Tendinitis Titus absolutely loves his job. He is an architect who dreams up the building layouts for a construction company. His favorite task is drawing, and he gets to do it a lot! He’s drafting and sketching all day and the drawings fill his entire office.
But lately, Tendinitis Titus has not been enjoying his work as much as he used to. About a month ago, he suddenly started feeling pain and tenderness in his left wrist. Luckily, it was a Friday, and by Monday Tendinitis Titus’s symptoms were gone. Since he was able to perform his work as usual, Tendinitis Titus didn’t seek treatment for the wrist pain. But now, a month later, the pain and tenderness returned in the same spot. Tendinitis Titus was worried something could really be wrong, and he decided to make an appointment with the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, a hand care clinic recommended to him by his coworker, Jack, whose ulnar neuropathy was treated by the doctors.
“Well, Titus,” the doctor prompted, “tell me about your symptoms.” Tendinitis Titus explained how he had experienced pain and tenderness in his left wrist about a month ago and how these sensations had disappeared and he had been able to return to his normal activity after a couple of days. “But now, the pain and tenderness are back. I am left-handed and I draw a lot at my work so I am getting really desperate,” he told the doctor.
“Don’t you worry, we will get your hands back to work,” the doctor reassured Tendinitis Titus and decided to conduct a physical exam to find the exact spots of pain and tenderness, and to diagnose Tendinitis Titus’s condition properly. Based on the physical exam, the doctor told Tendinitis Titus, “you are suffering from a tendinitis of the wrist. There are thick tissues in your wrist called tendons that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendinitis occurs when the tendons swell, causing the pain and tenderness that you described. It is very typical for tendinitis to flare up and then get better again, which is exactly what happened to you. The symptoms may disappear for a period of time, but they usually return in the same area unless the condition is treated by a hand specialist. Your tendinitis most likely developed from the repetitive motions of drawing that your job requires.”
Tendinitis Titus looked horrified, and questioned, what if he couldn’t continue to draw? That was the one thing he could do better than anyone! The doctor seemed to know what the look on Tendinitis Titus’s face meant because he added, “I am glad you didn’t wait any longer to make an appointment, now we can treat your wrist to help keep the symptoms from flaring up.”
The doctor gave Tendinitis Titus a corticosteroid injection to help reduce the swelling that was causing him pain and discomfort. He also instructed Tendinitis Titus to use a cold compress to help with the swelling, and to wear a wrist splint until the pain was gone. “We will also build a physical therapy program together with exercises that help prevent the symptoms from returning again,” the doctor added.
Now, two months after his initial visit at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, Titus is feeling phenomenal. The pain and tenderness disappeared from his wrist quickly with the help of the corticosteroid injection, cold compress, and splint, and they haven’t returned since. Titus has made the physical therapy activities a part of his daily routine so doing them regularly has not been a problem. Titus’s only problem now is that he’s creating his drawings so quickly, they’ve overfilled his office, and his sketches no longer fit!
Titus is back to his normal activity, but are you suffering from similar symptoms? Don’t wait until your symptoms flare up again, like Titus initially did. Make an appointment with us today and be prepared to say, “Bye!” to your hand problems!
Quick-Handed Quinn had an advantage when it came to activities that involved his hands. He was always so quick! So, his job as a carpenter at the construction site only played into the strength of his hands’ speed. However, one day at a new job site, Quick-Handed Quinn’s hands were not quite quick enough. As he was hammering a nail into a newly constructed wall, he managed to hammer his finger, instead of the intended nail! The pain was instant and very intense in nature, and the impact occurred near the finger joint, which required him to seek immediate medical attention.
Quick-Handed Quinn’s fellow construction worker Jack recently visited the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas and recommended the doctors to him. And lucky for Quick-Handed Quinn, he was able to get an appointment that day.
“Quinn, what happened to your finger?” the doctor asked. “Well, I was working so fast to get this wall up at my construction site, and I accidentally hit my finger with the hammer, instead of the nail,” Quick-Handed Quinn explained. “Normally, I can work so quickly, but today I wasn’t moving quite quick enough, and my finger felt the pain.”
The doctor calmed Quick-Handed Quinn and explained that it was the right call to visit the doctors at the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. They have the ability to perform an x-ray and treat the hand injury in-office, versus having to be referred to a hand specialist by an ER doctor.
Based on the physical exam, the fact that the impact occurred at the finger’s joint, and the increased swelling and bruising of the finger, the doctor decided that he needed an x-ray to evaluate the position of the finger bones. X-ray is the primary tool used to diagnose a broken finger.
The doctor explained to Quick-Handed Quinn that the stability of the finger and the intensity of the possible fracture needed to be evaluated. If the fracture is stable, which means that movement of the finger will not likely worsen or cause complications, then a splint can be used to treat the finger. However, if the fracture is unstable, the injured finger will need to be immobilized with further measures. A splint may be applied initially, but if this does not maintain enough stability a surgical procedure may be needed.
Quick-Handed Quinn was concerned. “My hands are my job, so this really affects my work,” he exclaimed. The doctor calmed him, and explained that before anything was decided, an x-ray was needed to determine the next steps.
After reading the x-ray, the doctor explained that the finger had a compression fracture or a fracture in which the bone was crushed. And due to the severity of the break, the doctor wanted to temporarily apply a splint but made an appointment the following week for Quick-Handed Quinn to return for another x-ray to evaluate the position of the fracture fragments. The doctor also cautioned Quick-Handed Quinn to not use the injured hand until the follow-up appointment since activity can aggravate the injury and cause increased pain. While this made Quick-Handed Quinn unhappy, he followed the doctor’s suggestion.
One week later, Quick-Handed Quinn returned for his x-ray, and the doctor determined that he needed a surgery to repair the fractured bones’ alignment. The doctor further explained that treating a fractured finger is so important because if the bones are not aligned correctly, it may affect the healing of the finger and leave it permanently malformed or disabled.
After the surgery, Quinn wore a splint for 6 more weeks, then he attended a few more weeks of physical therapy in order to address the joint stiffness that typically occurs after a finger is immobilized. Now, Quinn is back to working at a rapid pace, and constructing houses with his hurried hands. And while Quinn is working quickly, he is also working more cautiously to ensure he does not experience another injury.
Do your daily work activities expose you to similar dangers to Quinn’s? A fractured wrist, hand, finger, or thumb is a serious injury and should be examined by a hand specialist. If you suffer from symptoms of a broken bone, seek medical attention to prevent further injury and ensure that the limb returns to its normal state. Make an appointment with one of our hand specialists today!