Home Treatments – Wrist Sprains

A sprain is the result of a ligament injury. Ligaments are thick connective tissues that connects our bones to the joint. In our wrist alone, there are as many as 15 different bones. As a result, a simple twist to the wrist may result in a sprain when it is moved to beyond its usual range.

For immediate self-care of a sprain or strain at home, the R.I.C.E. approach is the most relevant. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.


All activities that are responsible for the pain and swelling needs to be stopped immediately. However, this does not mean that all physical activities must stop likewise. For example, you may be suffering from a sprained wrist but you still can use the exercise bicycle in the gym. Do not use this injury as an excuse to stop exercising.


Ice is one of the most effective and cost efficient way of treating a sprain. The injured wrist needs to be iced regularly throughout the day until the swelling goes down. At several intervals during the day, an iced pack should be placed on the wrist for around 15 minutes. Ice will bring down the swelling and reduce bleeding. As a result of the drastic change in temperature, the body will respond by rushing more blood to the wrist and this will speed up the healing process.


Compression will help to keep the injured wrist nice and warm. It will also help to promote blood circulation if done correctly. There are a lot of compression bandages available in the market today and this should be worn during the day. By promoting blood circulation, more oxygen can then be brought to the wrist and speed up the healing process.


To further reduce swelling, the injured wrist should be elevated above the level of your heart. Through gravity, the excess fluid will then flow away from the wrist and reduce swelling.


Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It is also an excellent pain reliever due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Not only that, turmeric will also reduce spasm and relax the muscles and tissues. This will in turn reduce swelling. To prepare a home-made turmeric pain reliever, mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder with one tablespoon of lime juice. Apply this paste directly onto the wrist and wrap it with a bandage. Leave it on overnight and you will be able to feel the difference the following day.

Arthritis of the Hand: Symptoms & Treatment

Arthritis is the generic name for inflammation in the joints. It can take many different form and the most common one is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the medical condition when the protective cushioning known as the cartilage is worn out due to wear and tear. It usually happens in areas such as the hand. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and treatment for hand arthritis.


Pain is the most straightforward symptom for any kind of medical conditions. In the initial stages of hand arthritis, the surrounding area will start to have a burning sensation especially after periods of long usage. This pain can be immediate or delayed. As wear and tear of the cartilage continue to take place, the pain will start to be more intense and the frequency increases. After long periods of rest such as after waking up in the morning, the pain can be quite unbearable and the ability to sense changes in weather also appears. Simple activities such as carrying a grocery bag or opening a can be difficult to accomplish.


After some time, there will be sensations of crepitation. This is due to the damaged cartilage rubbing against each other to create a grinding effect. If the hand arthritis affects the hand ligaments, the ligaments and tendons may start to become loose, creating a sense of instability.


Swelling occurs due to an excess of body fluid accumulated in the hand. This is due to the body’s natural defence mechanism sensing that something is wrong. As a result, the white blood cells start to destroy the damaged cartilage, secreting a lot of fluid as a result. This will result in pain and tenderness in the hand.


Treatment is classified into non-surgical and surgical methods. In non-surgical treatment, the doctor will prescribe medication to stop the inflammation such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medication can only treat the symptom but cannot repair the damaged cartilage. To counter this, glucosamine and chondroitin may also be prescribed as supplements.

If non-surgical treatment fails to produce good results, surgery will be necessary. The most common form of surgery is finger joint replacement. The replacement materials are biocompatiable and possesses weightbearing capabilities such as ceramics. This will help to restore function to the hand and improve the quality of life.

Cartilage do not self-regenerate and this is why joint replacement is the most viable option up to date.

Bennett Fracture: Cause & Treatments

A Bennett fracture happens when the bone located at the base of the thumb dislocates and breaks. It can be due to a sudden trauma during high impact sports or accidents. A Bennett fracture will result in swelling of the thumb, pain and the inability to use the thumb. In this article, we will look at the causes and treatments for Bennett fractures.


The causes of a Bennett’s fracture can differ. However, it happens when the metacarpal bone located in the arm fractures and breaks. This can be due to any kind of forces that will result in a huge impact sufficient to break it.


Treatment is classified into non-surgical and surgical. For minor cases where the bones are not misaligned, non-surgical will be more than sufficient. The initial stages of treatment will involve the famous RICE therapy – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting involves immobilising the injured hand and preventing any stresses on it. During this period, the patient is not allowed to participate in any activities. Several times a day, the injured thumb will need to be iced in order to bring down the swelling. To prevent swelling and loss of blood, compression finger sleeves may be worn. This will also help to retain body heat and enhance blood circulation. Lastly, the injured thumb needs to be elevated above the heart to drain away excess blood. Bracing and casting may be required depending on the activity level of individual patients.

Surgical treatment is also classified into invasive and minimally invasive. In minimally invasive surgery, a surgical wire will be inserted through a small incision aided by cameras. However, this method is highly dependent on the stability of the injury and the alignment of the metacarpal bone. If the bones fragments are scattered, an invasive surgery will need to be carried out in order to remove these bone fragments. A small screw will be used to hold the fragments together until they heal on their own. One popular surgical treatment is the Kirschner wire fixation. The K-wires are made up of surgical grade stainless steel and are temporary fixation tools. The pins are drilled into the bones and act as an anchor point for skeletal traction.

Unlike other injuries, Bennett’s fracture cannot really be prevented due to the various uses of the hand and the fingers. However, this fracture can be avoided to a certain extent using medical tapes to tape the thumb and index finger together.




Adult Forearm Fractures: Cause & Treatments

Our forearm is connected by two bones, the radius and ulna. In an event of a forearm fracture, both of the bones are often broken. The location of the fracture can be in several areas. It can appear at the wrist area, middle of forearm or nearer to the elbow. The main function of the forearm is to facilitate rotation of the wrist. This rotation movement allows us to turn our palms upwards or downwards. A forearm fracture will severely limit the amount of work we can do.


Fractures are usually caused by a sudden stress acting on it that is beyond the usual limit. In the case of forearm fractures, there are 3 main situations that can cause such an injury – a sudden blow to the forearm, a sudden compression to the forearm or over rotation of the forearm. The ulna is the bone that is often broken by the above scenarios. Twisting fractures can also occur due to high impact sports or fall from heights landing on an outstretched arm. There will also be damages and injuries to the soft tissues such as the muscles and tendons.



The first step would be a first aid evaluation by a medical professional. The fractured arm will be immobilized using a splint or sling. An isolated fracture can be easily treated using this method and it will heal on its own. Realignment surgery is not necessary if there are no mis-aligned bones or protruding bones.

Surgical – Internal fixation

In serious cases, surgery will be required in order to promote healing and recovery. A fixation surgery will be carried out to realign and fix the fracture bones together. The bones will be connected using metal plates and screws and this will allow early recovery of movement, reducing the chances of bone resorption. A cast is required after surgery as well to add weight to the bone.

Surgical – External fixation

In cases where there is the presence of open wounds or damages to the skin, internal fixation is not recommended due to the chances of further injuries. Thus, external fixation is preferred. As the name suggests, external fixation involves fixing screws on the outside of the body. Screws will be attached around the fracture site using a metal bar. This metal bar acts as a stabilizing frame to hold the bone in proper position until it heals on its own.

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 Sprained Thumb

A sprain thumb is a common injury that is characterized by the tearing of soft connective tissues such as the ligaments and cartilage in the joint of the thumb. Another common term is “Skier’s Thumb” and the sport that has the highest prevalence is as you have guessed, skiing. Sprained thumbs will lead to swelling and tenderness in the finger and will happen to anyone who may unfortunately experienced one of the causes mentioned below in this article.

There are 2 small bones in the thumb known as the phalanges. They join each other at the Interphalangael Joint and to the 1st metacarpal, forming 2 joints in the thumb. Each of the thumbs is in turn supported by strong connective tissues, which acts as a cushion when there is an impact force exerted. During movements such as stretching or compressing, the thumb is subjected to high forces, which may damage the connective tissues, causing them to sustain damages. This will result in the condition known as a sprained thumb.

Causes of a sprained thumb

There are numerous causes of sprained thumbs but the most common ones are during a high impact ball sports such as basketball and netball. Certain incidents will increase the risk such as the unexpected bending either forward or backwards of the thumb. Sprained thumbs can also happen due to collisions with another player at high speeds or while trying to cushion a fall with the hand. It may also occur due to overuse injuries. This will happen in people who repeatedly use the thumb for certain activities without giving sufficient recovery time to it.

Symptoms of a sprained thumb

Patients who have a sprained thumb will often go unnoticed. However, they will experience sudden sharp pain attacks during activities even after it has passed and at random intervals. Some may also suffer from stiff fingers when they wake up in the morning or after a period of rest due to the lack of mobility and movement. The pain will be mostly at the sides and top of the affected finger. In some cases, there will be a pop sound heard immediately after an injury indicating a high likelihood of a sprained thumb. Swelling and bruising will occur as fast as minutes after the injury and simple daily tasks such as tying of shoelaces or even opening a bottled drink can be near impossible.

A sprained thumb should not be ignored and should be treated immediately as it involves the connective tissues such as the ligaments. If left untreated, it may lead to long term instability of the finger joint and arthritis.

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.


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.


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.

Causes And Symptoms Of Distal Radius Fractures (Broken Wrist)

There are two bones in our forearm, one smaller and one that is slightly larger. The larger one is the radius and the end of the radius is known as the distal end. When a patient suffers a distal radius fracture, it means that the far end of the bigger forearm bone is broken. Distal radius fractures are one of the most common kinds of bone fracture in the arm. This type of fracture typically occurs around 2 cm from the end of the bone.


One of the most common causes of a distal radius fracture is the end result of a direct impact on the outstretched arm. This can occur when an attempt to break a fall at a certain height is made and the arm will absorb the entire impact. This is made worse if the patient is suffering from Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disorder in which bones are porous and have poor mechanical properties. This will cause them to fracture easily even when the impact isn’t very large. In fact, distal radius fractures in adults that are 60 years old and above are due to a simple fall. In younger patients, the level of activity is higher and thus the associated risk is increased.


When a patient suffers from a broken wrist, there will be immediate pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness. The area might turn purple due to the lack of proper blood flow. In some cases, the wrist may be deformed and hang in a loose manner. In serious cases, the area might have a loss of sensation as the bone fragments are pressing onto the nerves. There may also be a loss in blood circulation and the entire arm may be numb.


A broken wrist can be easily diagnosed with advanced imaging techniques such as X-ray, CT scans and MRI scans. The patient will often be required to take an X-ray of the injured area so that the surgeon can have a look at the location of the broken fragments. When a surgery is required, a CT scan will be needed to investigate on the anatomy of the fracture such as the assessment of the angle of joint surface and its displacement.


Recovery from a broken wrist will take up to a year during which rigorous activities are strongly discouraged. There may still be some remnant stiffness, which might be permanent. However, it should not affect the overall function of the arm.

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.


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.


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 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.


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.

Symptoms And Treatments For Boutonnière Deformity

Boutonnière Deformity is a medical condition that affects the finger. It is due to an injury to the tendons in the finger that is responsible for the flexing and straightening. If this injury is left untreated, it may result in serious complications and the possibility of permanent deformity.

There are a few tendons in our fingers working hand in hand to help us perform flexion and extension. These tendons are located at the side and top of the finger. Boutonnière Deformity affects the tendon that is attached to the middle bone. When other tendons are injured, you will feel pain but bending can still be performed. However in this case, bending and flexing cannot be performed completely.


Symptoms are usually quite straightforward. Patients will feel pain around the finger region and swelling will be present. The finger will not be able to straighten fully on its own but it is able to with external help. However, this forced straightening action will result in an imbalance, causing the finger to arch upwards.



Non-surgical treatment is intended for cases whereby the injury was caused by a simple tear of the tendon. This kind of injury is not very serious and splinting is usually sufficient and the bone will heal on its own. The patient will be required to perform intensive physical therapy throughout the period to prevent stiffness in the finger joint. The choice of finger splint can be divided into the homemade type or the special types that can be bought from hospitals. Non-surgical treatment is also the preferred treatment method that most surgeons will consider prior to suggesting surgery. This is due to the need for the contracture to be stretched further before the extensor hood can be repaired through surgical means.


Surgical will be required for cases that are much more serious. Surgery can only take place when the finger joint is in an extended position instead of the arc position and this is why non-surgical treatments will be prescribed initially to allow the finger to extend fully.

Joint fixation

If the injury was caused due to a dislocation of the joint, a joint fixation surgery will need to be carried out. A metallic pin will be used to fix the joint in place. Following surgery, a finger splint will need to be worn in order to protect the joint.


Fusion will be the best treatment possible when previous treatment methods fail to fully heal it. Fusion is a procedure that joins 2 of the joint surfaces of the finger together, preventing them from moving. This will help to reduce pain and provide stability to the finger joint.