• Team Joseph

Common Hand & Wrist Injuries


The hand is a unique and complicated section of your anatomy. There are 19 bones in each of your hands, supported by tendons, ligaments, and muscle. Blood vessels and nerves carry sensations of pain, touch, and temperature. The hand is responsible for performing delicate tasks while also carrying out work with strength and stability.


When your hands are injured, it can adversely affect so much of your daily life.


What Is the Most Common Hand Injury?

One of the most common hand injuries is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

The carpal tunnel allows nerves and tendons to pass through the wrist and into the hand. When that opening gets inflamed, it can narrow and cause the tissues inside it to compress.


Several factors that can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, including:

  • Typing is an activity

  • Trauma to the wrist

  • Posture and wrist alignment

  • Prolonged, repetitive movement (usually seen in cashiers and typists)

  • Smoking, obesity, and caffeine intake

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is done through a thorough physical examination and a careful history of the condition. The majority of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cases can be treated nonsurgically. Treatment methods include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Bracing

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

Surgical intervention may be recommended if non-operative treatments fail or in acute cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


What Are Common Wrist Injuries?

One of the most complex joints in the human body, the wrist contains eight small carpal bones that connect the bones of the forearm (ulna and radius) with the bones of the hand (metacarpals).


Each of these bones forms a joint with the bone next to it, with articular cartilage for shock absorption and intricate structure of ligaments and tendons for stability and range of motion. Adding to the complexity, are important nerves and blood vessels that pass through the wrist to the hand.


The most common wrist conditions Dr. Joseph and his team at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery treat involve impact for force. For example:

  • Breaking a fall by landing on an outstretched hand

  • Using an outstretched hand to brace the body in a collision

  • Direct impact to the wrist, usually direct sport or activity

Whether bones have been broken or not, instability to the ligaments must be corrected to avoid unusual wear and tear on the articular cartilage that may result from imbalance.


Treating Injuries to the Wrist and Hand

Virtually every activity we love to do in our mountain community requires the hand or wrist. Dr. Joseph uses the latest technology and procedures to accurately diagnose and effectively treat any injury, simple to complex.


If you are experiencing pain in the hand or wrist, schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph by calling (970) 476-7220 or by completing Dr. Joseph online appointment form.

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