Hand & Wrist

Conditions & Treatments
Anchorage: (907) 782-4729
Wasilla: (907) 885-2559
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Contact & Locations
The hand and wrist are made up of a complicated network of bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. Wrist and hand problems are common and can result in pain, numbness, loss of movement and impaired function.

Common Hand & Wrist Conditions

Hand Pain
The human hand has 27 bones: the carpus or wrist account for 8; the metacarpus or palm contains 5; the remaining 14 are digital bones, your fingers, and thumb. Hand pain is extremely common because the hand is constantly in use. Manual laborers, athletes, and active individuals are most at risk.

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Wrist Pain
The wrist is made up of eight small bones (carpal bones) plus two long bones in your forearm — the radius and the ulna. The most commonly injured carpal bone is the scaphoid bone, located near the base of your thumb. Wrist pain is another extremely common because the wrist is constantly in use. Manual laborers, athletes, and active individuals are most at risk.

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Hand & Wrist Fractures
The human hand has 27 bones: the carpus or wrist account for 8; the metacarpus or palm contains 5; the remaining 14 are digital bones, your fingers, and thumb. The eight bones of the wrist are arranged in two rows of four. Hand and wrist injuries are extremely common because the hand and wrist are constantly used. Manual laborers, athletes, and active individuals are most at risk.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a wrist condition. Carpal tunnel occurs when the transverse carpal ligament compresses the median nerve. The median nerve is important because its innervate muscles in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.

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Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
The ulnar nerve is an important nerve. The ulnar nerve starts in the neck and runs to the fingers. The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel—a narrow space on the medial (inside) part of the elbow. Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression of the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel.
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Trigger Finger Syndrome
Trigger Finger Syndrome is a painful condition that causes your fingers or thumb to catch or lock when you bend them. The condition is also known as “stenosing tenosynovitis.” The ring finger and thumb are most often affected by trigger finger, but it can occur in the other fingers, as well.

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Dupuytren’s Contracture
The palmar fascia is fibrous tissue between the palm and fingers. The palmar fascia stabilizes the palmar side of the hand. Without the palmar fascia, it would be difficult to grip objects and make a tight fist.

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Hand Sprain
The human hand has 27 bones: the carpus or wrist account for 8; the metacarpus or palm contains 5; the remaining 14 are digital bones, your fingers, and thumb. The hand has many small bones and joints that are susceptible to injury. They are supported by ligaments, muscles, and tendons, which provide stability and movement. When these parts of the hand are injured, they can become sprained.
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Wrist Sprain
A wrist sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the wrist stretch beyond their limits or tear. This occurs when the wrist is bent or twisted forcefully, such as caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand. Wrist sprains are common injuries. They can range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage there is to the ligaments.

  • Grade 1 sprain (mild). The ligaments are stretched, but not torn.
  • Grade 2 sprain (moderate). The ligaments are partially torn. This type of injury may involve some loss of function.
  • Grade 3 sprain (severe). The ligament is completely torn or the ligament is pulled off of its attachment to bone. These are significant injuries that require medical or surgical care. If the ligament tears away from the bone, it may take a small chip of bone with it. This is called an avulsion fracture.

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Hand & Wrist Arthritis
There is a multitude of forms of arthritis that affect the wrists and hands. This condition is caused by inflammation of the joint, and it typically worsens with age. Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, but there are numerous treatment options that can help minimize discomfort, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life. The most common arthritis conditions are:

  • Degenerative Arthritis, also called Osteoarthritis, typically affects the fingers, causing pain in the joints furthest from the hand.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, commonly called Inflammatory Arthritis autoimmune disease
  • Basal Joint Arthritis occurs in the hand near the base of the thumb

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DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis
DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis also called Mommy’s Thumb, affects the tendons of the wrist closest to the thumb.

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Flexor and Extensor Tendon Injuries
The forearm and hand flexor and extensor tendons are used for important grabbing and gripping movements. Injuries to the tendons may cause patients to not be able to perform many day-to-day living movements, like eating, holding a phone, and shaking hands. A deep laceration to the hand, wrist, or forearm is the most common cause of flexor and extensor tendon injuries.

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Ganglion Cyst
The cause of ganglion cysts is not known. One theory suggests that trauma causes the tissue of the joint to break down, forming small cysts that then join into a larger, more obvious mass. The most likely theory involves a flaw in the joint capsule or tendon sheath that allows the joint tissue to bulge out.

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CMC Joint Arthritis
The thumb helps perform many simple, everyday grabbing and gripping tasks. Without proper thumb function, tasks like writing, eating, and texting become difficult. A common thumb condition is carpometacarpal (CMC) joint arthritis or thumb arthritis. The carpal (wrist) and metacarpal (hand) bones form the CMC joint. Like all joints, the CMC joint is susceptible to arthritis, a condition that causes wear and tear of joint cartilage and bone.

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Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 782-4729
Wasilla: (907) 885-2559

OPA Hand & Wrist Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Owen L. Ala, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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