Hand & wrist
Making your hands yours again
Humans have five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Our hands are incredibly complex structures that provide us with the ability to touch, as we feel and palpate objects and reach for things.
Our experts at Schoen Clinic are specialised in the treatment of hand and wrist problems and are here for you. They will help with diagnosis and treatments, be it conservative or surgical.
The Anatomy of our Hands and Wrists
The complex structure of our hands and wrists means they are capable of a wide range of movements when healthy. The main components of your hands and wrists include bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and other tissue.
There are three main types of bones in your hands, including the carpal bones, the metacarpal bones, and the phalanges.
- Carpal bones – The eight small carpal bones for the carpus. There are two groups of four carpals in each hand.
- Metacarpal bones – The five metacarpal bones form the middle part of the hand (the palm and back of your hand).
- Phalanges – Each hand has 14 narrow phalanges that form the fingers. Each thumb has two phalanges, while each finger has three (the distal, middle, and proximal phalanges).
The wrist is formed by multiple joints where the radius and ulna (the large and smaller bones of the forearm) meet the carpus of the hand. The many joints of the wrist make it capable of a wide range of movement.
Common Hand and Wrist Problems
Hand and wrist problems can be painful, and they can rob you of quality of life in various ways, such as by making it difficult to complete simple tasks. A few common problems include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – The pinching of the median nerve in the wrist causes carpal tunnel syndrome, which most patients experience as numbness, pain, or weakness in the fingers, palm, or wrist. Non-surgical and surgical treatments are available.
- Ganglion cyst (wrist) – Ganglion cysts are benign tumours that develop on the exterior of a tendon or joint in the wrist. They are small sacs filled with a jelly-like fluid, and they can be treated surgically or non-surgically.
- Skier’s/Gamekeeper’s thumb – Acute or chronic injury of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) causes skier’s or gamekeeper’s thumb. The UCL is the biggest ligament at the base of the thumb’s inner aspect, where it helps to stabilise the metacarpophalangeal joint. You might have difficulty using your thumb to pinch or grasp things.
- Dupuytren’s contracture – A condition in which the tissue just below the skin in the palm thickens abnormally. The thickening of tissue may spread to the fingers, and it may cause difficulty when flattening your hand or bending your fingers.
- Scaphoid fracture – A small crack or break in the wrist’s scaphoid bone. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty gripping objects.
- Wrist fracture (distal radius fracture) – A break in the radius (the larger of the two forearm bones) at the wrist. If you suffer a wrist or distal radius fracture, you may experience pain, swelling, difficulty moving your wrist, and/or deformity.
Our specialised hospital for hand & wristconditions
Our team of highly experienced orthopaedic surgeons offer rapid diagnosis and the latest evidence-based care to treat hand and wrist pain. Working collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team, our hand and wrist experts are available at our specialised Orthopaedic & Spinal hospital in the heart of London, a centre for excellent care.