Hand & Wrist Specialist

Urgently Ortho

Orthopedic Urgent Care & Sports Medicine Clinic

Hand & Wrist Q & A

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Wrist and hand problems are particularly troublesome, because we rely so much on our hands for so many of our activities in the course of a normal day. If you have hand or wrist pain or notice any difficulties in movement or feeling, contact Ephraim Dickinson, MD and Brieana Brady, PA-C at Urgently Ortho in San Francisco. They are experienced medical professionals specializing in orthopedics, providing out-of-hours and at-home services for both acute and chronic orthopedic conditions. Call the clinic today, or book an appointment online.

What causes hand and wrist pain?

Wrist and hand pain and disability can be due to acute injuries, such as fractures, sprains, and tendon injuries or ongoing chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The team at Urgently Ortho treats many common causes of hand and wrist pain, including:

Hand or wrist fracture

Fractures are broken bones in the hand or wrist. They can vary from hairline fractures to severe breaks that shatter and dislocate the bone. Treatment for many fractures can be managed without surgery and simply require spending time immobilized in a cast or a splint.


Overuse can damage tendons in the wrist and hand. Tendonitis can occur slowly over time, or it can start abruptly after an acute injury. Pain from tendonitis may worsen with activity.

Mallet finger

This condition occurs when the extensor tendon on the back of the finger tears resulting in a bony or soft tissue injury at the tip of the finger. Without appropriate treatment, mallet finger may lead to a permanent drooping of the last joint of your finger. Mallet finger is a common sports-related injury that splinting can usually treat effectively.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition where the cartilage that allows bones to move freely and smoothly next to one another in a joint is damaged. The loss of cartilage causes pain and swelling where the ends of the bones rub together, and can severely affect both the wrist and the hand.

Hands are very commonly affected by osteoarthritis, and finger and thumb joints, in particular, are common sites of arthritis for many older patients.

De Quervain’s tendinosis

De Quervain's tendinosis is a condition that causes pain at the level of the wrist on the thumb side. The pain can travel from the thumb up the forearm and may make some activities more difficult, especially with bending your wrist or attempting to make a fist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common cause of hand and wrist pain, as well as symptoms such as weakness, tingling, and numbness. These symptoms are due to constriction or compression of the median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel at the level of the wrist.

What techniques are used to diagnose hand and wrist pain?

First, Dr. Dickinson or a member of his team carefully evaluates your hand and wrist and reviews your symptoms and medical history. They may also take diagnostic tests, such as:

  • MRI
  • Digital X-ray
  • Nerve conduction study

Once they determine the specific cause of your hand and wrist pain, the team at Urgently Ortho recommends the best course of treatment.

What treatments are available for hand and wrist pain?

Treatment for hand and wrist pain depends on the type and severity of your condition. Depending on your needs, treatment options may include:

  • Splinting or a cast
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat treatment
  • Surgical intervention (e.g., carpal tunnel surgery for severe cases)

Complicated fractures may also need surgery to set or repair the bones. The team at Urgently Ortho specialize in treating orthopedic conditions both acute and chronic, so if you’re experiencing any kind of hand or wrist pain, call the clinic today or make an appointment online.


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Conditions & Treatments