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There are several injuries and conditions that can affect the hand and upper extremities. Fractures, lacerations, and tears can negatively impact the way muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and other tissues or structures work together. Issues related to degeneration and overuse such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis can affect the function of hands or upper extremities and cause mild to severe pain. Other health problems, including tumors or infections, can develop spontaneously.


Conditions that affect the function of the hand and wrist include:

  • Tendonitis – Inflammation and swelling of a tendon
  • Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that cushions bones, muscles, and ligaments near joints
  • DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis – Swelling of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Numbness and tingling in the hand and arm, caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture – An abnormal thickening of the skin on the palm at the base of the fingers; the thickened area can develop a hard band that causes fingers to curl inwards towards the palm
  • Trigger Finger – A condition in which the fingers lock in a bent position then snaps straight
  • Arthritis – Inflammation of the joints
  • Ganglion Cysts – Non-cancerous lumps filled with a jelly-like fluid that can develop in the wrist
  • Tumors
  • Hand Fractures
  • Wrist and Forearm Fractures
  • Tendon Injuries
  • Infections

Conditions that affect the elbows and shoulders include:

  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – Also known as ulnar nerve compression, the entrapment or pinching of the ulnar nerve causes pain on the inside of the elbow

Treatment Options

Treatments for issues that affect the hand(s) or upper extremities depend largely on the location of the problem, its underlying cause, and the severity of pain or dysfunction experienced by the patient. Health issues related to the hand and upper extremities can affect the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves. They may also cause issues for connective tissues, such as tendons that connect muscles to bones and ligaments and prevent bones from grinding against each other.

Treatment for conditions of the hands and upper extremities often begins with non-surgical measures, such as medications, splints, physical therapy, and injections. When these conservative approaches cannot adequately resolve the problem, surgery of the hand, wrist, or arm may be necessary to relieve pain or return full function to the upper extremity.

Types of Surgery

Orthopaedic surgeons perform many types of hand surgeries, including:

  • Wrist surgery
  • Wrist tendon surgery
  • Carpal tunnel surgery
  • Trigger finger release
  • DeQuervain’s release
  • Ganglion excision
  • Fracture surgery
  • Ligament repair
  • Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair – Minimally-invasive surgery to correct this common shoulder problem
  • Arthroscopic shoulder stabilization
  • Biceps tendon repairs
  • Ulnar nerve decompression
  • Wrist and elbow arthroscopy
  • Arthritis reconstructions of the elbow, wrist, and hand

If you require surgery to the hand(s) or upper extremities, you should seek care from the top hand surgeons at Valley Orthopaedic Specialists. Our hand and wrist surgeons perform a variety of surgical techniques to alleviate pain and restore function for patients. We are the leading orthopaedic specialists in Connecticut, providing quality care for patients suffering from issues that impede the function of their hand(s) and upper extremity issues. Contact us today if you experience hand or upper extremity injuries.