Many people have heard of trigger finger or carpal tunnel, but there are other lesser-known (but still common) hand conditions that many people have never heard of before. Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Dupuytren’s Disease, and De Quervain’s Tendonitis are three hand conditions that we treat often here at Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas.
If you’ve ever gone out in cold weather and noticed your fingers turn from white to blue to red, you may have Raynaud’s Phenomenon. This sensation occurs when the blood vessels in the fingers constrict, which blocks blood flow to the fingers almost entirely. The fingers will turn white from the lack of blood flow, then blue as venous blood pools in the fingers, then red as the blood flow resumes and the fingers return to normal. This condition is most often triggered by the cold, but stress can set it off as well. Taking preventative measures (like finding ways to stress less or wearing gloves in cold weather) can help reduce the chance of experiencing this phenomenon, but for a long-term solution, surgery may be recommended to increase blood flow to the fingers.
Dupuytren’s disease is another common hand condition. In an individual with Dupuytren’s, the underlying skin of the palm reduces its production of the collagen (type I) that provides structural support to the hand. Instead, it increases another type of collagen (type III) that leads to the thickening of the palm. This condition causes the fingers to to curl inward toward the palm (often the ring and little finger), and prevents the fingers from fully extending. Firm lumps or nodules may be found in the palm, as well. The cause of this disease is unknown, but two of the available treatments include an injection that can reduce the thickening of the palm, and a minimally invasive procedure to release the contractures (bending or shortening of the muscles) of the fingers.
Pregnant women, a person with rheumatoid arthritis, or someone who overuses their thumb tendons (say, for a job or a hobby) are at a greater risk of developing De Quervain’s tendonitis. This condition occurs when a tendon at the base of the thumb becomes swollen and is unable to slide through the tendon sheath—a necessary movement for the mobility of the thumb. This can cause pain in the thumb and hand, swelling over the thumb, a fluid-filled cyst, and a catching sensation when moving the thumb. This condition can be highly painful and can make it difficult to perform daily tasks like grasping an object, tying a shoe, or typing an email to a colleague, but there are many treatments available (both surgical and non-surgical).
These three hand conditions are common, but the symptoms can be scary to someone who has never heard of them before. Our trusted team of surgery specialists can help put your mind at ease as they work to find the best course of action for the treatment of your hand condition. If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms discussed, please contact us today for an appointment.
To stay up-to-date on everything happening at HSST, make sure to follow us on Facebook! Our hands heal yours!