The hand is comprised of many bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that give it its mobility and dexterity. For example, there are three types of bones in the hand: carpal bones (wrist), metacarpal bones (hand), and phalanges (fingers). There are 27 bones in all. The muscles enable the parts of the hand to move, while the tendons and ligaments bind those parts together. The complexity of the hand’s structure and its near constant use mean that there are plenty of things that can go wrong and will require a doctor’s care. Simply contact us if you find yourself dealing with any of the various hand conditions that exist.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis actually isn’t a single disease; it’s a group of diseases that all affect the joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis, and, together, they are the most common cause of disability in the US. Over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It is also sometimes called degenerative arthritis or “wear and tear disease,” for age is the most common cause. The patient can also develop it after injuring the affected joint. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the bones wears away, so the bones rub against each other. The joints become weaker, and the patient can develop chronic pain.
Inflammatory arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to go awry and attack the joints that then become inflamed and swollen. The most common types of inflammatory arthritis are rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly, for it can cause permanent joint damage.
What is a Ganglion Cyst?
A ganglion cyst is one of the lesser known hand conditions. It is a soft bump filled with fluid that often develops on the front or back of the wrist. It can also sometimes appear at a finger’s base. Ganglion cysts are the most common benign tumors found on the hand. The cyst is often accompanied by pain and weakness that worsens as the cyst grows.
To learn more about the numerous hand conditions that we treatment, reach out to us at Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates in Plymouth, Duxbury and Sandwich. Contact us today to book an appointment!