Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

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?

Answer:

The main muscle that allows you to turn your palm up is called the supinator. Motor weakness of the supinator can be caused by pressure on the posterior interosseous nerve at the elbow. If this nerve is involved, you may be having some weakness lifting up (extending) the wrist and fingers.

There are many possible causes of nerve pressure. Sometimes a fibrous band of connective tissue grows over or around the nerve. A ganglion cyst or tumor may be the cause of these symptoms. Repetitive use of the arm may be a factor. It's best to have a doctor examine your arm and find out the exact cause.

Joseph Mileti MD, et al. Radial Tunnel Syndrome Caused By Ganglion Cyst: Treatment By Arthroscopic Cyst Decompression. In Arthroscopy. May/June 2004. Vol. 20. No. 5. Pp. E39-46.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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