Latest Articles

Dr Erickson lectures on flexor tendon repair

Posted on:

Dr. John Erickson of Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center was the invited speaker for the quarterly meeting of the North Carolina Upper Extremity Special Interest Group. Dr. Erickson and 20 occupational therapists discussed current trends in surgical and rehabilitative treatment for patients with flexor tendon injuries in the hands.

https://ncuesig.com/quarterly-meetings

Posted in Company News | Comments Off on Dr Erickson lectures on flexor tendon repair

We are seeking an additional therapist

Posted on:

The Raleigh Hand To Shoulder Center is seeking an OT/CHT for a full time position. The practice is physician owned dedicated to providing exceptional care for patients of all ages with hand to shoulder diagnosis. Physician team consists of six board certified hand surgeons. Therapy team consists of four OT’s (three CHT’S) and a PT. An OT on a CHT track or a CHT with experience performing hand and shoulder evaluations as well as developing and administering quality hand/UE therapy is desired. Applicant must be able to multi-task, problem solve, possess excellent communication skills as well as a working knowledge of EMR. Good splinting skills a must. Benefits include, PTO, paid holidays, health insurance and 401K.

Posted in Raleigh Hand News | Comments Off on We are seeking an additional therapist

Rotator Cuff Tear article by Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center physician

Posted on:

What is a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear is an injury to the group of tendons/muscles that surround the shoulder joint called the rotator cuff where the tendon typically becomes torn away from the bone.  The rotator cuff is made up of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor muscles and their tendinous attachment to the humerus (the arm bone). These muscles function to stabilize the shoulder and help control shoulder motion.

What are the signs of a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear often results in a painful shoulder, particularly when trying to lift the shoulder overhead.  A larger tear can result in weakness or the inability to lift the arm overhead. The pain often is located in the shoulder and radiates down the arm partway toward the elbow.  Trouble sleeping on the affected shoulder is common.

What causes a rotator cuff tear?

A rotator cuff tear can be caused by an injury (traumatic) such as a shoulder dislocation or from a fall, or from gradual wear and tear (the most common).  Rotator cuff tears typically occur in adults and are less common in children. Repetitive overhead use of the arm over a long period of time is thought to be the most common cause of the wear and tear type of rotator cuff tear.  

What are the treatment options?

The treatment depends on the severity of the tear.  An MRI is often ordered to evaluate the problem and help determine the severity of the tear.  Most small/partial tears of the rotator cuff can successfully be treated without surgery. Often a regimen of rest, anti-inflammatories, therapy exercises, and/or corticosteroid injection can treat a small or partial rotator cuff tear.  A large tear where the tendon is pulled away from the bone would require surgery in order to repair this type of rotator cuff tear. The surgery is typically performed arthroscopically with small incisions in a minimally-invasive approach by the physicians at the Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center.  An open surgical approach is another option for treating rotator cuff tears.

If you have signs or symptoms of a rotator cuff tear feel free to call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our fellowship trained Orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeons that specialize in both the non-surgical and surgical treatments of shoulder pathology.

 

article by Dr George Edwards III

Video by American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

 

Posted in Raleigh Hand News | Comments Off on Rotator Cuff Tear article by Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center physician

Broken Finger Treatment in Raleigh NC

Posted on:

Each finger in the hand is made up of 3 phalanges: the proximal phalanx, middle phalanx, and distal phalanx. The thumb has two phalanges. A phalanx fracture, also known as a broken finger, is a common hand injury. They can occur from a variety of injuries such as a fall, a motor vehicle collision, or sports injury. Satisfactory healing of this type of injury is important to restoring the overall hand function. Early diagnosis and treatment is very helpful.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment plan will depend on the severity of the fracture as noted on the x-rays and the patient’s medical condition, activity level, and desires. Most people have fractures which are stable and well-aligned, and, therefore, do not require surgery. Treatment in these cases is typically rest and protection with a splint for a few weeks. Sometimes “buddy-taping” to the uninjured, adjacent finger can be used in stable fractures. Follow-up x-rays are obtained in clinic to evaluate how the fracture is healing. Some fractures can be re-aligned without surgery with numbing medicine, called a “closed reduction” procedure, and those patients can also be treated non-operatively. Therapy is often helpful in improving range of motion and strength after the fracture heals.

Some patients have fractures which are more displaced and the alignment of the fracture is not satisfactory. Depending on the patient’s health and activity level, surgery may be advised to improve and maintain the alignment. A fracture which heals in poor alignment (“crooked”) can significantly affect the patient’s grip strength and hand function. Fractures which injure the joint surface are more prone to complications such as finger stiffness and arthritis.

Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center doctors can advise you about how best to treat your broken finger.

What is involved with surgery?

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using either local anesthesia (injected numbing medicine) or regional anesthesia (nerve block at the shoulder) often with IV sedation. During the surgery, the doctor improves the alignment of the phalanx fracture bone and uses metal implants to stabilize the bones. Fluoroscopic x-rays are used in the operating room to confirm the alignment.

In some cases, we use a small plate and screws to fix the bones internally. The orthopedic hardware is covered by the skin and soft tissues of the finger and rests against the surface of the bone. This is called “open reduction and internal fixation” and requires an incision on the finger. In other cases, we use temporary pins (K-wires) through the skin to hold the fragments aligned while the bone heals. This is called “closed reduction and percutaneous pinning.” The pins can be removed in the office after 3-4 weeks. Which technique is used depends on the fracture pattern and is sometimes determined in the operating room by the surgeon.

Surgery does not really “heal” the fracture; it simply allows the bones to be held in good alignment while the body bridges the fracture site with new bone over a few weeks.

What is the recovery from surgery like?

Your fingers and hand will be protected in a plaster splint after the surgery. Rest and hand elevation is important to reduce swelling. The splint will be removed in clinic after a few days and a removable splint will be provided by our therapists. At this point, most patients can begin gentle wrist and finger range of motion with the oversight of a hand therapist. However, some patients need an additional few weeks of immobilization to protect the repair, depending on the severity of the fracture.  

Pain, swelling, and finger stiffness gradually improve over time. Most patients can return to normal function at about 2-3 months post-operatively, but maximum improvement can take several months. Recovery time varies among patients, depending on the severity of the injury, possible complications, and pain tolerance of the patient.

Ask a Doctor: Broken Finger

Posted in Raleigh Hand News | Comments Off on Broken Finger Treatment in Raleigh NC

New name — Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center

Posted on:

While our name may be new, it better reflects what we have been doing for years — caring for patients of all ages with hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder problems.

RHSC2019

Posted in Raleigh Hand News | Comments Off on New name — Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center

Dr Edwards III passed hand surgery board certification exam

Posted on:

Dr George Edwards III of Raleigh Hand Center competed the final step in board certification for hand surgery. He was awarded the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS). He is now double-board certified in orthopedics and hand surgery. Congratulations Dr Edwards!

Dr Edwards III

Posted in Company News | Comments Off on Dr Edwards III passed hand surgery board certification exam

Dr. Messer discusses Elbow Arthroscopy surgery at conference

Posted on:

Dr. Terry Messer of Raleigh Hand Center discussed “Elbow Arthroscopy” surgery at orthopedic hand conference at WakeMed hospital on 11/12/2018. Orthopedic residents, occupational therapists, radiology, local hand surgeons and PAs were in attendance. Elbow Arthroscopy surgery is available for some patients with elbow arthritis, synovitis, lateral epicondylitis, joint contracture, and unstable cartilage fragments.

Posted in Company News | Comments Off on Dr. Messer discusses Elbow Arthroscopy surgery at conference

Dr Post gives lecture on shoulder examination

Posted on:

Dr James Post of Raleigh Hand Center gave a lecture on the physical exam and radiologic evaluation of patients with shoulder problems at WakeMed conference on 9/10/2018

Posted in In The Media | Comments Off on Dr Post gives lecture on shoulder examination

Why see a Hand Surgeon?

Posted on:

The term “hand surgeon” can be misleading. Hand surgeons also treat patients with wrist, forearm, elbow, and often shoulder problems, as well as the hand. Additionally, hand surgeons don’t just do surgery. A hand surgeon is a specialized doctor who is trained in the non-surgical and surgical treatment of most hand and upper extremity conditions.

After completing a residency in general, plastic, or orthopaedic surgery, hand surgeons complete an additional year of fellowship training in the conditions unique to the hand and arm. The complete care of the hand involves specialized techniques in orthopaedic, plastic, neurologic, arthroscopic, and microvascular surgery — combining features from multiple surgical specialties. The hand is one of the most complicated parts of the body, and because of this, extra training is helpful to take care of hand conditions.

Over the last several decades, there has been progress in the treatment of hand and upper extremity conditions. New procedures have been invented and research has been published. Raleigh Hand Center physicians and therapists stay informed of the latest developments in hand care though weekly conferences and national meetings. National board certification is available in both orthopaedic surgery and hand surgery, and all Raleigh Hand Center physicians are board certified.

If you or a loved one has a hand or arm problem, consider consulting with a hand surgeon.

Posted in Company News | Comments Off on Why see a Hand Surgeon?

Dr. Edwards III gives hand conference on nerve injuries

Posted on:

Dr George Edwards III talked about Nerve Transfers of the Hand and Forearm on Monday August 27 at WakeMed UNC Orthopedic Hand Conference. Local area hand surgeons, therapists, Raleigh Radiology radiologist, and orthopedic residents were in attendance. This conference discussed the emerging techniques for treating patients with nerve injuries of the hand and arm.

Posted in Company News | Comments Off on Dr. Edwards III gives hand conference on nerve injuries

Request an Appointment