At your first appointment, your Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine physician will ask for a detailed history of your hand or wrist condition (when the pain started, how often it occurs, any activities that increase or decrease it, etc.) and perform a thorough physical examination of the area.
Because of the complexity of the hand and wrist, an accurate diagnosis may also require an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and/or bone density test.
Your physician may also want to check your blood or the joint fluid in your wrist and hand. If, for example, a blood test indicates high levels of certain antibodies, the cause of your discomfort may be rheumatoid arthritis. Joint fluid tests might reveal crystals of uric acid, indicating gout, or bacteria, indicating infection.
The physicians at Houston Methodist treat a wide range of hand and wrist conditions, including:
» Arthritis of the Finger Joints
» Arthritis of the Thumb
» Artificial Joint Replacement of the Finger
» Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb
» Boutonniere Deformity of the Finger
» Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
» Dupuytren's Contracture
» Dupuytren's Contracture Surgery
» Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release
» Finger Fusion Surgery
» Guyon's Canal Syndrome
» Hand Anatomy
» Mallet Finger Injuries
» Mucous Cysts of the Fingers
» Open Carpal Tunnel Release
» PIP Joint Injuries of the Finger
» Resection (Excision) Arthroplasty of the Thumb
» Swan Neck Deformity of the Finger
» Thumb Fusion Surgery
» Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb
» Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries of the Thumb
» Artificial Joint Replacement of the Wrist
» de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
» Ganglions of the Wrist
» Intersection Syndrome
» Kienbock's Disease
» Ligament Injuries of the Wrist
» Osteoarthritis of the Wrist Joint
» Scaphoid Fracture of the Wrist
» Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex (TFCC) Injuries
» Wrist Anatomy
» Wrist Fusion
Once your condition is diagnosed and its severity evaluated, your Houston Methodist physician will work with you to develop a plan of treatment.
In many cases, your physician will prescribe medication designed to relieve pain, control inflammation, slow down bone loss, combat inflammatory disease, and/or prevent joint damage. These may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, analgesics, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), or other medications.
In the case of a sprain, your physician may prescribe the use of a brace or a splint to provide support and increase strength while the injury heals.
If injury or arthritis has caused deformity or interferes with normal function, surgery may be recommended. Two specific types of hand and wrist surgery are:
- Wrist arthroscopy: The surgeon makes a few small incisions around the wrist joint and uses an arthroscope (a flexible instrument about the size of a pencil) to view the inside of the wrist; used mainly for diagnosis and treatment of ligament or cartilage tears.
- Wrist or finger joint replacement (arthroplasty): The surgeon replaces the joint of the wrist or finger with an artificial joint (prosthesis). Because of the delicacy of the area, wrist and finger arthroplasty is much less common than other joint replacements, and our specialists at Houston Methodist are among a small number of surgeons who perform these procedures.
Your recovery period will depend on the type of surgery performed and may include:
- A cast or splint to protect the hand or wrist while it heals
- Physical therapy exercises to improve strength and range of motion
- Elevation and ice to reduce swelling
- Pain medication to reduce discomfort
Many patients who undergo hand or wrist surgery are able to resume most normal activities within weeks of surgery.
Texas Medical Center
Houston Sports Park (HSP)/Dynamo Training Facility
David A. Braunreiter, M.D.
D. Dean Dominy, III, M.D.*
Jeffrey A. Kozak, D.O.
Mark W. Maffet, M.D.
Eddie T. Matsu, M.D.
Vincent C. Phan, M.D.*
Kenneth M. Renney, M.D.
Timothy C. Sitter, M.D.
Christopher K. Smith, M.D.
Physicians marked with an asterisk (*) are fellowship-trained in the field of hand and wrist surgery.