Biceps Tendinitis: Cause, Symptom & Treatment

When it comes to lifting, moving, writing, and doing everyday chores, your biceps go through a lot of movement. If you’re doing too much you can begin to notice biceps pain start to creep in and you may think it’s just overuse of your muscles. However, it is important to know that your biceps can be injured through lifting heavier than normal objects, overusing the muscle or other ways. One of the injuries you can develop is called biceps tendinitis. Discover below what biceps tendinitis treatment is available and how you can tell if that is what you have going on.

Causes

The main cause of tendinitis is due to overuse of the bicep muscle. This could be because you’re a baseball player, you lift heavy objects on a daily basis or you love to swim. You can have this show up in your bicep, elbow or shoulder. It is generally caused by the repetitive motions being done over and over by your arm. So if you have a job that is a repetitive movement, or if your favorite sport does the same, you can have a cause of tendonitis start to show up.

Symptoms

You may have biceps pain start in one or both of your arms depending on which arm is affected. Pain is generally located in the shoulder or elbow and not in both places at the same time. You may notice a sharp pain if you have a tear in the tendon or even bruising and swelling. You may also notice pain during movement that has caused the problem in the first place. If you have torn the tendon, then you may require surgery to fix the problem.

Treatment Options

There are a few different options for biceps tendinitis treatment. You can start with ice packs on the affected area. This can help to reduce any inflammation in the joint or bicep area that is causing the pain. You can also take an over the counter anti-inflammatory to help make sure it reduces inflammation and the pain. Resting the arm that is hurting is also highly advised. Try to take some time off of the activity that caused the pain so that your arm can rest and heal.

Biceps pain can be quite difficult to deal with, especially when it starts to affect your daily life. Be sure to take preventative measures if you have a repetitive job or task done each day. Change up your routine and get plenty of rest to make sure you don’t injure your arm further.

Nursemaid’s Elbow: Cause, Symptom & Prevention

Children are always playing, jumping around, running and generally having a great time. However, there is an injury that can occur to a child that happens suddenly and is cause for a visit to the pediatrician. The commonly termed phrase is pulled elbow or nursemaids elbow, but it is known in the medical community as a radial head subluxation. What is that and what can you do to prevent it from happening to your child? Here are a few things you need to know about this common injury and how you can keep it from happening.

What is Pulled Elbow?

Basically, nursemaids elbow is when the joint of the elbow is pulled partially out. The ligaments around the elbow and the bones in the arm are still growing and are not as tight as the ligaments in adults. This can lead to young children suffering from this injury where they have a small separation of their radiocapitellar joint. Some children have ligaments that are very loose around this joint and thus can suffer from this injury multiple times.

How Does It Happen?

The nursemaids elbow or pulled elbow injury can happen multiple different ways. If children are playing with their friends and someone pulls on their arm too hard it can pop out of place. If you or their care giver is holding their hand and you must pull them quickly out of harm’s way, it can cause the joint to dislocate. When friends or family swing your child around by their arms it can also cause this radial head subluxation to take place. Another way that it can be done is if you’re holding the hand of your child and they happen to pull back on you rather harshly or sometimes even when they fall down and are still holding your hand. It is very rare that it happens from a fall such as this but it does.

How Can You Prevent It?

While it can be a common injury to your children, you want to make sure to try and prevent it as much as possible. Be sure you do not swing your child around while only holding their arms or hands. This can be an easy way to have the pulled elbow injury pop up. Also pick your children up by grasping them under the arms. Do not try to lift them up by their hands or arms. Make sure you also avoid tugging on their arms or hand as this can cause nursemaids elbow as well.

Treatments For Biceps Tendon Tear At The Elbow

The biceps brachii or commonly know as biceps are a two headed muscle that lies between the shoulder and the elbow. Its role is to function as a tool to facilitate bending of the elbow and the rotating of the forearm. A strong biceps muscle will also help to stabilise the entire shoulder. Biceps are attached to the bones by biceps tendons and if the tendons are injured, the attachment capability is severely reduced. This will result in an eventual loss of strength and the inability to rotate the forearm. Biceps tendon tears are rather common injuries especially at the elbow. Injuries to the biceps tendon will cause impairment due to the wide usage of the biceps muscle.

Non-surgical treatment

The initial stage of treatment is non-surgical in nature. The main aim of it is to bring down the pain and swelling. As such, pain relief medication and ice is often used to fufill the objectives. It is important for swelling to dissociate before surgical treatment is performed as the blood and fluids must be drained away.

Surgical treatment

Surgical treatment involves the reattachment of the biceps tendon. Once the swelling has gone down, surgery is performed immediately. This is because of a 3 weeks healing window that the biceps has. During the 3 weeks, retraction of the torn tendon is minimized. If surgery is performed a month later, the retraction will result in the inability of the tendon to reattach itself. An open surgery will be conducted and the torn tendon will be debrided and reattached back using sterile sutures that are self-dissolving. There will be 1 incision made at the elbow crease to retrieve the torn bendon and the other incision will be made at the back of the forearm in order to secure the reattachment. Due to the difficulties involved in this 2 step procedure, a new 1 step procedure has been developed. In this newly created process, only 1 incision will be made at the skin crease and it will be secured using an Endo button. The Endo button is a small piece of metallic button that bolts the tendon within the tuberosity bone tunnel. The entire healing process will take roughly 6 weeks.

Post-surgery treatment will require the arm to be immobilised using an elbow sling. A physical therapist will also be assigned to teach the patient simple exercises that can be done at home. It is important to get the joint moving again to prevent scarring of tissues and increase the range of motion.

Causes And Symptoms Of Scaphoid Fracture Of The Wrist

A scaphoid fracture is essentially a break in the bone located at the thumb of the wrist. First and foremost, there are eight carpal bones in our wrist and the one that is most prone to a fracture is the scaphoid bone. Scaphoid bone fractures require a timely diagnosis, as they need to be treated in order to recover. When proper treatment is administered, healing will be speedy. Without proper treatment, the patient may suffer from long-term consequences such as stiffness and even arthritis as the bone supply in the scaphoid is scarce. In this article, let’s look at some of the causes and symptoms of this fracture.

Causes

The most common cause of a scaphoid fracture is when using it to cushion a fall. It is our natural instinct to shield the bulk of our body from an impact by stretching out our hand. The fingers are weak in tension and the impact coupled with the weight of our body is more than sufficient to fracture the scaphoid bone. They can also be twisted and broken during high impact sports such as basketball, rugby and soccer. Goalkeepers especially are vulnerable, as they have to constantly stop balls that travel at speeds up to 200km/h.

Symptoms

Unlike other forms of fracture where bruising and swelling will be present, a scaphoid fracture do not exhibit these symptoms. Instead, there will only be minor symptoms such as pain and tenderness only when you are touching the thumb, the inability to grip something hard, the inability to twist the wrist and/or thumb as well as light bruises. The symptoms are pretty similar to a sprained wrist and patients often have the mentality that it will recover on its own. There will not be any deformation at the wrist area at all. If the symptoms persist after a day, it may be a sign of fracture and medical attention must be sought immediately.

When a scaphoid fracture is diagnosed and identified using x-ray, treatment will commence immediately. There is a risk that the fracture may develop into a nonunion which is essentially the inability for both bones to heal together or one of the bones losing its blood supply and dying off.

A scaphoid fracture is a complex injury that will bring nothing but trouble. However, advances in the medical industry have seen an increase in the success rates after treatment has been administered, of which minimally invasive techniques appears to be the most promising one.

Symptoms And Treatments For Kienböck’s Disease

Kienböck’s Disease is a medical condition of uncertain etiology. What this means is that the exact cause is unknown. This disease involves the collapse of the lunate bone located is the wrist and is usually unilateral. The blood supply to the lunate will then be hindered and without blood, the bone will die off. This is because blood contains the necessary nutrients and oxygen that the bone cells need to grow, repair and sustain itself. When this supply is cut off, osteonecrosis will occur, leading to painful wrist and the eventual development of arthritis.

Symptoms

Patients who suffer from Kienböck’s Disease have no idea that they have it. This is due to the similarity between it and a normal sprained wrist. There will be pain and swelling will be present at the wrist region. Slowly, the flexibility of the wrist will be reduced and stiffness will start to onset due to the reduced range of motion available. Over time, the strength of the wrist will decrease and it will be difficult to clench the fist together.

Treatment

Despite the advanced medical technological in this era, there is still no complete cure for Kienböck’s Disease. However, there are generally 2 kinds of treatment methods namely the non-surgical ones and the surgical ones. Since there is no cure, the ultimate aim of treatment is simply to relieve the pressure built up on the lunate and allows blood to flow properly.

Non-surgical

Non-surgical treatment is preferred during the initial stages of this disease. Treatment methods include the usage of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain. Some doctors may also require their patients to use a wrist splint to prevent unwanted movements. In serious cases, a cast may be used instead of a splint. If no noticeable improvements were seen during this period, a progression into a surgical treatment may be on the table.

Surgical

As mentioned above, the main purpose of treatment is to relieve the pressure and reinstate proper blood flow. Revascularisation is a method that is capable of performing that. Revascularisation involves the removal of a bone that has blood vessels attached to it and reattached to the diseased bone. This reattached bone is capable of performing all the tasks that are required. Metal screws may be used to fasten the bone properly while it attaches itself over time.

Each patient will respond differently to the types of treatment administered. Some patients may feel better after a non-surgical treatment while others may require surgical intervention to allow them to get the relief they need.

All About Wrist Arthroscopy

Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed with the aim of diagnosing and treating existing problems with the wrist. You may be familiar with traditional surgery where the intended area is cut open, treated and stitched back. On the contrary, arthroscopy uses small fiber optic instruments that allows the surgeon to look inside the body and treat it with robotic arms. This will reduce the chance of infection and shorten the recovery time.

Why is it needed?

Following a wrist injury, the wrist may be unable to perform to its full ability. There may be the presence of a clicking sound when you rotate it and swelling will be present. Unlike the rest of the body, the wrist is rather small in comparison. In order to properly assess and treat it, the ligaments, cartilage and bones will need to be observed in detailed.

How is it performed?

A small high definition camera will be fixed to a tiny fiber optic tube by the surgeon. Small incisions will be made at the affected site and the camera will be inserted into the back of the wrist joint. The real time images captured will be projected onto a TV screen where the surgeon is able to see magnified pictures. Different robotic arms will also be inserted through other incisions and they will be controlled by the surgeon who will then repair the injured parts accordingly.

What happens after arthroscopy?

After the surgery, your wrist will be wrapped in a protective bandage and a splint to provided support and prevent unwanted movement. Since the incisions are tiny, they will close up on their own after some time and infection risks are significantly lowered. However, there are still certain risks involved. Despite the reduced risk of infection, 1% of the patients still suffer infection due to various reasons. Some patients also reported numbness which is due to the damage to the nerves. However, this will go away after some time.

Recovery

The next few days following the surgery, the wrist should be kept elevated in order to prevent swelling and blood clot formation. The surgery site should also be kept clean and dry to prevent any infection. Ice may be used to bring down the swelling. Recovery time will differ among patients and one way to shorten it is through the aid of physical therapy sessions. Your doctor will prescribe you simple exercises that can be performed at home in order to help regain the full range of motion and flexibility.

Causes and Symptoms of Flexor Tendon Injuries

Flexor tendon injuries as the name suggest are injuries affecting the tendons. Tendons are thick, elastic fibrous cord like structures that connects the muscles to the bones. The ability for our fingers to bend and flex is due to the flexor muscles. Flexor muscles start from our elbow down to the forearms and finally the tendons which are finally attached to the fingers. Each of our finger has two flexor tendons and that includes the thumb. The usual culprit for a flexor tendon injury is due to a deep cut in the fingers or hands which injures the flexor tendons. In this article, we will look at some of the causes and symptoms of flexor tendon injuries.

Flexor tendon injuries are challenging as they cannot heal without surgical treatment. Unlike other forms of injuries, tendons need to be brought together and stitched back surgically in order for healing to occur. Secondly, careful postoperative management needs to be planned in detail as immobilisation can cause rupture of the tendon. Lastly, the bulkiness of the tendon needs to be reduced but scarring will make it almost impossible.

Causes

Sports activities are the main culprit of flexor tendon injuries. The most popular sports are soccer, rugby and wrestling. In fact, there is a term “jersey finger” that is used by athletes due to their repeated occurrence with jersey wearing activities. Jersey finger occurs when a player is grabbing another player’s jersey and finger and a sudden change in direction is initiated, pulling the tendon off the bone. Other activities include rock climbing which requires a lot of finger strength.

Some medical conditions may also lead to a decrease of strength in the flexor tendons, making them more prone to tearing. Patients who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis will have weak tendons and in serious cases, the tendon can tear without any prior notice. The patient will only realise it when he cannot bend his finger anymore.

Symptoms

Symptoms will vary among patients but the most common signs include:

  • A visible open injury at the joint area
  • The inability to bend one or more finger(s)
  • Pain and tenderness when a finger is bent
  • Numbness in the fingertip

Flexor tendon injuries are difficult to manage due to its complex nature. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice immediately when you suspect your might have suffered a jersey finger injury. If surgery is really required, do not worry. Surgery often brings in good return of finger functions.

Fingertip Injuries Treatment

Fingertip injuries are a common form of injury at various places such as home, office and outdoors. They can occur due to different reasons with the most common being a sudden trauma, during food preparation and cleaning. There are many different forms of fingertip injuries and they can exist as tearing, crushing or even amputating in nature. Due to the importance of our fingertip to our daily lives, even a minor injury can be disruptive to our activities. Extreme pain is often felt due to the rich amount of nerves present. In this article, we will look at the treatment for fingertip injuries.

The treatment methods for fingertip injuries differ from the type of injury sustained.

Mild cases

In mild cases where only part of the tissue is removed, a simple dressing is all that is required. The wound needs to be properly rinsed with water and cleaned with an antiseptic agent to kill off all the bacteria that are present. A gauze needs to be placed over the wound to prevent direct contact with the atmosphere and promote healing.

Minor cases

For minor cases where part of the bone is exposed, the dangling flesh needs to be trimmed and sanitized. The process will be largely similar to the mild case except for the fact that stitches may be required if the wound is unable to close on its own after a couple of days.

Serious cases

In serious cases where a large chunk of flesh is chipped off or the fingertip severed, grafts and reattachment will be required when possible. Large grafts are available for harvesting at the groin region. The patient will need to undergo surgery for the grafting process. In situations involving a severed finger, reattachment is the first option provided that the severed finger can be found and is deemed to be still able to function when reattached. The severed part of the finger needs to be placed in an ice box but not in direct contact with the ice to prevent frostbite from damaging the tissues.

Fractures

There are also cases of bone injuries in the form of a fracture. These broken fingers are usually at the tip of the fingers and do not affect the function of the finger but they can cause pain and tenderness. Broken finger treatment methods will usually involve the realignment of bone fragments through the use of a splint or metal implants.

The fingertip sensation may be lost for a few months following a fingertip injury. Deformities may be present but these will go away when the finger is fully healed. Injuries are classified into 2 types; those that involves the flesh and those that involves the bone.

Hand Fracture and Aftercare Instructions

In our hand are 5 bones which connect the wrist to the thumbs and fingers. These are the metacarpal bones and they are located between the phalanges and carpus bones. When one of these bones breaks, it is classified as a hand fracture and a splint or cast is often required to be worn whilst the bones heal on their own. For serious cases, surgery may be required to surgically reconnect and mend them using cement. In this article, we will be looking at the causes of fracture as well as the aftercare instructions for them.

Although our bones have good compressive strength, it has poor tensile strength. When sufficient force is applied, the bone can fracture and when this occurs, it is accompanied by pain, swelling and the inability to utilise it. A cast or splint will usually be placed in order to immobilise the hand as well as to prevent any unwanted stresses while it heals. In order to make the pain more bearable, your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication to be taken orally. Since this medication requires some time before it works, you should take it before the previous one wears off in order to prevent feeling any unwanted pain. In cases where inflammation is present, antibiotics will need to be consumed in order to treat the infection caused by bacteria. Always make sure that medication is taken on time to prevent any gaps in the recovery process.

When you are at home, you can apply an ice pack to the fractured portion of your hand. Icing helps to decrease inflammation and the pain associated with it. It also constricts the blood vessels and help to speed up the delivery of essential nutrients required for healing. It also reduces tissue damages to the sensitive parts. However, always remember to remove your cast or splint prior to the application of ice as the cast and splint cannot get wet. In order to regain finger movement in the shortest time, you should try to work out your fingers. A hand grip is great for building up hand strength and muscle and you can use it anywhere.

Hand fractures will usually require between 4 to 6 weeks for it to fully heal, but it will take an even longer time for you to regain full strength. In order to reduce this timeframe, you should make use of any possible time to gain those muscles.

Does Cracking Knuckles Give You Arthritis?

Cracking knuckles is a bad habit most males have. It seems to give them a sense of security and power. So what really causes that cracking sound? Well, our knuckles are covered by the synovial capsule which is filled with synovial fluid. There are also gases that are dissolved in the fluid such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. When the knuckle is cracked, the synovial capsule is stretched and the internal pressure is lowered, creating a bubble which eventually bursts, creating that popping sound. This is also the reason why you are unable to crack your knuckles continuously due to the need for the gases and bubbles to form. However, many people are extremely concerned with relationship between cracking knuckles and arthritis. There are 2 major types of arthritis namely the inflammatory and degenerative types. For inflammatory arthritis, it is largely due to autoimmunity. Degenerative arthritis is those associated with wear and tear and has a closer similarity with cracking of knuckles. Let’s try to clarify those doubts in this article.

Cracking fingers seem to relieve stresses and provide a pleasurable feeling similar to Thai Massages where various joints in your body are cracked by the masseuse. Well, cracking knuckles does not increase the chances of getting arthritis. Various studies have not only conducted experiments on people who crack their knuckles, they also investigated people who frequently crack every few minutes. However, the results concluded that there was no difference in the rates of osteoarthritis with the cracking of knuckles. Not only that, no visible deformation was caused to the fingers due to prolonged cracking. Some research also found out that subjects who crack their fingers frequently have strong fingers compared to the control group. While cracking of knuckles may not seem to cause arthritis, they may lead to other complications. Researchers found out that habitual knuckle crackers are more likely to suffer from hand swelling and loss of strength. Constant cracking will keep stretching the finger ligaments, causing damages to the fingers.  In short, they concluded that knuckle cracking results in functional hand impairment.

While knuckle cracking does not have a directly related to arthritis, it can lead to future problems such as swelling and loss of strength. Arthritis is after all more common in the elderly due to ageing. There are also no benefits to cracking your fingers. Instead, the cons outweigh the pros by a large extent. Try to cut down this bad habit of yours today!