilt?

How does arthritis in the hands cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

I just came back from the doctor's and found out the painful bump at the base of my ring finger is called Dupuytren's disease. Do these ever go away on their own?

My twin brother was told he has Dupuytren's disease of the hand. What are my chances of getting this same condition?

I've had Dupuytren's disease of both hands for two years. The left hand is much worse than the right. The doctor has suggested surgery to remove the nodules. When is surgery advised?

For the last 10 years, I've worked as a medical transcriptionist. I've never had any problems until just now. My thumb has started to ache every time I lift it off the keyboard. I love my job and don't want anything to keep me from doing it. Why is this happening now all of a sudden?

I have arthritis at the base of my thumb. The pain is about a six or seven everyday on a scale from zero to 10. I don't want surgery. What are my other options?

Last year I had tendonitis in my wrist and elbow. Now I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Did the tendonitis cause the carpal tunnel?

When I place my hand palm down and lift my index finger up, I notice the tendon splits into two parts. I can see both parts moving. No one else seems to be able to do this. Do I have two of the same tendon?

Can you explain this to me? I had no injury and no accident, but I ruptured a tendon in my thumb. How is this possible?

What is a normal grip strength for a 66-year-old male in good health?

I've worked in the same factory for almost 10 years and never had a problem. Now all of a sudden, I've got carpal tunnel syndrome. Why is this happening after all these years?

I'm having trouble turning my hand over with the palm facing up. It's not painful; I just can't seem to make my forearm twist like that anymore. What could be causing this problem?

How can I tell if surgery is needed for carpal tunnel syndrome?

I'm 81-years old and decided to have carpal tunnel surgery for wrist and hand pain. I've had this problem for the last three years. What kind of results can I expect?

My 78-year-old mother has carpal tunnel syndrome in her right hand. It's so severe she can't hold a book or even the phone. What can be done for her?

Have you ever heard of thyroid problems causing carpal tunnel syndrome?

What is the "snuff box" in the wrist? The doctor says I have a tendonitis of this box.

I am a full-time nurse on a pediatric unit. For two months I've had a painful spot on my wrist every time I use my thumb. Trying to lift the babies and children has become hard. I've had the painful area injected with cortisone twice, and I'm wearing a splint. Is there anything else that could help?

What is drummer's palsy? The doctor thinks my 17-year old daughter may have this. It's from too much drumming with her garage band.

I have diabetes type 2 and a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Can I have a carpal tunnel release seeing that I have diabetes?

I'm going to have carpal tunnel surgery next week. How soon can I go back to playing bridge? I'm scheduled to be in a bridge tournament 10 days after the operation.

I'm a fairly good rock climber with a slight problem. Last week my foot slipped while I was climbing a short, steep section. My hand was in a crimping finger position and I heard a loud pop. Now there's swelling in my index and middle finger. Should I see a doctor? I'm really afraid of something serious like surgery. I'd rather not go there.

I've got a mild problem with a trigger finger. Do they make any kind of splint for this? I tried the little finger splints from the drug store. That didn't work at all.

I have developed a very annoying trigger finger. It simply won't straighten out. With my job as a waitress it's becoming a real problem. My doctor offered to inject it with steroids. Aren't steroids really harmful? Should I do it?

Mid-life is catching up with me. I'm a 48-year old man with a passion for handball. Two days ago I hit the ball just right and ended up with a torn thumb ligament. I believe the doctor said it's the RCL ligament. I'm in a cast right now trying to decide whether to stay with the cast or go for surgical repair. What do most people do?

Last winter I fell on the ice and landed on my hand. I think I may have jammed my thumb. At the time I seemed to be okay but ever since I've been unable to open a jar lid or turn the door handle. Sometimes I can't even hold onto a pen. What's going on anyway?

What's the difference between repairing or reconstructing a torn ligament in the thumb? How does the surgeon decide which type of operation is needed?

I had surgery two weeks ago to repair a tendon in my first finger. I've been told how to move it to prevent scarring but I'm afraid to move it. What if I ruin the surgery? What if the tendon ruptures again?

About a month ago I had surgery to repair a tendon laceration. I'm concerned because I'm not getting my motion back. What can be done about this?

Twenty years ago I had a carpal tunnel release done on my left wrist. There is still a long incision over my wrist but I'm perfectly fine now. My daughter had the same surgery but without an open incision. She's had all kinds of nerve problems ever since. Is the open operation still better than this new method?

What is neurapraxia? My brother-in-law had carpal tunnel surgery and now he has this problem.

My 12-month old child has a trigger thumb. The pediatrician tells us to just watch it for now. No treatment is needed. How long do we watch and wait before doing something?

I have had two of my finger joints replaced due to rheumatoid arthritis. One is a ceramic implant. The other is silicone. They both seem to work fine. I heard there's an even better implant now available that's made of carbon. Should I have that kind in my next finger joint replacement?

I'm going to have two finger joints replaced in the next week. What kind of rehab can I expect?

I just sent my husband to the emergency room with an open wound on his hand from the power washer he was using to wash the garage. There wasn't any bleeding but his arm got water inside. Is this a serious injury?

Have you ever heard of a tendon laceration from using a power spray to wash a house? I left my 18-year old son in charge of power washing the house and he ended up in the emergency room with a tendon laceration. He says the spray just touched his hand in one place but it left a mark on him. So I guess it must be true.

Have you ever heard of a false aneurysm in the hand? What can cause this kind of problem?

I have a lump in my palm that I can feel my heart beat in. It developed about two weeks ago when I accidentally poked a nail through my palm. I was treated in the emergency room but I haven't seen anyone since. What should I do about this? Would soaking help? Should I use hot or cold water?

Five years ago I had reconstructive surgery on my left thumb. The arthritis was so bad, they took out one of the bones at the base of the thumb. The X-rays show everything is okay, but I'm starting to have more pain and discomfort now. What could be causing this?

I've been having more and more trouble grasping and pinching small objects with my right hand. It seems like my thumb just doesn't move like it should. And there's a round bump around the base of the thumb like the bone is getting bigger. What could be causing these symptoms?

A year ago I was diagnosed with trigger finger of the index finger. I've been treated off and on all that time with no success. It was finally discovered that the problem was caused by an infection. A simple antibiotic cleared it up. Why couldn't they figure this out sooner?

I fell last month while skiing. At the time, I didn't think I had hurt anything. But now I have a trigger finger that's painful and annoying. Could this be from the skiing accident?

My neighbor has what the doctor called a claw hand. What is that? He wasn't born like that.

My son was born with some disabilities and one of them is a claw hand. I know that he can have surgery to fix it, but I'm hearing mixed reports as to whether it's any good. What should I do?

I've been having sharp pain in my left wrist for months now. I don't remember doing anything to it. Would an X-ray be helpful?

Our son broke his thumb while out at the local skate park. The surgeon called it a Bennett fracture. What is this exactly?

My brother just had some tests related to his carpal tunnel syndrome. They said he wasn't a good candidate for surgery because of a high level of pain anxiety. What is pain anxiety? Wouldn't surgery relieve the pain and reduce his anxiety?

I'm thinking about having surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. I just can't decide if I should do it or not. What's your best advice?

Both of my sons have broken fingers, usually while playing basketball. One time, I treated one of the fingers myself by splinting it, but the finger never went back to its original size although that's how the other fingers were treated by their doctor. What might have gone wrong?

Our son has been watching too much TV. In a mock kung-fu move, he kicked his leg out and then punched a two-by-four intending to break it in half. All he accomplished was breaking the knuckle of his little finger. Right now, when he makes a fist, that finger is flat where the knuckle should be. Will this pop back out and heal?

Could you solve a dispute for me? Our family has a big baseball tradition. Almost everyone has a finger, hand, or elbow injury of some sort. Our 12-year old daughter just got a mallet injury in a game. My husband says leave it alone, and it will heal on its own. But she also plays the violin and piano. Shouldn't this type of injury be treated to save finger motion and function?

I'm in the middle of a dispute with my work place about my carpal tunnel syndrome. I maintain that constant hours of typing and filing have resulted in this problem. They say there isn't enough evidence to support a work-related cause for CTS. Who's right?

My husband runs a jack hammer all day as part of his job for a big construction company. He's starting to develop painful carpal tunnel syndrome in his right hand as a result. Can anything be done to keep this from happening in his left hand?

I've had a painful and limiting trigger finger and thumb for about six months. The hand surgeon I'm seeing suggests it's time to inject the tendons. What does this do? Is it safe?

Is there a connection between diabetes and trigger fingers? I have both and was just wondering.

My daughter broke her scaphoid bone in her hand but she says that she didn't fall very hard. How does the bone break?

What causes trigger finger? I'd never heard of it until my cousin had it.

Before I go to see a doctor about what I think is a trigger finger, is there anything I can do at home for it?

I fell yesterday right onto my left wrist. And wouldn't you know it? It's the same wrist I had carpal tunnel surgery on last year. Now my carpal tunnel symptoms are back. How can that happen?

I'm trying to decide if I should have carpal tunnel surgery or not. I use my hands for lots of things like knitting, crocheting, keyboarding, gardening, and canning my garden veggies. I'm having more and more trouble with these activities. But I don't want surgery! What do I do?

Have you ever heard of the Tome technique for carpal tunnel surgery? I had my first carpal tunnel release six months ago. But my surgeon retired.The new surgeon wants to use this Tome method. Is it okay?

What causes Dupuytren disease?

I have two fingers on my right hand that seem to be stuck in a bent position. At first I was told it's Duputren's. Since it hasn't gotten worse, now they tell me it's really nonDupuytren's. What is that?

I have a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand and I am right-handed. I seem to be able to grasp and pick up objects. But I can't keep hold of them. So, I'm dropping everything from a cup of coffee to the newspaper. Is this a typical problem with carpal tunnel? Or do I have something else going on?

I'm a writer and illustrator of children's books. After working for several hours, I've have trouble getting all of my fingers to straighten out. I'm in my mid-30s, so I don't think it's arthritis. What are the other possible conditions that could cause this problem?

I was told that osteoarthritis hits the back, hips and knees. Why did the doctor tell me that I have osteoarthritis in the base of my thumb?

My mother's thumb has osteoarthritis really bad. It hurts her and she can't do many of the things she enjoys doing. It's likely a long shot, but is there such a thing as a thumb joint replacement?

I was just diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and hands (worse on the right side). I'm not sure what to do next. Should I just go for the surgery? Or wait and see if it gets better with rest and physical therapy?

I've been thinking about trying magnets to help my carpal tunnel syndrome. My brother says they really helped his feet (he has neuropathies from diabetes). If he's a believer, I'm willing to try it. What can you tell me about them?

Is there a way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?

My mother just had surgery last year for her carpal tunnel syndrome and she says it's back. Is this possible?

I had that new fancy carpal tunnel release without a scar. I thought it was going to give me a speedy recovery. But I noticed a fellow co-worker who had the same surgery with an open incision was back to work just as fast. What's the advantage of this new technique? Is there one or did I just get talked into something I really didn't need?

My daughter had carpal tunnel surgery last week but says she still has just as much pain as before the operation. How long does it take for the pain to go away?

If a broken wrist (on the side of the thumb) can be treated by either cast or surgery, why would surgery be picked over casts since there are more risks to surgery?

My brother had the choice of having his broken wrist (the scaphoid) treated by surgery or by cast. He picked the cast because the total bill would be so much less. I'm not sure why the doctor would offer him the considerably more expensive surgery if the cheaper option was available.

What's the best treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome? Should I ice my wrist and hand? Use heat? Wear an ace wrap or a splint? I've gotten all kinds of suggestions from friends and family but nothing sounds quite right to me.

I have a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome. So far, I've just been monitoring it. I haven't actually done anything to treat it. Should I?

I went to see a nontraditional "healer" and had a treatment called cupping done. Even though the problem was in my hands (carpal tunnel syndrome), the suction cups applied to my upper neck and back really worked. I've had other treatments I hoped would work and didn't. So there must be more to it than just the fact that I wanted/expected relief from my pain. How does this work?

My naturopathic physician has been trained in some of the more nontraditional Chinese medicine techniques for chronic musculoskeletal pain. He wants to try something on me called cupping. But it involves making cuts on my back and sucking the blood out with suction cups. Is this for real? Is it dangerous?

I am an occupational therapist in a large hand clinic in the midwest. I've been given the task of researching what works and what doesn't work for several hand conditions that we see routinely. Before I go and reinvent the wheel, I'm wondering if someone else has already done something like this that I could use to get started?

My son dislocated his thumb when he went to catch a football and his thumb took the force of the ball straight on the tip. His doctor said my son may have to have surgery, but after discussing the case with his colleague, it was decided that my son just needed a splint. Is a splint enough or will his thumb be dislocated more easily now if he hurts it again?

Why do dislocated joints continue to hurt after they've been put back into place? Shouldn't they hurt less then?

My mother has a very awkward splint to wear on her pointing finger of her right hand. It's to treat her osteoarthritis pain in the uppermost joint. Isn't there an easier way to treat this? She is right-handed and keeps taking off the splint because it's driving her crazy.

My mother was given a splint for osteoarthritis in her upper middle finger when it flared up again. It was very painful for her. The doctor said that it will help relieve the pain and protect it from getting hit by objects. The thing is, it won't help the osteoarthritis itself. Why just give a splint?

What is the difference between Dupuytren's Disease and Dupuytren's Contracture? I have two friends who have what look like the same thing but one says it's the first, the other says it's the second.

My uncle has had two surgeries for a problem in his left hand called Dupuytren's contracture. He told me his father had it as well. Are there any specific risk factors or group of people who are more prone to it than others?

Ok, what's the difference between the diagnoses of a trigger finger and a mallet finger? Why are they given these names?

My son hurt his finger playing football. The doctor said it was mallet finger and he applied a splint. My son takes it off a lot, saying it bugs him and he says the doctor won't be able to tell. How can I convince him that he needs to wear the splint?

My son is always texting his friends and now he is complaining of severe pain in his thumb. He hasn't fallen or hurt it in anyway. I say it's the texting, he won't admit it. Is it possible?

My uncle is 54 years old and he was just diagnosed with something called trigger finger. His ring finger bends in to his hand and when he tries to straighten it, he says it feels like it is snapping or popping. His doctor wants to do surgery. Are there any specific risk factors for this or does trigger finger happen at random?

Does someone with a trigger finger HAVE to have surgery?

My brother developed what the doctor called a trigger finger. My cousin was treated with this by injecting something, but my brother's doctor wants to do surgery. He says it's because my brother takes insulin for diabetes. Why would surgery be better then?

Doesn't it hurt to get an injection into your finger to cure trigger finger? I have the problem but there's no way I'm getting a shot like that.

I notice I'm getting what look like little cushions over the backs of my knuckles. It's not every knuckle but these are some on both hands. I don't have any pain or stiffness, so I don't think it's arthritis. What causes this?

I have Dupuytren's disease -- have had it for a number of years. My rheumatologist retired and the new young guy who has taken over the practice uses terms I'm not familiar with. He mentioned that I have dorsal nodules but said not to worry about it. What are these and should I be worried?

Our 13-year-old son has what looks like a severe bug bite on his hand (maybe a spider bite?). Should I call the doctor? Is a visit to the emergency department necessary?

I cut the ulnar nerve of my left hand when my hand went through the car windshield during an accident. I had the surgery six months ago. I remember the surgeon telling me the nerve would grow back but it takes a while. I still don't have full sensation or motor function. How much longer should I expect this to take?

I have what's called a Boutonniere deformity of the index finger on the left hand. Fortunately, I'm right-handed, so it doesn't affect me too much. But if I wanted to do something about it, what else is there? I've used a splint with no change. I can pull the finger straight but unless the splint is on, it doesn't hold.

I'm probably just being vain because I've lived 20 years with this problem and never did anything about it. But I have a very crooked middle finger from an old softball injury. Is it too late to do something to straighten it out. The tip is bent back and the middle knuckle is permanently bent.

I am new to the world of hand arthritis. I'm trying to find as much information as I can before choosing a treatment plan I can live with. What can you tell me?

I've been told by my rheumatologist that my hand deformities from rheumatoid arthritis aren't affecting function so it's best to "leave well enough alone." But to be honest, the appearance of my hands matters to me. I'd like to do something about the drifting of my fingers. Would a splint or brace of some kind work?

I have rheumatoid arthritis that is starting to affect my hands. I've seen photos of people with severe hand deformities. Is there anyway to avoid or prevent that from happening to me?

My surgeon is offering a new injection treatment for my Dupuytrens disease. I'm not sure about it. What are the pros and cons of this treatment?

I've written to you before about my Dupuytrens disease. Everything you've told me has been helpful. I'm checking back now because I heard there's a new treatment that involves injections, not surgery. Is this something I should try?

Dad lost his thumb in a car accidentlast year. He was 72 then and everyone thought trying to save the thumb at his age would put him at too great a risk. But he's lost the ability to do so many things that he always loved (tie fishing flies, play the piano, shoot skeet). I can't help but wonder what are the odds that a surgery to put his thumb back on would really have killed him? Do you have any idea about this?

My brother is a butcher who always prided himself on being careful enough to still have all 10 fingers after 50 years of work. Then last week he had an accident and lost two fingers. They sewed them back on and we are waiting to see if it "takes." It's a little iffy because of his age (67) and a smoking history (he doesn't smoke any more). What are his chances of keeping those two fingers?

Have you ever heard of BOTOX for painful fingers? I have something called Raynaud phenomenon from a case of frostbite years ago. The special creams I apply to my hands help but not nearly enough to allow me to go out and enjoy a walk on a wintery day. I'm wondering if there's anything to the report I heard about BOTOX being the "new miracle cure" for this problem.

I know there's been some experimental use of BOTOX for Raynaud phenomenon of the hands. I'm checking into this for myself. Are there any problems or a downside to using BOTOX for this condition?

I'm having carpal tunnel surgery after the holidays. Just wondering if there's anyway to tell if (and when) I'll be able to go back to work. I work in a small factory painting faces on dolls. It's tedious work and probably why I got the carpal tunnel syndrome in the first place.

I'm 59 years old and off work with carpal tunnel surgery. I can't decide if I should go back to work or not. What do other people my age do when faced with this decision?

I am having a carpal tunnel release surgery next week. The surgeon has suggested putting me on some antibiotics to help prevent skin infections because I have diabetes. I'm really against using antibiotics for every little thing but maybe this is one time I should give in. What do you think?

I had a large ganglion cyst removed from my wrist about a week ago. The stitches are dissolvable and I'm not scheduled to see the surgeon for another week. My question is: how can I tell if the incision site is infected or just healing?

Two years ago I had to give up knitting and crocheting because my right thumb just hurt too bad. My doctor tells me there's arthritis in the joint there. She suggested removing one of the bones (the trapezium) as a possible solution. I have several choices about what's done after they take the bone out. They can just leave the gap there. They can take a piece of tendon from my palm and stuff it in there. Or I guess they make commercial products that fit into the hole. What do you recommend?

Have you ever heard of using Gore-Tex to fill in the gap left when a bone in the wrist is removed? I'm asking because I'm going to have this procedure done and it strikes me that Gore-tex is used for lots of different things. Why not this?

I work in a meat packing plant where safety is always an issue. As a result of my work, I've developed a trigger finger in the ring finger of my left hand. Fortunately, I'm right-handed so it doesn't cause too many problems. But I'm wondering what I can do to protect that finger from getting caught on things without making it difficult to do my job.

I stopped by the local surgical supply store looking for a splint for my trigger finger. They actually had a box of different kinds to choose from. I didn't find anything that fit or was comfortable. I don't think ordering something on-line will work if I couldn't fit into any of these ready-to-wear splints. What do I do now?

When I went to see a hand surgeon for my carpal tunnel symptoms, I had to have nerve testing before they would do surgery. I guess the tests showed I really did have a carpal tunnel problem because I passed the test and had the surgery. Now three years later, the same wrist is acting up again. I saw the same surgeon yesterday again. This time I was told the electrical tests won't work for me. Why not?

I'm trying to make a difficult decision about my carpal tunnel syndrome. I've had it for six years even after surgery five years ago. Obviously, it hasn't gone away on its own or with any of my efforts. Would another surgery be worth it? Would it work if it didn't work the first time?

My husband was changing out a broken sprinkler head in the yard and managed to cut himself. It wasn't a bad cut but we doctored it at home and it got infected. We are are the doctor's waiting for lab results to see what kind of infection might be present before they treat it. His symptoms are: can't straighten the finger, red, puffy, tender on the palm side, and pain when he tries to move it. Is there any danger that he might lose the finger since we waited so long to get medical help?

I am seeing a hand therapist after having surgery for a finger owie that turned bad on me. It was just a simple puncture wound but it got infected and I could no longer straighten my index finger. The hand therapist is pretty quiet about what to expect. I'm looking for any information you can provide about what to expect with these kinds of injuries.

I've had steroid injections for my bum shoulder and needle stripping of my Dupuytren contactures. The shoulder works great but the fingers still don't straighten. Could I have steroid injections for the fingers? Maybe that will work for the hand as good as it did for the shoulder.

Can you tell me about treatment for Dupuytren disease? I've had two surgical procedures but can't seem to maintain my finger motion. Perhaps I'm not having the right kind of treatment.

Have you heard anything about people with diabetes avoiding steroid injections? I have an ongoing problem with trigger finger(s) and was told to avoid steroid injections. Is this really true?

Can you give me a quick tutorial on "trigger fingers" -- what is it and what causes it? I know I have this problem because I have diabetes but I'm looking for a little more information than that.

I had surgery to repair a biceps tendon rupture (down by the elbow). I ended up with nerve damage AND bone growing in the surgical area. My mind keeps going over and over whether or not this would have happened with a different (younger? older?) surgeon. Maybe a younger guy (or gal) would have had more up-to-date ideas. Maybe an older surgeon with more experience would have known better what to do. Emotionally, I'm a mess. What do you suggest?

I am a retired orthopedic surgeon. Been out of practice for 20 years now but my granddaughter is following in my footsteps. She is in a residency at Mass General and plans to be a hand surgeon. In my day, we did a lot of carpal tunnel surgeries. She says it's different now in this arena. Thought I might brush up a bit on current events without letting her know. So what can you tell me about current clinical practice for carpal tunnel?

I think I need carpal tunnel surgery for the numbness in my fingers and pain in the wrist. I'm wondering if it's better to go with a new, younger doctor who is just out of school or someone from the old school who's been around awhile but maybe hasn't had the most recent training. What do you suggest?

I understand Xiaflex injections for Dupuytren's hasn't been around very long. From what you know that has been reported so far, what are they saying about results after a year or two?

I had some special enzyme injections into the palm of my hand to help me straighten my fingers. It worked great for the main joints (my knuckles aren't so bent up) but not for the middle joint. How come? Is this what happens to other people or just me?

I have been having very painful thumbs for months now. It hurts when I press underneath the base of the tip of my thumbs (right where it bends). I have trouble picking things up with my thumb and fingers pinched together -- just hurts like the dickens. How can I figure out what's wrong and what to do about it?

I have been diagnosed with sesamoiditis of the thumbs (both thumbs). It's probably because I've worked as a seamstress my whole life and the thumbs are getting worn out. The hand surgeon I'm seeing suggested trying a steroid injection. But everyone says, OH! Don't do that -- those are dangerous! I don't know what to think. What do you advise?

I am a long-distant bicyclist with a few typical problems with neck pain and wrist/hand pain and numbness. I've been told I have a "double crush syndrome." Can you tell me a bit more about this and what to expect?

My husband was involved in a bar fight and ended up with a broken little finger. He thinks it's nothing and a popsicle stick to hold it together is all that's needed. I'm wondering if he should see a hand specialist before it heals in a bad or wrong position. What do you think?

I am a professional card dealer in a large Las Vegas casino. Unfortunately, I fell on the ice and broke my hand. I've had surgery to pin two bones together and I'm in a cast. What can I expect for recovery (how long will it take? will I get full use of my hand again)?

How long does it take nail crush injuries to heal? I have a deep crush injury to the tip of my ring finger. The surgeon treated it by removing the nail, sewing up the gash underneath, cleaning and draining the wound, and putting me all back together again. I'm very grateful I didn't lose the fingertip but still anxious to get back to normal.

My husband is a roofer who got his index finger slammed in the trunk of his truck (by someone else who closed it on his finger). We are in the emergency room trying to decide whether he should have the nail taken off and surgically treated to sew up the laceration under the nail and to drain the blood that has collected. Another (younger doctor, intern type) is saying she just came from a university center where they just cut a hole in the nail and let everything drain and then heal. Can you weigh in on this decision? We need help right now!

Are antibiotics always required when someone gets in a fight and cuts the hand on another person's teeth? This happened to my brother over the weekend. He turned 21 (legal drinking age here) and of course, went out partying. He ended up in a fight and two knuckles bashed in and bleeding. We took him to the emergency department and they hooked him up to IV antibiotics immediately. I was just wondering if so much treatment is really needed. Couldn't they just clean up the area and give him a prescription? Mom is going to be livid and I know she will question what happened.

Last night I witnessed a bar fight (my first ever). I tried to get the guy (a friend) who did the punching (to protect me) to go to the hospital for what looked like a bad wound on his knuckles. He must have cut his hand on the other guy's teeth. He refused to go and today I'm worried about broken bones, infection, I don't know what! What do you advise?

I've heard that smoking is a cause for the pain I have with carpal tunnel syndrome. I would be willing to try quitting smoking if I thought it would really stop the pain in my hands. Is there any kind of test I could have that would show me 'yes' or 'no' smoking would help?

I have a definite case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Would wearing a splint be helpful? I'd rather not have the surgery recommended.

If carpal tunnel surgery didn't work the first time, is there any point in doing it again?

I may have to have a second carpal tunnel surgery on the same hand as the first surgery. For whatever reason, I got some relief from my symptoms (mostly numbness) but the pain got worse. How do they do this surgery without creating more problems than I already have?

I was recently diagnosed with Dupuytren Disease affecting my pinky finger and was told that surgery was the best choice. What does surgery involve?

I just had surgery for Dupuytren Disease that caused a contracture of my index and ring finger. What are the chances that the contracture will return after surgery?

I think I have a trigger finger. What is the best treatment?

What is a tendinopathy?

My symptoms from carpal tunnel syndrome have been hanging on for months. Now my doctor wants to give me a steroid injection in my wrist. I've heard steroids can be really harmful. Is this true?

I have carpal tunnel syndrome. My doctor insists that the symptoms in my thumb and fingers will eventually go away if I get another steroid injection. I've already had three shots into my wrist. What should I do?

I have carpal tunnel syndrome. My doctor suggested I get a steroid injection into my wrist to take away the swelling that is putting pressure on the nerve. Is it possible the medication could harm the nerve? What if the needle pokes into the nerve?

The problems I'm having from carpal tunnel syndrome are keeping me from doing my job. My brother-in-law had surgery for this same type of problem, and he got back to work almost right away. My doctor is urging me to be more patient and try a slower approach. I would rather just go ahead and get the surgery. How can I convince my doctor?

Since taking up piano playing, I've felt some weakness when I try to grip with my right thumb. I don't feel any pain or tingling. Could my problem be an early sign of carpal tunnel syndrome?

I've had problems off and on now for several years with my hand. My doctor says the weakness and numbness in my hand are from carpal tunnel syndrome. Can exercise prevent or reverse my symptoms?

I've been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain and weakness in my hand are getting worse. What could happen if I don't get treatment for this problem?

Can carpal tunnel syndrome be caused by trauma to the hand or shoulder, such as falling down with the hand outstretched?

What does an injured ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb feel like?

How is the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb usually injured?

What can be done to fix the clicking I have from trigger thumb?

What does a trigger finger feel like?

When told I have trigger finger, I was at a loss as to how it could have started. What usually causes a problem like this?

A doctor examined my painful thumb and suggested I have surgery to fuse the middle joint of my thumb together. Won't this keep me from doing my normal activities?

The small cysts that appeared near the ends of my fingers were recently diagnosed as mucous cysts. What are mucous cysts, and where do they come from?

What does a mucous cyst feel like?

Pain from the mucous cysts on my fingers is nearly unbearable. I've tried everything and still the pain. What choices are there for surgery, and can surgery help?

Having lived 60 years of my life without them, I'm wondering why now all of a sudden I have small cysts growing near the ends of my fingers. What are these growths, and where did they come from?

Ever since I accidentally smashed the end of my finger with a hammer, I haven't been able to straighten the tip of my finger. My doctor called my problem mallet finger. Why can't I straighten my finger now?

Ever since my tip of my finger got smashed by a baseball months ago, I've not been able to straighten the very tip of my finger. I don't intend to have surgery for it; should I just live with it?

What path does the ulnar take on its way to the hand?

Which finger position can cause injury to the volar plate, and what can happen with an injury like this?

What do injuries to the PIP joint of the hand look and feel like?

How do most injuries of the finger collateral ligaments occur?

What do mallet finger injuries look and feel like?

After identifying my finger pain as coming from severe arthritis, my doctor is now recommending I have surgery to fuse the two bones in my finger together. What does the doctor hope to achieve with kind of surgery?

What should I expect right after having my arthritic finger fused together?

What normally happens right after a person has a finger joint replaced?

Does the way I work with my hands on the job put me at risk of having carpal tunnel syndrome?

What does carpal tunnel syndrome feel like?

Why do I have to wait after carpal tunnel surgery before getting back to work as a house painter?

How does pressure inside the carpal tunnel of the wrist cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

I'm supposed to go in for a wrist injection for symptoms of carpal tunnel. Will this work, or should I hold out for surgery?

Why are some doctors beginning to do carpal tunnel surgery using an endoscope?

There's a new surgery I heard about for carpal tunnel syndrome. It doesn't require a big incision and allows patients to get back to their normal activities faster. What's the name of the procedure?

Is carpal tunnel syndrome caused by nerve pressure?

How does a wrist brace help fight symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

What does arthritis of the thumb feel like?

I broke several bones in my thumb when I was in high school. Could this be why I now have arthritis in my thumb joint?

There's a surgery for painful arthritis of the thumb joint. It has something to do with filling in the space where the joint rubs. What is this procedure, and why do doctors use it?

The new method of replacing an arthritic thumb joint with a small ceramic ball sounds inviting. I've heard people can get started with their rehabilitation faster and generally get better more quickly after having this type of joint replacement surgery. Is this true?

In considering my upcoming joint replacement surgery for thumb arthritis, my doctor mentioned a new method using a ball in place of the joint. Can you describe this ball and how the doctor puts it in?

What does my doctor hope to achieve by doing joint replacement surgery on my thumb?

What is Dupuytren's contracture, and who is mostly to get it?

Are there treatments for Dupuytren's contracture short of surgery?

What are the symptoms of Dupuytren's contracture?

After trying various treatments for Dupuytren's contracture, I'm now following the recommendation of my doctor to have surgery. What is the goal of surgery for this problem?

What can I expect after surgery for my Dupuytren's contracture?

After seeing my doctor for pain and tightness in my ring and pinky fingers, I was told I have Dupuytren's contracture. What are the causes of this condition?

Years ago I badly sprained my thumb. Could this explain the arthritis that showed up on my thumb X-ray?

I am a construction worker responsible for drilling and work that requires the use of power tools. I notice my hands are starting to ache after long days of using the pneumatic drill. Are there any long-term effects of this kind of work?

I sliced open my hand and cut one of the tendons. The doctor wants to operate and repair it. Won't the tendon heal by itself?

My 10-year old daughter has cerebral palsy. Her hands are fisted together and she can't feed herself. I heard there is a way doctors can operate to hold the hand in a better position. Could this help my daughter feed herself?

After cutting with a pair of scissors, my index and middle fingers tingle for a few minutes. Does this sound like carpal tunnel syndrome?

For the past year I have had right wrist pain and trouble writing. Since I am right handed, this is becoming more and more of a problem. What should I do about this?

My 82-year old mother cut the tendon that bends her middle finger. She wore a cast after the doctor sewed the tendon back together. Now she's to gently bend and straighten her finger using her other hand. If she is not using the muscles to do the work, how can she expect to improve?

I am scheduled to have an operation to repair a torn tendon in my hand. The doctor works at a large teaching hospital. How will I know if they will be using new, untried methods on me?

I cut the tendon that bends my middle finger. It's been four weeks and my doctor still won't allow me to really exercise it. Wouldn't a good strength workout help my hand?

While waitressing, I felt such pain in my wrists and hands that I couldn't even pour a cup of coffee. My doctor says I have carpal tunnel syndrome and recommended surgery. Is there any way to avoid an operation?

Every time I've been pregnant, my hands have gone numb. The numbness used to start in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, but now with my fourth child coming, it is starting in my third month. Does this mean I will have it permanently? What can be done for it?

I am 55 and have pain at the base of my thumb. My doctor wants me to have surgery to fix the joint. Will this make the pain go away?

I've heard that a procedure called "arthrodesis" can reduce the pain of arthritis in the base of the thumb. Is this surgery safe for people over 50?

I am 55, and I have arthritis at the base of my thumb. My doctor wants to operate. Will surgery make my arthritis worse?

How can my recent "minor" injury to the base of my thumb cause me so much pain and difficulty with even the lightest activities?

After severely injuring the base of my thumb, I find it difficult to do everyday activities. My doctor suggests I have surgery to rebuild the thumb joints. How successful is a surgery like this?

A damaged joint can sometimes become arthritic, right? Could I avoid arthritis in the base of my thumb if I follow my doctor's advise to have my injured thumb ligaments rebuilt?

Due to ongoing problems of trigger finger, my doctor has recommended surgery. I've been given the option of having an "open" surgery or a new way known as a "percutaneous" technique. What are the differences?

I am going in for trigger finger surgery. I've been given the option of either having an "open" procedure or a newer "percutaneous" method. Which is best?

After examining my trigger finger, my doctor suggested a cortisone injection? Is this the best treatment for my condition?

What part of the hand or forearm is the most susceptible to injury?

What age group is most at risk for hand injuries?

I had surgery to restore movement in two fingers that had been permanently bent because of Dupuytren’s. Now I have a lack of feeling in the tip of one of those fingers. Will this go away?

I was diagnosed with Dupuytren’s last week. The doctor recommended physical therapy, and so far I have received exercises to stretch the finger and a splint to hold it straight. Why doesn’t the doctor just fix it with surgery?

My husband had Dupuytren’s in his ring and pinky fingers on one hand. This was corrected with surgery and has not returned. I am pregnant with our first child. Do I need to worry that our child will have this problem?

What are the most common causes of a broken forearm or hand?

I injured my thumb while snowboarding. Apparently one of the ligaments in the thumb is ruptured completely. The doctor is recommending surgery, but my thumb doesn't hurt and I don't want to miss the rest of the season. How long can I put off surgery?

I was recently diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. The doctor also mentioned tenosynovitis. What is this? Is it related to carpal tunnel syndrome?

I have had carpal tunnel release surgery done on both wrists. Now my symptoms are back, and the doctor is recommending a second surgery. How will this help?

I've been having trouble with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome off and on for three years. Should I have surgery for this problem?

I am 63-years old and have two painful conditions in my wrist and hand. One is carpal tunnel syndrome and the other is arthritis at the base of the thumb. Are these connected? Which one caused the other?

For ten years, I've had problems with my left thumb. The doctor tells me I have basal joint arthritis. Recently, I started having numbness and tingling in that same hand. The doctor diagnosed this as carpal tunnel syndrome. I may have to have a bone removed from the base of the thumb. How will this help?

My son injured his thumb in a wrestling tournament. He finished the season, but still has constant pain. Is it too late to treat this problem?

I had a fall from horseback riding and fell on my thumb. The radial collateral ligament was torn. The doctor did surgery to repair it, but advised me there could be “residual symptoms.” What would these be?

I fell on the slippery streets this winter. There’s a tear in the radial collateral ligament of my thumb. The doctor doesn’t think surgery is needed and put me in a cast. How is this decision made?

In 2002 I was told I had Dupuytren's contracture of the hand. I was treated and got better slightly but never fully recovered. Now two years later I find out I really have something called palmar fasciitis from lung cancer. How could the doctor have missed the cancer all this time?

My mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis that turned out to be ovarian cancer. Have you ever heard of this?

I'm 58 years old and past menopause. I thought all my aches and pain were over after menopause. Now my left thumb is starting to ache and click when I move it. Is this typical at my age?

I've just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the right thumb. All of my symptoms are at the base of the thumb. I'm worried because I work as a seamstress. Will I still be able to do my job five years from now?

I see lots of advertising for these new heated wraps. You can put them on your back, knee, shoulder--just about anywhere. I thought heat was bad and we should only use ice for sprains and strains.

I have a condition called Dupuytren's disease affecting my left hand. It seems to be getting worse. It doesn't hurt, but I'm having trouble straightening my fingers. I can't put my hand in my pocket or in a glove anymore. What can be done about this?

My doctor told me I should see a hand therapist for a condition called Dupuytren's disease. What's so special about a hand therapist? Can't I see my regular therapist? How do I find a hand therapist?

I have Dupuytren's disease in my right hand. My right foot is starting to bother me now. Could it be the same problem in my foot?

I work in a hospital as a patient intake worker. There are 32 of us doing the same job. We all work at the computer keyboard all day. I'm the only one with carpal tunnel syndrome. What am I doing wrong?

Have you ever heard of using magnets for carpal tunnel syndrome? Does it work?

I'm seven months pregnant with my third child. I've had carpal tunnel syndrome with each pregnancy. The symptoms seem to get worse each time. I can hardly manage to take care of my family. What can I do about this?

I'm a new computer user at age 77. My grandkids tell me to keep the keyboard as flat as possible. I like it better propped up on its legs so I can see the letters. Does it really matter?

What is a QWERTY keyboard? I've been told by a computer expert to avoid this type.

I've had arthritis of the base of my thumb for years. I'm finally ready to have the doctor operate on it. What can they do with surgery for this problem?

I had a skiing accident and sprained both my thumbs. It took a long time to heal. Now the doctor tells me I have basal joint arthritis. What does this mean exactly?

I've been told I have arthritis in the joint at the base of my thumb. Surgery has been suggested. What happens if I don't have the operation?

I have been having symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for about three months. I also notice my shoulder seems to be getting weaker. Is there a connection?

I was at a health fair at the mall and had my strength tested. Using a test of grip strength I found my left hand was much weaker than the right hand. Is that normal?

I had a fitness test at my doctor's office. They used a test of my grip strength to determine my overall strength. Is this an adequate test? I don't see how my grip strength tells anything about how strong my arms are.

I notice I'm starting to get pea-sized bumps on the index and middle fingers of both hands. I don't have any other major symptoms. My grandma had these same kind of bumps but she had severe arthritis. Does this mean I'll get arthritis too?

Just because I'm 72-years old, my doctor doesn't think carpal tunnel surgery will help me. What does age have to do with it?

I'm 72-years old and in fairly good health. About six months ago I had carpal tunnel releases done on both hands at the same time. My hands are much better now but I still can't get my car door open without using both hands together. Will I ever get the strength back I need for this?

I am a 66-year old restaurant owner. I have pretty bad carpal tunnel syndrome. I can't really afford to retire yet. If I don't get some relief from these symptoms, I may be forced to take disability. Am I too old for surgery?

I have just found out I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand. I can't believe all the advice friends and family are giving me: try this, try that. What IS the best way to treat this problem?

I have decided to try wearing arm splints for my carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm trying the kind you buy at the drug store first. How often should I wear them? Is more better?

I heard that having pain at night with carpal tunnel syndrome is a bad sign. Is this true?

My 16-year old son spends hours on the computer between schoolwork, instant messaging, and video games. He's starting to complain about pain in his thumbs. Is there a special keyboard he can use to solve this problem?

I saw a TV special on a new joint implant they are using in Sweden to treat arthritis of the thumb. They said it was biodegradable. Doesn't biodegradable mean it breaks down? How does that work in the body?

I'm having a lot of trouble with my right thumb and I'm right-handed. The X-rays show severe osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb. The doctor wants to take the worst bone out and pack the remaining space with part of a tendon. Can't they just take the bone out and leave it alone to heal?

Wow! I just found out the bones in the base of my thumb are disintegrating from arthritis. The doctor thinks surgery might be my only option. Just what kind of operation is available for this problem?

Is pain a good measure of how bad my carpal tunnel syndrome is? Everyday I rate my pain about an 8 on a scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain). Does this mean the problem is severe?

I saw a doctor for numbness and tingling in my fingers that I thought might be carpal tunnel syndrome. After that examination I was sent to a physical therapist for more tests. Wouldn't it be easier to just do an MRI or some medical test instead of all the poking and prodding I went through?

Every now and then my hands go numb. If I shake them out the pins and needle sensation goes away. What could be causing this?

I broke the tip of my index finger trying to poke a hole in some ice. The doctor said it was an unusual cause of a mallet finger fracture. What's the usual cause?

I broke the tip of my index finger playing baseball with my kids. I had to wear a splint for a month. It seems to have healed okay but it looks funny. There's a large bump on the back of the finger. Is this a sign of early arthritis? It doesn't hurt yet.

I broke the tip of my middle finger. It's stuck in a bent position. Now I have to wear a splint all day everyday for five or six weeks. Isn't there an operation that could repair this much faster?

Six months ago I had a carpal tunnel release operation. The symptoms never went away fully after the operation and now they are as bad as before. The doctor thinks there was an incomplete decompression of the carpal tunnel. What does that mean?

I'm going to have a carpal tunnel release this month. The surgeon showed me a special combination knife and light that will be used to make the cut. I didn't really understand how this works. Can you tell me?

I saw somebody yesterday with a tiny scar across the wrist from carpal tunnel surgery. When I had my carpal tunnel release the incision was much longer and up and down on my palm. How come such a difference for the same operation?

I had a carpal tunnel release done three months ago. The pain in my hand is gone but now I'm having pain along the outside of my wrist (on the little finger side). Could this new pain be coming from the carpal tunnel surgery?

I can pull my thumb down far enough to touch it to my forearm. No one else I know can dothis. Am I double jointed?

Last year I joined a recreational bicycling club. I'm 69-years old and have to work pretty hard to keep up. This year I'm noticing some numbness and tingling in my left hand. What can I do about this?

I'm starting to notice some tingling in the last two fingers of my right hand. It only comes on when I'm at the gym riding the bikes. Should I have this tested and find out what it is?

What is biker's palsy? Does it refer to bicyclists or motorcyclists?

My doctor is testing me for carpal tunnel syndrome. So far the tests show normal strength in my thumb. I can't figure that out because sometimes I can't even pick up a glass of water. Can you explain this to me?

I'm going to have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. Is there any way to tell what the outcome will be before the surgery?

I went to see the doctor for pain and numbness in my thumb and hand. I was told I have carpal tunnel syndrome. How do they know for sure there isn't something else wrong with me?

My 17-year old son is the local high school quarterback. He's developed a sudden problem with his middle finger. He says it "catches" sometimes and he can't get his hand open. What could be causing this?

What is a closed manipulation? Our 21-year-old son off to college had a football injury. His index finger got stuck and couldn't open all the way. He said it was taken care of with a closed manipulation. Is this a chiropractic treatment?

About a year ago I was diagnosed with a hand condition called Dupuytren's disease. I had surgery to fix it and I've been fine ever since. Now I'm noticing some tiny bumps over the backs of my knuckles on the same hand. Is this from Dupuytren's too?

What is Dupuytren's disease and what causes it? Can I get it from living with someone who has it?

I have a hand condition called Dupuytren's disease. I saw a report that said it might be genetic. What difference does that make? Either you have it or you don't, right?

I've just been diagnosed with Dupuytren's disease. What can you tell me about this condition? What brings it on?

My orthopedic surgeon showed me the implant that will be used to replace my rheumatic knuckles. I noticed it is already in a bent position. Will I be able to straighten my fingers all the way?

My favorite aunt has rheumatoid arthritis pretty bad. I notice her fingers are twisted now. They don't even go straight anymore. I don't know how she even pulls the covers up at night or opens the refrigerator door. Isn't there anything that can be done to replace these joints?

I'm going to have some surgery to help with a stuck finger. My ring finger is bent and won't straighten. I have a condition called Dupuytren's Disease or DD. Will the surgery take care of the problem for good?

My 73-year old mother is going to have three of the knuckles in her arthritic hand replaced. She's pretty limited in motion right now so I can imagine she'll be much better off after the joint replacement. How close to normal will she get?

I had an operation six years ago on my right thumb for painful arthritis with good results. I need the same kind of treatment for my other thumb, too. The hand surgeon wants to do a suspensionplasty instead of a tendon transfer. What's the advantage of this kind of operation over the kind I've already had?

I have terrible arthritis at the base of my left thumb. My surgeon has explained a new operation to help get my strength back. It's called a suspensionplasty. I understand all the ways this operation can help me but what can go wrong? Is there a downside to this procedure?

Years ago I fell out of a tree and broke and displaced the end of my radial bone. I had to have surgery with wires to hold it all together. I just read the results of my most recent X-ray and CT scan, which said, "Moderate non-inflammatory arthrosis." What does that mean?

What are my chances for going back to work after a wrist fracture? I think I broke just the end of the radial bone but it moved to one side, so I had to have surgery to put it back in place.

I have a bump on the back of my wrist that comes and goes. The doctor says it's just a cyst. Why does it disappear for weeks and then show up again from time to time?

My 17-year old daughter has a large bump on the back of her hand. Her grandpa says he can get rid of it by thumping it with the family Bible. Is this a real way to treat the problem? Does it work? Does it hurt?

I injured my index finger in a volleyball game. The doctor called it a Type I mallet injury. I've been given a splint to wear for 10 weeks. What happens if I don't use it?

What in the world is a "Jersey finger"? Our son is a football player away from home for the first time. He emailed us to tell us he has a Jersey finger and not to worry.

My mother had two steroid injections for carpal tunnel syndrome in an attempt to avoid having surgery. How will we know if she still needs the operation?

How well do steroid injections work for carpal tunnel syndrome?

I have Dupuytren's disease in my right hand, and I'm scheduled to have surgery next week. The surgeon is going to make tiny cuts in my palm and then release the tight tissue. I will be awake for the operation. Will there be any pain involved?

I am a piano teacher with a fairly large studio of students. Next month I'm going to have surgery for Dupuytren's disease. Two of the fingers on my left hand are affected. I'll still be able to teach using my right hand but how long will the left hand be out of commission?

Five years ago I had a titanium thumb joint replacement. I've heard these haven't held up so well but mine seems okay. What's the latest?

I've had arthritis at the base of my left thumb for 10 years now. It's time to do something about it. What are my options?

I play the piano and teach lessons for a living. Lately I've been having more and more wrist and hand pain. I notice it doesn't bother me when I type on the computer, just when I play the piano. What's the difference? It seems like I'm using the same fingers in the same way.

I am a high school student in a magnet school for music. My main instrument is the piano. In the last few months I've been having more and more problems with hand and wrist pain. It started out just hurting when I played. Now it hurts while I'm playing and for several hours later. What can I do about this?

I'm a beach volleyball player. I fell two weeks ago and tore the ulnar collateral ligament of my left hand. Even though the fall was on the sand, the way I landed caused an avulsion fracture. I've had surgery and my thumb and lower arm are in a cast. How long before I can get back to volleyball?

I ruptured a tendon in my ring finger at work last year. I've had nothing but trouble ever since. Surgery to repair the tendon didn't work. The finger is permanently stuck in a bent position. It catches on everything. I think my hand would work better if they just cut it off. Is this ever done?

I sprained my index finger really badly playing baseball. All the doctor did was tape it to the middle finger. How is that going to help anything?

I had carpal tunnel surgery and my wrist pain is gone but my grip strength is worse than before. Will I ever get back to full strength?

Two years ago, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. Now I need it on the left. The last time they did an open incision but this time the surgeon is going to do it without opening my wrist. Will I be able to get back to work faster with this new method?

I'm just about ready to retire from my job as a billings analyst. My carpal tunnel seems to be getting worse every year. The doctor thinks I should have carpal tunnel surgery now. If I had less pain, I might be able to work longer. She wants me to have electrical nerve tests done first. After six months of pain and numbness, is this step really necessary?

It seems everyone in my office is having carpal tunnel surgery. The results seem pretty good. I'm having some of the same symptoms. How can I tell if the surgery would help me?

What is a boutonnière deformity? My mother wrote that Father has been diagnosed with this condition and needs surgery. He's had rheumatoid arthritis for years, now this. What can they do for it?

I've had severe rheumatoid arthritis in my hands for the last 10 years. I've had two joint replacements with silicone implants. I've heard there's a new and improved carbon implant now. What can you tell me about these new joints?

Fifteen years ago I had an accident driving a team of mules. Three of my fingers were pulled off at the middle knuckle. If this happened today, could my fingers be saved?

I've had numerous tests for carpal tunnel syndrome to find the cause of my cold and numb hands. The latest tests were normal for blood flow but abnormal for vibration. What does this tell me?

I'm trying to figure out what to do. I have a trigger finger on my left hand. I am left-handed, and it's becoming a real problem. I saw one doctor who said it was best to inject it with a steroid. When I went for a second opinion, I was told surgery to release the tissue around the tendon worked best. How do I decide?

I have diabetes type 2 and now I'm starting to get a trigger finger. I do work in a meat factory packaging bacon. How can I tell if the trigger finger is from my diabetes or from my work?

I'm currently working at an assisted living facility as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). I notice that many of the folks have trouble holding silverware to eat. They all tell me they have carpal tunnel syndrome and their fingers are numb. Is this caused by aging?

I had an EMG and nerve conduction test done to find out what's causing the painful numbness and tingling in my left hand. The tests came out all normal but the carpal tunnel surgery I had done worked great. Why is that?

Years ago, my grandmother had one of the first finger joint replacements for her rheumatoid arthritis. As my mother remembers it, the implant didn't work and she ended up having the finger fused. Now that I've also been diagnosed with RA, I'm wondering what's in store for me. Do they still do finger joint replacements when things get really bad?

I've been training for a special 150-mile bike race to support a children's cancer camp. But I'm starting to have a problem with my left hand. My fingers are in some kind of spasm and curling like a claw. Have you ever heard of this problem in bikers?

Our 14-year old son is an avid mountain biker. Lately he's been shaking his hand to try and get rid of some numbness and tingling he's having. Is that really going to help?

I hate to admit this but I was chipping ice with a small but very sharp pick and it slipped. The pick went into my hand. There's a hole, but no bleeding. What should I do?

I heard there's a simple blood test that can show what is causing my carpal tunnel syndrome. What is this test called?

I worked for 29 years in an office using old-fashioned typewriters, electric typewriters, and finally computers. I never had an ounce of trouble. Now that I'm retired, I'm starting to get carpal tunnel syndrome. Is there a delayed effect with this problem?

I am self-employed as a roofer for new housing projects. Two months ago, I sliced a tendon in my thumb. It hasn't healed so now I'm having surgery. The surgeon will transfer an extra tendon from one side of my thumb to the other. How much longer am I going to be off work?

I am a professional oboe player in a large symphony orchestra. While we were traveling overseas, I fell and broke my wrist. My wrist is healed but my thumb is not. One of the extensor tendons in my thumb ruptured. I didn't know it until the cast was taken off. If I have surgery to repair the tendon, will I get my full motion back?

My brothers and one uncle have gout of the big toe. It seems I might have gout of the fingers developing. Have you ever heard of gout affecting the hand?

Why do women get thumb arthritis more often than men?

My father is a wood carver in his spare time. Now he has arthritis in the base of his thumb. The pain and stiffness are interfering with this hobby. So he's thinking of having surgery to reconstruct that joint. The surgeon says there's a chance he could end up with a bit of thumb shortening on that side. Will that affect his carving abilities?

Today for the first time, I couldn't turn my key in the lock to open the car door. I've had arthritis in that hand for a while but never this bad. Most of the trouble seems to be coming from the base of my right thumb. What can be done for this problem?

I was just diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I understand there's pressure on the nerve causing the burning pain and numbness. But why do I have trouble picking things up?

Is there any way to figure out why I developed carpal tunnel syndrome? I don't sew, crochet, or work with my hands like some of my friends who have this condition. It just came on by itself.

I've heard that carpal tunnel syndrome requires immediate surgery to save the nerve. But my doctor insists on a six to eight week course of physical therapy with splinting and exercise for me. Does this seem right?

I just got a pair of splints to wear whenever possible for carpal tunnel syndrome. They are both set in such a way that my wrist is propped up a bit. This makes it difficult to do things when I'm wearing the splint. Is it really necessary?

If doctors can do hip and knee replacements, why can't they replace other joints like fingers?

I injured my hand at work a few months ago when a heavy container fell on it. It still hurts from time to time and I have some difficulty with it. My doctor suggested that I see an occupational therapist, but I'm not sure what he or she would do. What can they do for me?

My family laughs but I've developed what my doctor said was "Blackberry thumb." It's very painful and it's keeping me from doing the things I enjoy doing, like golf and play computer games. Is there anything I can do other than stop using my Blackberry - which I can't because I need it for work?

What is the first ray that I've been reading about in the hand?

Do hand injuries frequently end the career of professional football players?

I broke my wrist trying to learn how to do a flip on my son's skate board (dumb human trick). I had surgery to put it all back together, and now I have carpal tunnel on that side. Is there a connection or is it just my bad luck?

I am on active duty in Iraq. I have a very tender wrist nodule that is causing a trigger finger. The trigger finger is aggravated by almost everything I do with my hands. They are going to ship me out to have surgery. How soon can I get back with my unit after this type of operation?

The surgeon thinks I have a ganglion cyst, but it could be a trigger finger. What's the difference?

I was thinking of seeing a physical therapist for my carpal tunnel syndrome. But my sister thinks I should just have surgery to take care of the problem. What do most other people do?

I had a steroid injection into my wrist for carpal tunnel syndrome. It really helped, but I'm starting to notice a return of my numbness and tingling. This is a real problem because I make clothing alterations for a living. If I can't feel the tips of my fingers, I poke myself repeatedly. Should I go for another injection?

I read in a magazine that if you press on a certain part of your wrist and if it hurts, you have carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't have symptoms, but it does hurt when I press, so should I see the doctor to catch it early?

Why does my carpal tunnel syndrome hurt more at night while I'm not doing anything? It disturbs my sleep and it's very painful.

I love to play the guitar but I think it's causing my fingers to get stuck in a bent position. Right now, I can't straighten the ring or pinkie finger of my left hand. Is this a common problem among guitar players?

I'm really disappointed because I thought the surgery I had to release the connective tissue around my finger tendons was going to make it possible to open up my palm. Instead, I think I'm actually worse. What went wrong?

I can't believe how many people I know (including myself) have carpal tunnel syndrome. Is this an epidemic or what?

I've had all kinds of tests on my arms and hands to find out what's causing the numbness and tingling in my thumb and index finger. It wasn't until they did nerve conduction tests, that the physician finally diagnosed me with carpal tunnel syndrome. Why don't they just start with that test in the first place?

I'm 75-years old and have a chondroma of the index finger. It's right at the tip and involves the nail. The surgeon is suggesting removing the tip of the finger and installing a new joint with lots of reconstruction of the finger. It's not on my right hand, so I say just lop it off. Is there any problem with that idea?

I'm seeing a specialist to find out if I have carpal tunnel syndrome or something else. It's been one test after another and I still don't know what's wrong. Is this typical?

My surgeon thinks there's a strong chance that I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Is there any reason to go ahead with the electric tests to measure the nerve function?

Two weeks ago, I had surgery to repair a torn tendon on the back of my hand. I've been given a home program of exercises by the hand therapist. But I work nights and I'm just too tired most days to do them. My hand seems to be coming along okay. Do I really need to keep doing these?

I sliced through the back of my hand while helping a friend re-roof his house. Had to have surgery to reconnect two of the tendons. Then I went to a hand therapist for rehab, but she was pregnant and left on maternity leave after the first few days. The new therapist gave me a completely different program to do. It involves much more movement than before. I'm a little nervous that I might tear something I shouldn't. Is it really safe to move so much so soon after surgery?

Have you ever heard of a first metacarpal extension osteotomy? I went to a hand surgeon for a second opinion because I don't want a joint replacement for my thumb arthritis. The osteotomy was something he suggested as an alternative option. I found a little on the Internet, but not enough to answer my questions.

I know this may not sound like much, but I have terrible thumb pain from arthritis from playing competitive ping pong. I really hate to give it up, but I'm not a candidate (yet) for a joint replacement. Are there any options for people like me?

Is it common to have arthritis at the base of your thumb? I thought it was more the fingers or the wrist.

Does thumb surgery help for arthritis?

My mother has a spot on the back of her hand, near her middle finger that feels hard. It's raised too. It doesn't hurt though. Could this be cancer?

My mother has some ugly looking soft bumps on the top of her hand/wrist, which her doctor says are ganglion cysts. I couldn't understand her explanation though. What are ganglion cysts?

I heard that a successful outcome from treatment for something like carpal tunnel syndrome isn't always complete disappearance of pain or symptoms. How is this so?

I received a steroid injection for my carpal tunnel syndrome. At first, the pain was gone but now it's slowly coming back. Is that normal or have I re-injured my hand?

What do you recommend for a severe skier's thumb? I tried wearing a cast for six weeks but it still hurts terribly and I can't really pick anything up with that hand.

I've been trying to read up on a thumb injury I have but I keep getting confused about whether it's a gamekeeper's thumb or a skier's thumb. What's the difference between these two?

I have several friends who get acupuncture treatment every week for various aches and pains. I have carpal tunnel syndrome that seems to come and go depending on what I'm doing at work. Can acupuncture help with this? And what kind of side effects can occur?

Is there any benefit to taking acupuncture treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome? I'd really like to avoid surgery or drugs if I can.

Our family is worried about Dad's use of power tools in his garage shop. He's always worked around saws and other potentially dangerous tools. But his eyesight's not what it used to be. He takes blood thinners to prevent a stroke. It just doesn't seem like a good combination for continuing his hobby. Should we say something? How can you take away a man's hobby after all these years?

A group of us at work are concerned about the number of hand injuries from power tools. We are seeing people get hurt who never make it back to work. We are trying to put together some figures to help show our boss how much these injuries are costing all of us in terms of time off work, medical care, and worry. Are there any studies like that out there?

I have been working in a large, chain grocery store as a clerk for two years. I'm starting to develop wrist and hand pain from lifting heavy things like gallons of milk and juice. I see other women who have been here longer than me, and they have constant pain and wear braces to support their wrists. If I stay with this job, am I going to end up like that?

I went to see a physician's assistant for wrist and thumb pain that turned out to be de Quervain's. She gave me a splint to wear and recommended over-the-counter antiinflammatories. It didn't work. My pain just got worse and worse. I ended up getting a cortisone shot that seemed to do the trick. Should I have just gone to a specialist in the first place?

I am a stay-at-home Mom with two small children. Whenever I lift one of the kids from under the arms, I get a sharp, stabbing pain in my wrist right at the base of the thumb. I'm having more and more trouble opening jars and even turning doorknobs. I'm only 33 years old. Could I possibly have arthritis already?

I don't even know where to begin to tell you what I want to know. First of all, I fell off a cliff while out hiking in the west. I survived but my elbow didn't. I broke the radial head into tiny pieces. They took the top of that bone out completely. While I was recovering from the other injuries, the forearm froze up. Now I can't turn my palm up past neutral. I guess I'm wondering if that's because the radial head was removed -- or is there some other problem?

I am planning to see an orthopedic surgeon on the recommendation of my family practice nurse for what might be carpal tunnel syndrome. What should I expect?

I've been told by my doctor that she thinks I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't have insurance, so further testing is out of the question. But I can't help but wonder if having an MRI would be worth the out-of-pocket expense. What do you think?

I had a carpal tunnel release surgery that didn't do the trick. I still have hand pain and thumb and finger numbness. The surgeon wants to go back in and repeat the procedure. If it didn't work the first time, what guarantee do I have that it will work a second time?

I am trying to be a good health care consumer by requesting copies of my medical reports and reading them. Last month, I had carpal tunnel release surgery. I understand everything in the surgeon's report except one phrase: nerve coverage with an interposition technique. Can you explain this to me?

I've heard that if I wait to have my carpal tunnel surgery done until I'm on Medicare, it will cost less. That's two years away. Is it worth the wait?

Please, please help me figure out what to do. I've had some nerve tests that show moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm self-insured, so trying to pick the least expensive path with the best results. My choices are therapy with splinting and exercises or surgery straight away. Therapy is less expensive unless I end up having surgery anyway. Should I just toss a coin and pick one? Is there any logic to this decision?

My mother has a million and one reasons why she can't have surgery for her carpal tunnel syndrome. None of them really seem to add up to me. How can we tell if she's just afraid to have surgery or if there's some other reason for her hesitation?

I can't decide if I should or shouldn't have carpal tunnel surgery. I'm worried I won't be able to get my work done at home or at work. But I'm also aware that there are quite a few things I'm not doing very well because of the pain and numbness. How do other people make this decision?

I just had the most amazing experience. After suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome for three years, I saw a hand therapist who put my arm and hand through a series of positions and movements. It hurt while she was doing it but today, I am completely pain free for the first time. Can you explain how this treatment works?

I am an avid bowler on two different adult leagues. But my bowling average has gone way down since I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. I heard from another bowler that there's a way a therapist can bend my elbow and hand to get these painful symptoms to stop. What is it called and where can I get it?

I'm 63-years-old and have had diabetes for about 10 years. It's been pretty well controlled but I'm starting to notice problems with my hands. My fingers are stiff and don't move as well as they used to and sometimes one of my fingers seems to get stuck. I have to pull it to get it straight. Is this from my diabetes or something else?

I've got trigger finger and I've got it bad. My finger is starting to get stuck in that position. Just what's holding it back?

When I hurt my hand seriously a few months ago, I developed something the doctor called a neuroma. What is a neuroma? Is surgery the only option?

When I go outside in the cool weather, my left hand becomes painfully cold when it's not even really cold. My right hand doesn't do that. My left didn't either before, but a heavy box fell on my hand a few years ago and crushed it. Could this be related?

My mother has severe arthritis in her hands. Is there such a thing as finger joint replacements?

My father had implants done on his knuckles of his left hand because his hand was so bad from arthritis. He now has the same problem with his right hand, but he's reluctant to go through the surgery again because he said it only helped his pinky and ring finger. Is this normal?

I am a piano teacher but also a softball coach for a neighborhood girls' team. At practice last night, I got hit by a ball and broke my finger. They called it a mallet fracture and I can see why -- the tip of my finger was bent making the finger look like a tiny gavel or mallet. The emergency room at our local hospital put a splint on it and told me to wear it for six weeks. But I can't play the piano and that's a major problem when giving lessons. Is there anything else they can do to treat this without limiting my motion?

Have you ever heard of bartenders getting thumb drop from mixing drinks? I can't think of any other reason why my thumb and fingers are dropped down. Sometimes I can lift them up fine. Other times they just droop.

Our 18-year-old son has had three MIPs. The last time, he ended up getting handcuffed and taken down to the police department. We don't know all that happened but by the time he came home the next day, he had a red mark around his right wrist (from the handcuffs?). And now he says his thumb and index finger are numb. Will this go away in time or do we need to take him to a doctor?

My niece was diagnosed with carpal boss. I've heard of carpal tunnel, but not carpal boss. What is that?

How do doctors treat carpal boss? I have what I think is one.

What's the prognosis for a MRSA hand infection? Cuz that's what I've got and I am extremely worried.

Mother came home over the weekend to stay with us. She is currently living in an assisted-living situation. She developed a sore finger from a hangnail that turned into a MRSA infection. She's just sure it's because our house isn't clean enough. But she already had a sore finger when she arrived, so I'm equally convinced she came to us with this problem. I think it's more likely that she picked up the bacterial bug at her facility. What do you think?

My 70-year-old father has the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome but he won't get his hand checked even though it's limiting his enjoyment of his hobbies. He says that at his age, the doctors won't do anything. Is that true? Do seniors not get relief from pain?

My mother's carpal tunnel syndrome was operated on when she was in her early sixties. It now seems to be coming back (she's 65). Is this normal because she's older?

Many people I know are having surgery on their wrists because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some say they have antibiotics before and others don't. Shouldn't they all have?

My mother-in-law had both hands operated on for carpal tunnel. The first one went well, the second one gave her a really bad infection and she needed to have her hand opened again to get the stuff out. Why would this happen? It was a different surgeon the second time.

If you just stop using your hand, will carpal tunnel syndrome go away?

We hear a lot about carpal tunnel syndrome when it comes to working with computers. Is it something new? We never heard about it before.

I'm a football player and more specifically, the quarterback. I have a bad thumb fracture they call a Bennett's fracture. I went into surgery thinking it would be a quick and easy procedure. I thought I'd be wearing a tiny splint that I could still play football with. Instead, I came out with a big bulky dressing and a splint/cast kind of affair. I haven't seen the surgeon yet to see what happened. I'm looking for any information I can find on-line to help me figure out how soon I can get this off and get back in training.

The surgeon who operated on my thumb fracture gave me a DVD movie afterwards to watch the whole procedure. I was wondering why they suspended my thumb and hand up in the air. Is that to help with circulation or something?

I have filed a claim with Worker's Compensation for work-related carpal tunnel syndrome. They have turned my case down saying there is no evidence that carpal tunnel is caused by excessive or prolonged computer work. I spend hours and hours each day inputting data on a keyboard. How can they say this isn't work-related?

The doctor finally figured out I have carpal tunnel syndrome. It took forever to get a diagnosis. I thought it would be simpler to get through the treatment now that I actually have a diagnosis, but that's been complicated too. How can such a simple problem be so complex?

I've been going through a series of tests trying to figure out why I have numbness and tingling in my hands at night. They don't think I have carpal tunnel syndrome, but they aren't sure what it is yet. Why is this so hard to nail down?

I have chronic burning pain in my hands from working in a factory where I pull sheets of canvas off a conveyor belt. The doc thinks I've damaged the nerves in my forearms and hands. Tomorrow, I'm having some kind of test called NC-Stat. Can you tell me what the test will be like?

I have one finger that is deformed from a benign tumor I've had since I was 10 years old. It's never bothered me how it looks but I'm starting to lose my grip because that finger is permanently bent. Is it too late to do something about this problem?

My son injured the tendon between his middle knuckle and the one where the finger joins the hand. He couldn't stretch his finger out any more. One doctor said he needed splinting, another said he needed surgery right away. Why the huge difference in treatment style?

Why is the tendon so important in pointing a finger?

I developed what the doctor called a trigger finger but I don't know how or why. I didn't hurt it or do anything to cause the tendon to pull the way it did.

My husband had a trigger finger treated with an injection two years ago and it helped for about year and a half, when it came back. He had another injection, but four months later, it isn't working any more. Now, he wants another one but his doctor says no, that my husband needs surgery. Why do surgery if the injection does the trick?

My mother has a bump on her finger, just below the nail or the cuticle. The doctor told her it was a mucous cyst and she could either leave it or have him take it off with surgery. It's ugly and it annoys her terribly. Is it worth the risk of surgery?

I have a mucous cyst on my middle finger of my left hand. It's a bit ugly, but I don't want the doctor to take it off because he says I need surgery. Is there any harm to leaving the cyst as is?

My husband cut his hand when doing a roofing project at home. He lacerated the flexor tendon of both the ring and baby fingers of his left hand. He's in surgery and I'm searching the internet for any information I can find to help during recovery. What advice can you offer us?

I just had surgery to repair a torn tendon on the palm side of my good hand. My job requires use of a computer keyboard so I'll be typing with one hand for awhile. How long will it take to get back to full speed ahead with this type of injury?

Our 26-year-old son was just hospitalized for hand surgery. They say he has a staph infection that has affected the soft tissues of his thumb, wrist, and forearm. It sounds like antibiotics might help but he's going to need the entire area cleaned out surgically first. We're still fuzzy on all the details. What can cause something like this?

I just came back from a clinic visit with my 88-year-old father. They said he has a community mersa infection (at least that's what it sounded like). They also said it was "good news". How can having an infection like that be "good news"? I don't get it.

I'm planning to have surgery on my left thumb for arthritis at the base of the thumb (where the thumb and wrist meet). What can I expect for recovery time?

I'm the third person in my family to be diagnosed with thumb arthritis. We are all wondering what can be done for this problem?

I went up to Alaska to seek fame and fortune. I found both. First the fortune -- it was a great paying job (shelling shrimp). Now the fame: I developed a rare hand infection from something called mycobacterium abscessus. I'm all better now after surgery. I'd like to get back on the job but my surgeon says I need hand therapy. What could happen if I skipped that step?

My family have been fish mongers (handlers) for generations. I'm the first one to develop a serious hand infection that has required surgery. They are all convinced I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what it could be. Can you shed any light on this for me?

We are waiting for a second opinion on the timing of a tendon transfer for my husband. He injured his thumb last spring and it's still not recovered. How do surgeons decide when to wait and when to proceed?

I'm going to try a new treatment for my Dupuytren's disease. It's called collagenase injection. I do tend to develop allergies when exposed to new substances. Will that be a problem with this treatment technique?

I had surgery for Dupuytren's disease two years ago. It worked okay. The hand therapist helped me afterwards to get my grip strength and motion back. Now I've got the problem in the other hand. The surgeon wants to do a less invasive operation this time. He will just nick the tight cords rather than cutting open my hand, etc. Will I even need therapy this time?

I can no longer touch the tip of my thumb to the base of my little finger due to pain and swelling. The swelling is along the top of the thumb and wrist. What could be causing this problem?

I am an occupational therapist working in a hand clinic. We get a fair number of sports athletes in here with various injuries. Just lately I have seen three cases of hook of the hamate fractures from golfers here on vacation. When they don't get better with hand therapy, they go back to the surgeon for further evaluation. Is there some way to identify these injuries sooner than later?

I am typing this with one hand because I jammed and broke my finger yesterday -- just the tip -- but is it ever painful! I'm attempting to let it heal on its own with a splint. Will this be okay six weeks from now?

I have a tumor in my hand that was removed several years ago. I saw a TV show that said benign tumors like mine can come back and that some benign tumors go malignant. Now I'm worried it might happen to me. What can you tell me about this?

I have a funny bump in the fleshy part of my thumb -- maybe that's called the web space. I can move it around so it doesn't seem to be growing out of the bone. It doesn't hurt but it bothers me. Should I have it removed?

I work as a nurse in a nursing home (extended care facility). When I developed a puffy, red, painful sore in my index finger I thought it was what we call a felon. It looks like an infected hangnail (usually a staph infection). But after soaking it off and on for weeks, it never went away. Turns out it was a malignant tumor of the hand. Please tell your readers not to ignore or self-treat hand infections. Find out what it is first!

Can you tell me why I need a sentinel node biopsy of my armpit for a swollen, red index finger? I'm not getting the connection.

My partner got in a fight at the bar last night. Now he has a swollen, painful thumb (right at the base of the thumb). We are doing ice to it and he's taking aspirin. Is there anything else to watch for?

I have to make a decision quickly about surgery for my thumb. I have what's called a Rolando fracture of the thumb. There's a gap in the bone where the break is located. It's just on the edge where I can either go with manual traction (the surgeon uses his hands to pull the bones back where they belong) and a cast or surgery to repair the damage. What do you suggest?

Well, my stupid brother went and did it: got into a fight, punched a guy in the face, and ended up with an infected hand. We share a house, so I'm stuck taking care of him. So far, it doesn't look too good. How long does it take to heal from something like this?

My doctor took an X-ray of my hands and showed me the bone spurs I have growing. The bone spurs confirm that I have osteoarthritis. But what causes these bumps to form in the first place?

Last week I had X-rays taken of my right hand to see if I have arthritis developing. My orthopedic surgeon is waiting for the radiologist to "score" the X-rays and "grade" the joints. What does that mean?

Can you help me figure out what's going on? I started noticing about two months ago that my (usually very neat) handwriting is off. I can't seem to hold the pen or pencil steady between my thumb and index finger. When I try to open the any door (house or car) with a key, I can barely keep a grip on the key. What would cause that?

I'm agonizing over a decision about whether or not to have surgery for my hand. I work as a transcriptionist and typing has become increasingly difficult. The orthopedic hand surgeon I saw thinks I have a nerve palsy (of the AIN nerve, if I understood it all correctly). Would having surgery to release the nerve speed up recovery? I need to be able to type 150+ words per minute and right now I'm at 40.

Is there any explanation for why some of our family members develop osteoarthritis and others don't? My 56-year-old sister has terrible arthritis of the hand while our 90-year old grandmother does not. I don't have it either and I'm older (62), but there are some cousins on my father's side who all seem to have some sort of arthritis.

I'm exploring various treatment options for my hand arthritis. The middle joints of both hands are affected the worst. Making a fist is impossible somedays. On other days, I can make a fist but I can't open my fingers. If I had joint implants would I be trading one trouble for another? I've heard they aren't all that reliable.

I've heard that it's possible to have a thumb joint replacement these days. I'm giving it serious consideration for my severe thumb arthritis. Can you give me a quick run-down on these babies?

I'm faced with an important decision about my thumb arthritis: surgery to reconstruct the base of my thumb or joint replacement. I'm struggling to figure out which way to go. What do your experts think?

Mother practically had to have two of her fingers amputated before they finally figured out she had an infection from tuberculosis. She had tuberculosis as a child but has not been bothered by it since then. Have you ever heard of this happening?

My father suffered a ring-finger injury that he proudly tells us is a "jersey finger." Even though he hasn't played sports a day in his life, he's sure that's what it is. How does somebody who is 71-years-old and very sedentary get a jersey finger anyway? He refuses to let on how it really happened.

What can I expect for recovery from a "jersey finger" injury? It just happened last week and I'm scheduled to see a hand surgeon next week.

My husband is an electrician on a Naval destroyer. There was some kind of accident and he suffered an electrical burn. I don't know much but they say once he is stabilized, they will be doing surgery for a compartment syndrome of the hand. Please tell me what you can about this kind of injury.

I am a butcher apprentice in my third year of training. Many butchers have lost fingertips or even half a finger or more. I often wonder if something like that happened to me should I save the finger and take it with me to the hospital? Can they sew it back on?

My husband was involved in a sledding accident this morning. We are in the ER waiting for the hand surgeon as I send this to you. The tip of his middle and ring fingers were both sliced off. He says he doesn't need them. Just sew the end closed and be done with it. Should I insist he have them put back on? I know people seem to get along fine without fingers. I can't tell if he's in shock or just being a macho guy. What do you think we should do? We have to make the decision so please hurry with a reply.

I am in a study for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome who have surgery. I've already had the operation. Each time I go in for a check-up, they have me fill out the same two questionnaires about my pain. I don't really think I'm getting better but the researcher collecting the data says I am. Really, wouldn't I know better how I'm doing than this pip-squeak?

I'm looking for some information about carpal tunnel syndrome. First, will it really improve my symptoms? And second, is it possible to come out of surgery worse than I went in?

I'm more than a little distressed by the news I got today. According to the surgeon I just saw, my forearm aching is an "illness" not a disease. I got the impression that this illness is mental, not physical. I was told to go home, use ice or heat, take ibuprofen and wait three months to see if it goes away. What kind of medical advice is that? He didn't say see a shrink but I think it was on his mind.

I have aching pain down the inside of my forearm with numbness in the thumb and index finger. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed it as pronator syndrome. She recommended hand therapy. I'm thinking about seeking a second opinion. What do you think?

I'm doing a quick on-line search for my brother trying to find some information to help us. He had an accident at work and cut his ring finger off just above the main knuckle. The hand surgeon reattached the finger but it looks like blood is pooling where the finger was sewn back on. They are actually talking about using leeches to get rid of the blood. Is this for real?

I lost two fingers in a hunting accident years ago. The surgeon didn't even attempt to reattach them. I see now that not only can the fingers be reconnected but surgeons can connect two fingers together to help the amputated finger recover. How does this process work exactly?

My sweet grandma has the start of old-people's bony, gnarled knuckles. Her fingers are starting to get stuck like that. She insists that nothing can be done to help. I'm taking some liberties by asking around about what can be done for this problem?

What is a stage two boutonniere finger deformity? This is what my wife has been diagnosed with. We understand what causes the fingers to get stuck like this. What we are trying to decide now is what kind of treatment would be best for her. The surgeon told us it depends on the stage but didn't elaborate beyond that.

I've been told by several friends I met at the rheumatology clinic I go to that their finger replacements just didn't hold up like they thought they would. It's been recommended that I get a finger joint replacement for the middle joint of my middle finger. Should I do it? Will it last?

After years of suffering from a painful hand that wouldn't open and close properly, I finally had two finger joint replacements. One finger has done beautifully. But the other one squeaks! Every time I bend or straighten my middle finger, there is an honest-to-god squeak. What is the world is this?

My sister and I are having an argument we need help solving. She says cat bites are much worse than dog bites. I think dogs can rip and tear someone's skin with those canines more than cats with their sharp but tiny teeth. We've got a banana split riding on this one.

I just got my first job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. The person I replaced got some kind of fungal infection from washing dishes. How can I avoid this myself?

I had carpal tunnel surgery about nine months ago. It's taken me a while to search this but I was told the cause of my problem was an extra tendon in there. Can you tell me more about this? How did I get an extra tendon? Does this happen very often? Will I get carpal tunnel on the other side because of this?

I'm 75-years-old and just came down with carpal tunnel syndrome. If I haven't had this problem all my earlier years, why is it developing now?

I'm starting to develop a problem the doctor called Dupuytren's. It's not too bad right now but I'm wondering if it gets worse, what might I expect?

I just came back from a dinner party where the host was raving about his success with injections for his Dupuytren's. I have the same hand problem but I've been told surgery is the best way to go. Is there anything to this injection treatment?

I have a wonderful hand surgeon who is trying to help me with my thumb problem. Well, actually, I have two thumb problems. The medical report says I have "MCP joint hyperextension associated with TM arthrosis." My surgeon showed me how much arthritis I have at the trapezial-metacarpal (TM) joint (thumb-to-wrist connection) but no arthritis at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint (large knuckle joint). I'm very proud of myself for understanding the whole anatomy thing. The question is what can be done about it?

I have a thumb problem I don't quite know what to do about. The base of my thumb (where it connects to the wrist) is painful and arthritic. The next thumb joint (the big thumb knuckle) has too much motion but doesn't hurt. Is there a brace or some way I can keep these two problems from getting worse?

I've been told that treatment for Dupuytren disease of the hand is a "why bother" proposition -- that the results are 50/50 and the problem comes back. Is this really true?

My wife is trying to talk me out of injection therapy for Dupuytren disease. She thinks it's too new, too expensive, and too unpredictable. What do you think?

When I was a little boy, I remember visiting my great-grandfather in Scotland. What I remember most was how gnarled his hands were. In fact, he could no longer open his right hand to shake hands with my father. I'm starting to develop some stiffness and difficulty laying my palm flat on the table. Could I be getting the same thing?

What's the prognosis for Duputren hand contractures? I've had the problem for a couple of years and just ignored it. Now I've lost the ability to straighten my fingers and I'm sorry I didn't so something sooner.

Do you think it's true that getting back to work after carpal tunnel surgery is all a matter of attitude?

I heard that desk workers who have carpal tunnel syndrome can expect to get back to work faster than manual laborers. Is that really true? As a desk worker myself, it seems like repetitive tasks on the computer would aggravate just as much as operating heavy equipment.

My kids tell me I'm a suspicious sort of person. I can't really help myself. I always wonder if I'm getting the right treatment or the best deal. My latest worry is about my thumb. The doc says I have arthritis at the base. She wants me to see a hand therapist before considering anything more drastic like surgery. Does this seem right to you?

I had a special series of injections called hyaluronate to my knee that worked like a charm for my arthritis. Do you think I could get this for my thumb? It's been acting up for ages.

I went to the local clinic at the mall for a hand problem that's been bothering me for awhile. I think I may have injured something when I was pulling weeds a few weeks ago. Anyway, the nurse practitioner gave me a splint to wear for awhile but it's terribly uncomfortable and it gets in the way. Should I take it back and try something else?

I was at my bridge club meeting yesterday listening to all the biddies complaining about their aches and pains. I was surprised by how many of the women have serious thumb problems. It is to the point of pretty extreme pain at the base of the thumb and misshapen thumb joints. I'm only 60 years old (most of these ladies are in their 70s and 80s). Is this from years of playing cards or what?

I went to see three different surgeons (one was a hand specialist) and got three different suggestions for my thumb. They each explained that I have a zigzag deformity from arthritis but they didn't agree on what to do for it. Now I don't know what to do. What do you tell your patients?

Have you ever heard of someone developing an opening in the hand that wouldn't close? I cut myself on a sharp piece of glass and ended up having stitches. Once the stitches came out, there was still a hole the size of a pin head that keeps oozing and draining fluid. Should I wait and see if it will eventually go away?

I've been told I'm a rare bird more than once. The latest reason is because I managed to develop something they call a "fistula" in the palm of my hand. It developed because I had surgery for a trigger finger. I've had surgery to repair the problem. The problem is the skin along the scar is so tender. It didn't hurt nearly this much before surgery. Will the pain and tenderness eventually go away?

Can you explain something to me? My mother broke her wrist and when I took her to the hospital they did X-rays but also a CT scan. Once they knew the break was a simple fracture without separation of the bones (seen with the X-ray) why the need for another expensive imaging test?

What is musician's dystonia?

I am a semi-professional pianist with a serious problem that could put the kibosh on my career. Anytime I play for more than an hour, my hands start to go numb. I've heard that it's possible to do some technical retraining but I don't know how to go about this. What do you recommend?

When do you recommend having surgery for Dupuytren disease?

I have been diagnosed with Dupuytren disease because my fingers stopped straightening all the way. But the reason I went to the doctor was because of the pain. Then I found out that most people with this problem don't have pain. How come I'm so lucky?

I admit I had a little bit too much to drink last night. I woke up this morning in the hospital with a weird little contraption around my pinkie finger. Looks like some kind of metal cage. And the other hand is in a splint the nurse told me is a "clam-digger." It's Sunday and no one around to explain what the heck is going on. I've got a candy striper sending you this question. Hope you can respond while she is still here

I just got this very cool metal ring for a finger injury and I'm wondering if you've ever heard of it? It's called a pulley splint. Looks like jewelry. What does it really do?

My daughter is a hand surgeon now. We are so very proud. But I hardly know how to chat with her about her work. I thought maybe if I looked up some of the latest things in hand work, I might be able to draw her out more when we talk on the phone. She told me this week she is in a clinic where they just treat hand ligament injuries. Imagine that! Can you give me some tips on what to ask about?

I asked my doctor if I could have carpal tunnel surgery and you would have thought I shot the president. He thinks I'm some kind of criminal because I take narcotic medications. It's a prescription for goodness sakes! If the surgery for the hand would help then maybe I wouldn't need so much medication. I do have other pain problems from a car accident that I'm taking the drugs for. Can you advise me?

Years ago, I had a work injury that left me partially paralyzed and in chronic pain. I've used a cane and wheelchair off and on ever since. The pressure on my wrists and hands has resulted in carpal tunnel syndrome on both sides. I have been taking prescription narcotics for all these years. I have a program and schedule of pain meds that works for me. If I have surgery for the carpal tunnel will I end up messing up my current (successful) pain control?

My five-year-old niece was here yesterday. She is a ball of energy and before I could warn her, she had stuck her finger in the parrot's cage and got the tip of her finger bitten off! We rushed her to the hospital and they reattached the finger. My question for you is will she lose her finger? I would feel really bad if that happened.

I was at a friend's house yesterday helping her cut her parrot's toenails. One of us (me) holds the bird in a towel while the other one (my friend) does the nail trimming. Unfortunately, the bird got her head out of the towel and bit me a good one. Broke the skin but didn't break the bone or take the finger off. I understand now that could happen! My main concern now is whether or not I could get rabies from a parrot bite. What can you tell me?

Have you ever heard of something called Kienböck disease in children? I think it's rare but it's something my grandson has developed and I'm very concerned. Is it life-threatening?

Do you think there's any way I can get by without surgery for stage 3 Kienböck disease? I'm trying to consider all my options.

I am a hand therapist in a busy mid-town practice. We have a patient with a very stiff PIP after a hunting accident. Even our best therapist has been unable to come up with a splint that would work to restore motion to the PIP without affecting the joints on either side. Is there anything out there you know of that might help?

I am an old physical therapist with a new job in a hand clinic. I'm scrambling to catch up with all the new innovations in hand therapy. Yesterday, I heard the occupational therapists talking about a new splint for PIP contractures. I'm a bit sheepish about not wanting to admit I'd like to know more but embarrassed to ask. I use your website for everything else, so I thought, "Why not?" Maybe you can enlighten me about this "novel" new PIP splint?

Do you have any idea how the decision is made to do surgery for a skier's thumb? Our 18-year-old daughter is away at college. She went skiing, had a skiing accident and ended up with skier's thumbs (both sides). She's far away and couldn't come home for treatment and ended up having surgery there. I keep thinking if she were here, we could have avoided surgery. We had to go with the doctor's recommendation there but I still wonder.

What's the difference between gamekeeper's thumb and skier's thumb? My husband has been to two different surgeons for thumb injuries after a skiing accident. One called it one thing and the other called it the other. Are they two different things or what?

I have started to develop pain in my right thumb that the doctor calls osteoarthritis. I've had carpal tunnel in that hand for several years. Could the thumb joint be breaking down now that the carpal tunnel has been there so long?

Is it possible that my trigger fingers (I have three!!) and my carpal tunnel (in the same hand) are all connected? If so -- what is the connection?

I am looking in to the new injection therapy for Dupuytrens. I've been assured this treatment is safe, less invasive, and less expensive. But does it work?

I am a band leader for a swing band that plays at weddings and entertainment events. My drummer has developed something called Dupuytrens disease of his fingers. He's going to try and bypass surgery by having some kind of injections. We have a lot of gigs scheduled this month. How long will recovery take?

My wife and I were away over the weekend on a snowmobiling trip. Unfortunately, she was flipped off the snowmobile and got a badly broken and dislocated middle joint of the middle finger. We were out of town at the time. She had surgery there at the regional medical center and now sent home (we live about 200 miles from where she was treated). We have a referral to the hand center in our area. But what should we expect? Like what happens next?

I am a physical therapist who subscribes to your service -- it has been a great help to me. Tomorrow I will be seeing two patients who both received a pyrolytic carbon implant for osteoarthritis of the MCP joint. What tips can you offer me for designing the rehab program? What do other hand therapists do for these patients?

I am one of the few "lucky ducks" (NOT!) in the world to get osteoarthritis of my middle knuckle of the right hand. I've been told this is an uncommon problem. And to add insult to injury, after months of hand therapy, medications, and even steroid injections, I ended up no better off than before treatment. So I had a joint replacement with a special carbon implant. Wouldn't you know it? I still have very limited motion and pain no one can explain. Am I unusual as well as unlucky? What would you say about my case?

I saw a funny thing on the subway this morning. A woman was wiggling her fingers and talking out loud. Now, in New York City, that really isn't so unusual but what she was saying caught my attention. She was memorizing the anatomy of just the tendons that pull the fingers back. It caught my attention so I'm checking your website for a little more about this myself. What should I look for?

I am going to have surgery on my dominant (right) hand to replace a tendon that has worn through from my rheumatoid arthritis. It's the tendon on the back of my index finger. How important is it to see a hand surgeon (specialist) rather than just a regular surgeon? I can't seem to get a straight answer from my main doctor.

Have you ever heard of people who think they can predict the weather by their aches and pains? I'm a little skeptical but whenever I want to know if it's going to be a good day for fishing, I ask my Grandpa and he is always spot on. What do you think about this?

I'm going to have the fingers on my hand that are permanently bent injected to release the tissue. The surgeon will straighten the finger after the injection and then I'm supposed to go to therapy for a splint and some exercises. Are these the kind of exercises I can just do on my own? I don't have insurance coverage for hand therapy.

As my Aunt Loretta used to say, "Shoot a bean." This means I can't make up my mind about the best way to treat my two stuck fingers. The doc says I have a disease called Dupuytren. Middle joints of the middle and ring fingers of my dominant hand are stuck in a bent position. The choices for treatment are some kind of enzyme injection or surgery. Both sound simple and successful. Are there any tipping points to help me with this one?

My buddy and I do team calf roping in local rodeos and county fairs where we live. He recently got himself a lasso rope injury and ended up with a funny, bent tip-of-the thumb. Think he could get this motion back with a little therapy? He's trying to figure out a way to rustle them doggies and tie them up on his own but so far, it's not working too good.

I am a hand therapist looking for a little information. I've had a patient referred to me with a mallet thumb. I have never treated this condition before. What kind of help can you offer me?

Our 17 year-old son got a summer job roofing. Today, one of the other workers had to go to the hospital for putting a nail through his hand using a high-powered nail gun. Naturally, now we are concerned about our son. Is this a common occurrence? Anything we can tell him that might help him avoid the same fate?

We just transported our nephew to the hospital with a nail embedded into his hand. Unfortunately, it is also attached to the piece of board he was putting the nail into. He was using a high-powered nail gun so it is well and truly connected to him now. What is the usual treatment for this? Will he have to have extensive surgery? We are beside ourselves with worry while waiting.

I'm faithfully wearing a night splint the hand therapist made for me after I had surgery for Dupuytren finger contracture. I'm starting to have some serious questions about this splint. It holds my fingers straight but I'm stiff in the mornings. It takes a while to get my fingers to bend again. Is that normal?

I'm going to have surgery to remove tight cords in my palm from Dupuytren disease. The surgery is covered by insurance but the hand therapy and splinting afterwards is not. Can I get along without these treatments?

It's been six months since I got hit by a flying baseball and ended up with a permanently bent tip of the index finger (despite wearing a splint day and night since the accident). I've seen other people with bent finger tips but never knew this is how you get them. I'm wondering if there is some kind of surgery that could fix this -- if for no other reason than cosmetics (I don't like how it looks). What can you tell me?

I am planning to get married in six-months. I have a mallet finger from a high school baseball injury. My fiance would like to have a photo taken of our hands with our wedding rings but there is the ugly mallet finger. Can anything be done to fix this?

I'm a little bit bummed that the carpal tunnel release surgery I had done a few years ago can be done now without a visible scar. Do they get as good of results that way as with the kind I had with a full incision?

Ten years ago, I had carpal tunnel surgery the "old-fashioned way". In other words, I had the open-incision kind of surgery. I guess now everyone is having the kind without a big incision. I seem to be doing okay all these years later. How does that compare with other people who had the same kind of surgery I had back in the day?

I am a prep chef in a large New York City restaurant while trying to make it as an actor. I am easily replaced so I don't want to lose my job. But I'm having a problem gripping objects because of what the doc calls a "swan-neck" deformity. Is there anything I can do to hold the finger so I can use it? I've tried taping it but that doesn't look good in the kitchen (like I cut myself or something).

I have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis of the hands. The physician says I have an "early" swan neck deformity of the middle finger that could get worse over time. I'd like to do whatever I can to keep this from getting worse and/or prevent any other fingers from going bad. What do you suggest?

Over the weekend, I managed to dislocate my ring finger in the middle part when I fell out of a boat and grabbed at a rope as I lost my balance. I popped it back in place but now it's all bent and swollen. Should I get one of those splints from the pharmacy or just tape the finger to the finger next to it?

Our son got his middle finger jammed during a wrestling match. The middle joint of the middle finger is dislocated. They are talking about doing surgery. How can we tell if this is really the right treatment? Can't they just pull it back in place and put a splint on the finger? Why would surgery be needed?

Are there any alternatives to prescription drugs for the treatment of hand osteoarthritis? I'm not opposed to taking medications. But I'd like to explore all my options first before just swallowing a pill with the potential for bad side effects.

Is is safe to take glucosamine for hand arthritis? All I ever see on the Internet is about hip or knee arthritis. Also, what are the side effects of these supplements?

Mother is 82-years-old and loves to knit and crochet. She has made over 100 blankets for our local hospice. But she has terrible carpal tunnel syndrome and wants to have surgery. What are the risks and how do other people come out of this surgery? She's pretty healthy otherwise but slowing down.

I was turned down flat for carpal tunnel surgery because of my age (87 years old). I am hale and hearty except for this terrible numbness in my left hand. I expect to live another 20 years and I do NOT want to live like this. How can I convince my doc to approve this procedure? I think it's because I'm on Medicare and old enough to be his grandfather that I'm getting this kind of treatment.

I jammed my finger playing basketball a few weeks ago.  I’ve rested my finger since then but still am unable to straighten my fingertip all the way.  Should I seek medical treatment or is it just going to stay this way?

My grandmother has multiple fingertips that will not straighten all the way. She says that they do not bother her but they look stuck.  Should I take her to the doctor?  What could they do for her?

I had a flexor tendon repair two weeks ago.  My doctor has set me up with this futuristic looking contraption that lets me straighten my finger if I want and then bends it back to a resting position.  He didn't give me much instruction other than to wear this thing.  Should I be doing something else for my finger?

I recently was climbing and felt a pop in my index finger. Since then I don’t seem to have any control of bending my finger and I’m guessing I’ve damaged my tendon. What are my treatment options?

I have developed a pretty bad case of intrinsic contracture following a stroke several months ago. My surgeon is suggesting that I need a distal intrinsic release. Are there other options?

My mother is having a lateral band mobilization for her hand next week and we are confused about what this means.

I have been diagnosed with a trigger finger. What are my treatment choices?

I have opted to have a surgical repair for my trigger finger. I tried a cortisone injection that failed. What are my risks?

I am a farmer who works with heavy machinery on a daily basis.  I often wonder about what I should do if my hand ever gets caught in the equipment.  Say my finger is cut off.  What would be the best action to take?

I am having surgery on my injured pointer finger flexor tendon. When will I start rehabilitation?

What does zone II mean in reference to my hand?

I am 50 years old and have a lot of hand pain that often feels hot. My fingers don’t work as well as they used to and some of them are bending in a funny way. Is there anything that can be done for this?

I am a high school basketball player and recently really jammed my middle finger during practice. The tip of my finger is hanging funny. It hurt really bad at first, but now doesn’t. It just gets caught on things, which is annoying. My Mom thinks I need to go to the doctor. My question is what could they do for it and if I don’t, what could happen?