Our hands and wrists, which are made up of many small bones, joints and tendons, are so integral to our daily lives that we often don’t appreciate them until there’s something wrong. Conditions like arthritis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and cysts, and injuries like lacerations and nerve damage, can negatively impact our quality of life.
Dr. Lauren Santiesteban, hand and wrist surgeon at UC San Francisco, explains basic hand anatomy and common conditions and injuries that cause pain and impair movement. She says steps for assessing hand pain include getting a patient’s history and doing a physical exam. Treatment may include rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, splinting, physical therapy, steroid injections or surgery.