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How To Treat a Broken Hand?

››     Each hand except the wrist has 19 bones. That's a lot of potential for fractures. Broken hands are painful, but not life-threatening. If the break is bad enough, there could be a loss of function, or even a loss of part or all of the hand. The symptoms of a broken hand include:Pain/tenderness, Swelling, Discoloration, Deformity, Inability to move (not required for a break - just because a hand can move doesn't mean it's not broken)

››     Stay Safe! Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it.
››     If the fingers of the injured hand are cold or blue, call to your Doctor immediately.
››     Do NOT straighten the hand if it is deformed - keep it in the position found.
››     Stabilize the hand in the position of function (see photo) with the fingers curled loosely around a soft object like roller        gauze. Use padding to keep it immobile. Put ice on the injury. Never put the ice directly on the skin - make an ice-       pack. After holding ice on the hand for about 20 minutes, take it off for 20 minutes. Anti-inflammatory drugs like        ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen will help with pain. To decrease the risk of Reye's Syndrome, do not give aspirin to        children under 19.
››     Elevate the hand above the level of the heart to reduce swelling.
››     Seek medical assistance for additional pain relief and further evaluation of the injured hand.        The use of an ambulance is probably not necessary, but ambulances in many areas are capable of providing        additional pain relief.

Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?

››     Ice should be used in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours), or whenever there is swelling. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also be used to warm up muscles prior to exercise or physical therapy.

What is the difference between x-rays, MRI, and CT scan?

››     X-rays are a type of radiation, and when they pass through the body, dense objects such as bone block the radiation and appear white on the x-ray film, while less dense tissues appear gray and are difficult to see. X-rays are typically used to diagnose and assess bone degeneration or disease, fractures and dislocations, infections, or tumors.

››     Organs and tissues within the body contain magnetic properties. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, combines a powerful magnet with radio waves (instead of x-rays) and a computer to manipulate these magnetic elements and create highly detailed images of structures in the body. Images are viewed as cross sections or "slices" of the body part being scanned. There is no radiation involved as with x-rays. MRI scans are frequently used to diagnose bone and joint problems.

››     A computed tomography (CT) scan (also known as CAT scan) is similar to an MRI in the detail and quality of image it produces, yet the CT scan is actually a sophisticated, powerful x-ray that takes 360-degree pictures of internal organs, the spine, and vertebrae. By combining x-rays and a computer, a CT scan, like an MRI, produces cross-sectional views of the body part being scanned. In many cases, a contrast dye is injected into the blood to make the structures more visible. CT scans show the bones of the spine much better than MRI, so they are more useful in diagnosing conditions affecting the vertebrae and other bones of the spine.

What is a tendon? ligament? cartilage?

››     A tendon is a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. A ligament is an elastic band of tissue that connects bone to bone and provides stability to the joint. Cartilage is a soft, gel-like padding between bones that protects joints and facilitates movement.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?

››     A strain occurs when a muscle is stretched or torn. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn.
Strains are often the result of overuse or improper use of a muscle, while sprains typically occur when a joint is subjected to excessive force or unnatural movements (e.g., sudden twists, turns, or stops). Sprains can be categorized by degree of severity

What are NSAIDs and how do they work?

››     Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers such as brufen (Ibuprofen), Diclofenac (Voveran), and Combiflam (Ibuprofen + Paracetamol)...etc. They are popular treatments for muscular aches and pains, as well as arthritis. They work by blocking the cellular mediators of inflammation which produce pain after injury or from arthritis.

NSAIDs not only relieve pain, but also help to decrease inflammation, prevent blood clots, and reduce fevers. They work by blocking the actions of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme. There are two forms of the COX enzyme. COX-2 is produced when joints are injured or inflamed, which NSAIDS counteract. COX-1 protects the stomach lining from acids and digestive juices and helps the kidneys function properly. This is why side effects of NSAIDs may include nausea, upset stomach, ulcers, or improper kidney function.

What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?

››     Have your insurance information.
››     Copies of surgical records, medical records, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and so on from prior doctor visits.
››     If you have seen a physiotherapist, please bring a progress letter from the therapist.
››     If you have had surgery elsewhere, please bring a copy of your operation report

How safe is orthopaedic surgery?

››     Today, there are many techniques utilized to make orthopaedic surgery safer than ever. Anesthesia is much safer with newer anesthetics. Medications are used to minimize intra-operative and post-operative complications. In any procedures that may require blood transfusions, the patient's own blood is donated pre-operatively to nearly eliminate any risk of blood-borne disease. At Sai Orthopaedics, we are constantly exploring new techniques to make surgery as risk-free as possible.

I recently had orthopaedic/plastic surgery. Can I come to your clinic for physiotherapy?

››     Yes !! We treat a variety of post operative conditions, from arthroscopic surgeries to joint replacements, to tendon repairs and muscle repairs. We have specialized knowledge in post operative care and communicate closely with your surgeon if special instructions are required. Our physiotherapist with special training in Hand Therapy and Splinting will create a customized splint for you. The goal is to promote healing and get you moving as early as we can.