Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center in Raleigh, NC

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Understanding Paronychia: Fingernail Infection

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paronychai infection

A paronychia infection is an infection in the tissue around the fingernail.  

Causes and Symptoms of Paronychia Infection

It may be due to bacteria invading a cut/crack in the skin or to trauma such as from pulling a hangnail, biting around one’s nail, or having frequent manicures.  Sometimes, there is no identifiable cause.  The symptoms of a paronychia infection include redness of the tissues surrounding the nail (most commonly near the base of the nail), pain, warmth, swelling, and possible drainage.  A white-yellow-green material may build up under the nail or nail fold indicating the formation of pus. 

Effective Home Remedies for Paronychia Fingernail Infections

Treatment of paronychia fingernail infections consists of warm water soaks, with or without soap or Epsom salt.  This can help soften the tissues and facilitate drainage if a collection of pus is developing.  Warm soaks can also decrease pain and increase blood flow to the area, helping the body fight infection.  An over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen can also help relieve pain and inflammation. 

Seeking Medical Help for Persistent Paronychia Infections

When these measures fail to result in improvement in the paronychia fingernail infection, a visit to a qualified medical provider for possible oral antibiotics and possible drainage of the infection is recommended.  If not properly treated, paronychia infections can result in chronic finger pain, inflammation, and nail problems.  When symptoms of paronychia inflammation exist for more than several weeks, it may indicate the development of a fungal infection.  In this situation, it would also be beneficial to be evaluated by an appropriate healthcare provider.  

Prevention and Care Tips for Healthy Fingernails

Frequent hand washing, clipping a hangnail with a clean scissors or nail clipper (rather than pulling it), avoiding chronic moisture of the fingertips, and moisturizing dry skin with a hypoallergenic hand lotion may help prevent paronychia infections. 

Contact Our Raleigh Finger Surgeons Today for Paronychia Treatment

Get started today by filling out the form on the right-hand side of this page. You can also give us a call directly using the phone call button and schedule an appointment button, both located at the top of this page.

Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center doctors are board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Scaphoid Fracture Raleigh

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The scaphoid, one of eight small bones in the wrist, is most commonly injured due to a fall on an outstretched wrist.  It occurs most frequently in young men in their teens to 30’s.  A patient with a scaphoid fracture (broken scaphoid bone) will have pain on the radial (thumb) side of their wrist.  They will often have pain with wrist range of motion and may also have decreased movement of the wrist. Occasionally the injury is not obvious, and patients may think the injury “is only a wrist sprain.”

If a scaphoid fracture is suspected, X-rays should be obtained.  However, X-rays will sometimes fail to reveal the crack in the bone if it is small, and thus additional tests such as MRI or CT scans may be ordered.

Scaphoid Fracture Treatment

If you have a scaphoid fracture, treatment is usually a cast or surgery.  Scaphoid fractures heal slowly due to their limited blood flow.  It may take several weeks or months in a cast before the fracture heals, depending on the type of fracture.  Surgery is recommended for certain types of scaphoid fractures and in some patient groups.   In several studies, the healing rates are better and faster with surgery versus cast treatment.  Surgery can often be done through a percutaneous or minimally invasive approach, but does have some possible complications and surgical risks. 

When a scaphoid fracture is not treated, the bone may not heal, and patients often experience worsening wrist pain, decreased range of motion, and stiffness.  In time, these patients may develop wrist arthritis and may require surgical treatment in the future.

scaphoid fracture surgery

Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center doctors are all board-certified by the ABOS and are members of the ASSH. Raleigh Hand to Shoulder center doctors treat patients from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Knightdale, and Wake Forest, NC.

Dr. Terry Messer discusses TFCC injuries at hand conference

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Dr. Terry Messer from Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center discussed the treatment of patients with TFCC injuries of the wrist. TFCC injuries are a common source of ulnar-sided wrist pain. Surgical and non-surgical options were described. He spoke at WakeMed Raleigh Hospital hand conference on 8/29/22.

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