Hand Pain

What are the causes for Hand Pain?


There are many causes for hand or wrist pain.  Pain my be secondary to a problem at the site of discomfort, or due to nerve compression higher in the extremity, or at the neck.  Some local problems at the hand or wrist which cause pain include: tendon inflammation (Tendinitis), joint inflammation (arthritis), local nerve compression (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome), Trigger Finger, pain due to a Ganglion, pain secondary to stiffness, and of course pain secondary to trauma resulting in injury to bone, ligaments, tendons or other structures.  In addition, patients who do not move joints for extended periods of time often experience pain at those joints when attempting full movement.


How is the cause of hand/wrist pain diagnosed?


To properly treat upper extremity pain its cause must be diagnosed.  Often the diagnosis can be made based on a thorough history of the problem and a careful, complete physical examination.  The need for diagnostic studies varies.  At times no diagnostic tests are required.  Often simple x-rays are needed.  Additional testing such as a Cat Scan, MRI or EMG’s may be required in certain instances.


How is Hand Pain treated?


The proper treatment for hand discomfort is based on its cause.  Hand Therapy, Steroid Injections, ant-inflammatory medications, splinting,  and resting the painful area comprise some of the non-operative means by which hand pain may be dealt with.  Surgical intervention may be needed in certain instances.


Which type of doctor is best qualified to diagnose and treat hand discomfort?


A Certified Hand Surgeon has been fellowship trained to diagnose and treat all forms of hand pain.  When doctors of other specialties, such as general Orthopedics, general Plastic Surgery,or Internal Medicine try to address hand pain they often order unnecessary diagnostic tests, or may prescribe treatment which is harmful.  The anatomy and function of the hand is different then that of other part of the extremities.  Treatment of a hand disorder requires the expertise of a physician who has achieved specialized training in Hand Surgery.  Dr Steven Shoen has achieved Certification in Hand Surgery.  He completed a Hand Surgery Fellowship, passed all required Hand Surgery Certifying Examinations, and has over twenty years experience diagnosing and treating hand pain.  Dr Shoen is a member of The American Society For Surgery Of The Hand, and The New York Hand Society.   His Hand Therapist, Leah Rubino, works with him to provide specialized Hand Therapy when needed.  Dr. Shoen sees patients at two office sites, one in the Edison area, and a second in Monroe Township.  Call  732-632-6090 for an appointment.