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Car accident on Wake Forest Rd near Duke Raleigh Hospital

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Car accident on Wake Forest Rd has northbound traffic closed near the 440 Beltline. This could affect the morning drive to our office on 8/14/2017

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Dr. Erickson returns from national hand conference

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Dr. Erickson attended the annual Robert E. Carroll Hand Club meeting June 21-24, 2017. The meeting was held in Bolton Landing, NY. Attending orthopedic and plastic surgery hand specialists discussed current treatment options for their patients with hand and upper extremity conditions.  

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Dr. Messer presents at Regional Hand Conference

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Dr. Terry Messer of Raleigh Hand Center presented “Variations in clinical practice among hand surgeons in a private practice hand and upper extremity group” at the 40th Annual Southeastern Hand Society (SEHS) Meeting in Kiawah Island on April 27-30th. He served as Vice-President of the SEHS at the time of the meeting, and he is now the President-Elect.

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Dr. Erickson lectures at two conferences

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Dr. John Erickson provided a lecture on “Benign and Malignant Bone Tumors of the Hand and Wrist” at WakeMed UNC Orthopedic Hand Conference on 4/10/2017. Dr. Erickson also presented “Dupuytren’s Contracture Treatment” at Duke Raleigh Hospital Orthopedic Grand Rounds on 6/14/2017.

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Dr Edwards III discusses infection control at conference

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Dr. George Edwards III gave a lecture at the AORN regional meeting on 3/4/2017 in Chapel Hill. He discussed infection control in the operating room.

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Dr. Messer presents at Duke Hand and Upper Extremity Course

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Dr. Terry Messer of Raleigh Hand Center presented at the Duke Residents and Fellows Upper Extremity Course in March 2017. He discussed “Proximal Interphalangeal Joint Fracture Dislocations.”

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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve problem in the hand. It results from increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, within the carpal tunnel. Symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, and hand pain can result if the nerve is compressed or “pinched.”


The word “carpus” means “wrist.” The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons of the hand travel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow space: the floor of the tunnel is made up by the carpal bones of the wrist, and the roof is created by the transverse carpal ligament. The median nerve is at risk for being pinched within this tunnel. If there is abnormal swelling, altered wrist anatomy, or injury to this area, the function of the median nerve may be affected.

WHAT CAUSES CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)?

In most cases, the cause of CTS is unknown. Thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, fluid retention, and trauma can be associated with CTS. Women are more commonly affected than men. Repetitive, forceful gripping and heavy use of vibratory tools may increase the risk of CTS.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

Patients with CTS commonly feel numbness and tingling in the fingers. Some patients feel that the fingertips are asleep or report poor circulation in the hands. Symptoms are often worse at night and people tend to shake their hands for relief. Some patients report increased symptoms while gripping a steering wheel. Dropping objects, clumsiness with the hands, or a weak grip are also common complaints. Some people also report pain in the forearm, wrist or fingers. In severe cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb (thenar muscles) can become weak and atrophy. See image below.

Often the diagnosis can be made based on your symptoms and physical examination. A nerve study can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis in some cases.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

Not everyone with carpal tunnel syndrome needs surgery. Many people with CTS improve with non-operative treatment. Wearing a wrist brace at night supports the wrist in good alignment and takes pressure off the nerve. Corticosteroid injections provide an anti-inflammatory effect and can be effective in many patients. 

If nerve compression is severe, or if conservative treatment does not help, carpal tunnel surgery may be recommended. A carpal tunnel release (CTR) is performed to decrease pressure on the median nerve. During this procedure, the “roof” of the carpal tunnel (the transverse carpal ligament) is divided. Cutting the transverse carpal ligament increases the size of the carpal tunnel and provides more room for the median nerve.

The type of surgical incision varies among surgeons; however, the common goal is to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Open CTR and endoscopic CTR are two surgical options. The recommended procedure will be discussed with you with your doctor. Raleigh Hand Center physicians are experts in carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.

Dr. Edwards, Jr discussed Hand Arthritis at Conference

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Dr. George S. Edwards, Jr of Raleigh Hand center recently discussed treatment of osteoarthritis of the hand at WakeMed Orthopedic Hand conference. Local area hand surgeons, therapists, PAs, and orthopedic residents were in attendance.

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Broken Finger Treatment in Raleigh, NC

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Phalanx fractures are common hand injuries. These fractures are also called a “broken finger,” and they can occur from a variety of injuries such as a fall, a motor vehicle collision, or sports injury. There are fourteen phalanges in each hand — three in each finger and two in the thumb. The phalanges make up the bony architecture of the fingers and they are very important for normal hand function.

broken fingers

broken fingers

If you recently injured your finger and are wondering if it is broken, the best thing to do is get an x-ray to find out. 

In many cases, Raleigh Hand Center physicians can see patients the same day of an injury or the next day.

Call 919-872-3171 to contact Raleigh Hand Center. After regular office hours, if you call this phone number you will be connected to our hand surgeon on-call to discuss your injury to help guide your treatment.

 

Many breaks or fractures in the fingers can be misdiagnosed as “just a sprain” or a “jammed finger.” If a finger fracture is not treated appropriately, the long-term results may not be good. Many patients say: “I could still move it, so I didn’t think it was broken.” While in many cases, a fracture causes the finger to be stiff and difficult to move, however, this is not true in all cases. When in doubt, get it checked out.

 

 

What are the signs of a broken finger?

  • pain

  • swelling

  • bruising

  • stiffness

  • numbness

  • pain with range of motion

  • deformity

  • skin lacerations

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