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Hand and Wrist Pain

Common Causes of Hand and Wrist Pain

Hand and wrist pain can severely limit daily activity and diminish quality of life. The most common causes are:

  • Injuries such as tendon lacerations, sprains, strains and fractures
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Basilar joint arthritis – arthritis at the base of the thumb
  • Ganglion cyst
  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis
  • Dupuytren's contracture
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Referred pain from the neck

Getting to the Root Cause of Hand and Wrist Pain

There are many possible causes of hand and wrist pain, including referred pain from other parts of the body. Since proper treatment will depend on the root cause, see your family doctor or an orthopedic specialist for a proper diagnosis.

Diagnostic Testing

Typically, your family doctor or orthopedic specialist may use one or more of the following evaluation methods, available at MidMichigan to arrive at a diagnosis:

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • Electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (CV)
  • Blood test for rheumatoid arthritis

Treatment Options

Your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Medication – typically oral anti-inflammatories
  • Physical or occupational therapy – MidMichigan Health offers comprehensive rehabilitation services at one of our convenient locations. Ask your doctor about a referral.
  • Splinting
  • Rest or activity modification if the cause is overuse
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery – the most common hand and wrist surgeries performed at MidMichigan are:
    • Open carpal tunnel release
    • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
    • Basilar ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (LRTI)

The MidMichigan Difference

  • Board-certified orthopedic specialists, including one fellowship-trained in hand and wrist surgery.
  • Team philosophy – our orthopedic specialists work very closely with rehabilitation services to help you return to normal activity as quickly and safely as possible.