Some problems with the appearance or function of the hand or wrist are congenital, meaning the child is born with them. Others can result from a variety of injuries or conditions.
Accident or TraumaFractures
can result from sports activities, a fall or accident. Serious accidents can cause amputation of a hand, finger, or thumb that surgeons may be able to reattach.
Compressed Nerves (Neuropathies)
Repeated movements such as typing, working on an assembly line, or playing racquet sports can cause compression of the nerves in the hands and wrists -- leading to numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness. Common nerve-compression problems include carpal tunnel syndrome
and cubital tunnel syndrome.
Tendon Inflammation or Injury
Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. When the tendons in the hand and wrist area become inflamed or damaged, they can cause disorders such as trigger finger, trigger thumb, and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Tendon problems are sometimes caused by overuse.
Ligament or Cartilage Injury
Ligaments and cartilage are connective tissue that help stabilize and protect our joints. They can get damaged or torn as a result of traumatic injury or overuse. One common condition is a tear in the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) -- cartilage found on the pinkie side of the wrist.
This joint inflammation causes pain, swelling, and -- in severe cases -- joint deformity. The most common type, osteoarthritis, is caused by wear and tear and tends to occur with age. It can also develop from overuse or following an injury. Rheumatoid arthritis
is an autoimmune disease -- where the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues -- and can occur in children as well as adults.
This fluid-filled sac forms on the covering of a tendon, usually on the back of the wrist joint.