When you first meet with your Consultant, they’ll talk with you about your symptoms and when they started. They’ll take a medical history and ask you some specific questions such as:
- Whether your symptoms have been getting worse over time?
- If you have pain, what is it like? For example, is it sharp or dull; constant or sporadic?)
- Is any pain in one specific place or is it spreading more generally around the hand and wrist?
- Was there was an obvious trigger for the problem, such as a fall onto an outstretched hand?
Once they’ve talked with you, they will carry out a physical examination of your hand and wrist, moving it into various positions and asking you to perform some simple movements. This helps assess the extent of the problem and shows them what movements and actions are causing you pain or a worsening of symptoms.
Additional tests may be needed to aid with diagnosis. This will often be an X-ray of your hand and wrist, which can help to confirm or exclude any abnormality in the bones themselves. Additional scans like MRI and ultrasound can sometimes be helpful to assess problems with tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. Any of these can be easily arranged for you here on-site should you require them.
The medical history, physical assessment and the results of any diagnostic tests are all used by your Consultant to make a diagnosis. Once they know the exact cause of your symptoms, diagnosis they will discuss any suitable treatment options with you.
Treatment for hand and wrist conditions may include:
- Physiotherapy/hand therapy,
- Pain relief medication,
- Steroid injection,
Many hand and wrist problems will resolve naturally over time or can be managed well using non-surgical (conservative) treatments. If surgery is required, your Consultant will explain how the operation will be done, the benefits you should expect to see as a result of the surgery, and any potential risks you ned to be aware of.
One of the most important factors in ensuring optimal recovery from any hand and wrist condition is having access to expert support throughout. Here at The Shirley Oaks Hospital our experienced Physiotherapists will work closely with you as you recover, helping you to regain function and movement in your hand and wrist. They will structure a personalised rehabilitation programme just for you, to help improve your strength, range of movement and flexibility, safely and at the right pace for you.