Other Hand Conditions
Dr. Jennifer Kargel treats many varieties of hand conditions that can affect children. In addition to hand trauma, congenital hand differences, and peripheral nerve pathology, other common conditions include trigger fingers, ganglion cysts, and contractures.
Trigger thumb or finger:
This sometimes painful condition causes the thumb or fingers to lock when bent, due to inflammation of the tendons. In children, this may be noticed shortly after birth. Initial treatment begins with stretching, massage, and splinting. Over 50% of congenital trigger thumb cases will resolve without surgical intervention under the age of 2 years old. If healing does not occur, treatment may require surgical release of a tissue band at the base of the thumb to allow the tendon to glide without catching.
Gangion cysts are fluid filled masses that commonly arise over the top of the wrist or the palm side due to outpouching of the lining of the wrist joint. They can cause pain with wrist movement and when weight is applied to the wrist. Although up to 50% can resolve spontaneously, treatment for persistent cysts can include in-office aspiration and excision in the operating room.
Contractures can develop when scars cross a joint in the fingers or hand. These can be the result of lacerations or burns. As the scar tightens, it can pull down and prevent the finger or hand from straightening. We work closely with hand therapists to help soften and stretch these scars and apply splints. Sometimes, despite these nonoperative treatments, surgery is still required. In surgery, we release the scar bands, rotate skin flaps, and apply skin grafts as needed.