Orthopedic Specialists

Spotting and Treating Common Hand Conditions

September 15, 2022

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If you’re experiencing chronic hand pain or reduced range of motion and function in your hands and fingers, you may be suffering from a chronic hand condition or hand disease. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of common hand conditions is the first step toward symptom relief. 

Common hand conditions can result from a wide variety of factors such as underlying health issues, lifestyle circumstances, and past hand injuries. Hand pain and restricted hand motion are common symptoms across a wide range of hand conditions. By looking at the causes of common hand problems and their more specific symptoms, you can begin to narrow down what specific hand condition you may be experiencing. 

Carpal Tunnel

carpal Tunnel Causes

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This can result from a wide variety of factors such as prolonged repetitive hand motions, hand and/or west strain, a hand injury, hereditary factors, chronic health conditions, and more. 

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Two common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are tingling/numbness and muscle weakness. Tingling and/or numbness in the fingers and hand often travel up the arm when holding/gripping objects. Numbness and muscle weakness in the thumb’s pinching muscles can result in frequent dropping of objects. You may also have trouble doing delicate tasks such as buttoning shirts, sewing, etc. 

Carpal Tunnel Treatment 

There are a wide variety of treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. Common treatments include:

Cubital Tunnel

Cubital Tunnel Causes

Cubital tunnel syndrome, also called ulnar nerve entrapment, is caused when the ulnar nerve at the inside of your elbow is compressed and/or irritated. Common causes of cubital tunnel syndrome include bending or putting too much pressure on your elbow, chronic health conditions, bone spurs and cysts near the elbow joint, and a past elbow fracture or dislocation. 

Cubital Tunnel Symptoms

Common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include numbness in your hand and fingers that comes and goes, difficulty moving your fingers, and pain on the inside of your elbow. 

Cubital Tunnel Treatment

There are a wide variety of treatments for cubital tunnel syndrome. Common treatments include:

Trigger Finger

Trigger Finger Causes

Trigger finger (also known as stenosing tenosynovitis) occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. Common causes of trigger finger include work that requires frequent, repetitive gripping actions and health conditions such as diabetes, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is most common in women aged 40-60.

Trigger Finger Symptoms

Common symptoms of trigger finger include finger stiffness, fingers catching or locking in a bent position, and a popping or clicking sensation when you move your finger.  

Trigger Finger Treatment

There are a wide variety of treatments for trigger finger. Common treatments include:

De Quervain's 

De Quervain's Causes

De Quervain tenosynovitis affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. De Quervain’s tendinosis can be caused by a variety of factors including overuse and repetitive grasping, a direct blow to the thumb, and inflammatory health conditions. 

De Quervain's Symptoms

Common symptoms of De Quervain's include pain and tenderness along the side of the wrist on the thumb side, difficulty moving your thumb, and a snapping or popping sensation when using your thumb.

De Quervain's Treatment

There are a wide variety of treatments for De Quervain's. Common treatments include:


Arthritis Causes

Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints, breaking down cartilage and causing bones to rub together. Three common types of arthritis that affect the hand are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriatic Arthritis. Factors that can cause arthritis in the hand include age, weight, genetics, and previous hand injuries. 

Arthritis Symptoms

Common symptoms of hand arthritis include dull and/or burning joint pain, hand stiffness in the morning, and noticeable swelling. 

Arthritis Treatments

Treatments for arthritis in the hand vary widely depending on the type and severity of the condition and individual patient factors. There are a wide variety of treatments for hand arthritis. Common treatments include:

  • Surgical options: joint fusion, joint replacement, and tendon transfer 

  • Nonsurgical options: occupational therapy, medications, splinting/braces, lifestyle adjustments, and steroid injections

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's Causes

Dupuytren's contracture is a hand deformity that affects a layer of tissue that lies under the skin of your palm. The exact cause of Dupuytren’s is not known however certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of getting Dupuytren's. Dupuytren's risk factors include smoking and alcohol use, being over the age of 50, and having diabetes. Men of Northern European descent are at the highest risk of the disease.

Dupuytren's Symptoms

Dupuytren's contracture progresses differently over time. In the early stages, you may notice visual changes such as thickening of the skin on your palm and a dimpled appearance, lump formation is also common. As Dupuytren’s progresses, cords of tissue form under the skin on your palm that can extend up to your fingers. When these cords tighten, your fingers can be pulled in towards your palm.

Dupuytren's Treatments

Treatments for Dupuytren's can include:

  • Splinting

  • Medications and steroid injections

  • Surgical options 

Don't Let Your Symptoms Progress

If you’re experiencing any signs of these common hand conditions, it’s important to see an orthopedic hand doctor as soon as possible. Leaving hand diseases and conditions untreated can lead to worsening symptoms and even permanent damage. At Orthopedic Specialists, our expert orthopedic surgeons and doctors are here for you, from diagnosis to treatment to ongoing care. Schedule an appointment at one of our Iowa orthopedic clinics today!

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