Hand and wrist

The hands and wrist are complex, delicate structures which perform a wide range of movements. They are an amazing feat of engineering and form a vital part of the human body. But their versatility and constant use also means that it is easy for things to go wrong.

The orthopaedic clinic at Harley Street deals with all manner of hand and wrist conditions which range from ganglion cysts through to carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.

This clinic is a world leader in its field and offers the latest treatment, techniques and care. It is staffed by eminent orthopaedic surgeons with high level skills and expertise in this field. They use cutting edge techniques to deliver a standard of treatment that is second to none. This is supported by a first rate team of nurses, ward managers, radiologists and other staff who are committed to excellent patient care.

Anatomy of the hand and wrist

The hand is comprised of a flat palm with five fingers attached and accounts for 27 bones in total. This includes the ring, middle, index, little fingers and the thumb. Each finger consists of the phalanges and metacarpal bones which are attached to the carpal bones in the wrist.

These are supported by internal and external muscles, including the flexor and extensor muscles. These enable the hand and wrist to perform a wide range of movements.

The wrist consists of eight bones which include the scaphoid, trapezoid and trapezium bones.

There are a series of nerves which carry signals from the brain to the wrist that travel from the hand to the wrist. These include the radial, medial and ulna nerves and run from the shoulder down to the hand where they enable a wide variety of movements.

Finally, there are two ligaments which support both sides of the wrist. These are known as collateral ligaments, e.g. palmar collateral ligament.

Types of hand and wrist conditions

Here is a list of the more common type of hand and wrist conditions treated at our Harley Street clinic. They include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Arthritis at the base of the thumb
  • Mallet finger/s
  • Scaphoid fracture (wrist)
  • Tenosynovitis (trigger finger)
  • ‘BlackBerry’ thumb (repetitive strain injury of the thumb)
  • Strained wrist ligaments/tendons
  • Dupuytren’s disease
  • DeQuervain’s Tenovitis
  • Tumours
  • Sports injuries

Some conditions affect the bones of the hand or wrist whereas others are confined to the ligaments or tendons.

Treatment for hand and wrist conditions

The hand and wrist are delicate structures which require a high degree of skill and expertise. Most injuries involve damage to the muscles, tissue, bones, tendons and ligaments which are usually repaired via surgery.

This includes surgery to release pressure on the median nerve to the hand which has become squeezed due to repetitive movements, e.g. using a keyboard or other reasons. Other forms of surgery include the removal of tumours or ganglion cysts: fusing of the bones in the thumb: removal of abnormally thick tissue between the tendons and skin in the palm of the hand.

Non-surgical treatments include splints, medication, steroid injections and physiotherapy. This may also include lifestyle changes as well.