THE HAND, WRIST, & ELBOW

MEET OUR HAND, WRIST, AND ELBOW SURGEONS

DR. ERIK

DORF

DR. TERRELL JOSEPH

At Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, our specialty-trained elbow, hand, and wrist doctors are the leading experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating elbow injuries and conditions.

 

THE ELBOW

The elbow is one of the largest joints in the body, connecting the bones of the forearm 
(radius and ulna) to the upper arm bone (humerus) through a network of ligaments and muscles. Offering structure and durability, the elbow also allows for a great deal of range of motion. However, because it is one of the most frequently exercised and most stressed joints, it is also prone to injury, such as hyperextension and fractures, as well as orthopedic conditions, such as osteoarthritis and bursitis. Common ailments of the elbow include, but are not limited to: 

 

  • Bursitis

  • Golfer's elbow

  • Tennis elbow

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Dislocation

  • Fracture

 

The most common causes of pain in the elbow are sudden or acute injuries, followed by overuse injuries which cause inflammation over time and can become extremely uncomfortable.

 

Most chronic conditions afflicting the elbow, such as elbow osteoarthritis, typically affect people who already have a history of elbow injuries. Lingering elbow pain generally isn't serious, but because of the joint's frequency of use, it certainly has the potential to disrupt your lifestyle, cause considerable pain, and restrict you from participating in activities you enjoy.

 

Our elbow doctors at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery understand that elbow pain can make simple, everyday tasks challenging, but rest assured, our elbow doctors are committed to developing customized treatment plans to accommodate your individual condition and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.

 

THE WRIST

 

The wrist is a complex joint that bridges the bones, ligaments, and muscles of the hand to those of the forearm. Pain in the wrist is quite common, but identifying the source of it can be difficult, as there are a multitude of injuries and conditions that can cause wrist pain.

 

Wrist pain can be the result of a condition that has developed over time or from overuse injuries like tendonitis (medically referred to as tendinitis), carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis, or as the result of an injury from an accidental fall or recent sports injury, such as a fracture or sprain.

 

Though often associated with sudden or acute injuries, such as sprains or fractures, wrist pain can also be brought on by more long-term issues, such as repetitive stress or overuse, arthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome. With regard to chronic conditions, such as tendonitis (medically referred to as tendinitis) and carpal tunnel, your pain and discomfort may significantly worsen, if left untreated.

 

This may implicate wrist surgery as a viable treatment option to relieve pain and restore function to your wrist. It may be time to seek treatment with a wrist specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

 

  • Increased pain in the wrist or thumb 

  • Tingling or numbness in the hand and forearm

  • Swelling or bruising on or around the wrist and forearm

  • Inability to carry, open, or twist objects without pain

  • Difficulty straightening the afflicted wrist

 

Our wrist doctors at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery understand that wrist pain can make simple, everyday tasks challenging, but rest assured our wrist doctors are committed to developing customized treatment plans to accommodate your individual condition and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.

 

While wrist conditions and injuries sometimes require surgical intervention, our wrist doctors only consider surgical treatment options after nonsurgical methods have proven unsuccessful. If surgery is necessary for you to make a full recovery, our wrist doctors will use the safest and latest surgical methods proven to ensure optimal outcomes.

 

THE HAND

 

Pain in the hand can be caused by a wide range of issues, from a condition that has developed over time, such as carpal tunnel or arthritis, to a traumatic injury, such as a fracture or sprain. In some cases, and if not detected early, conditions such as carpal tunnel may progress and worsen, causing severe pain and even immobility in the fingers, thumb, hand, and forearm. Lingering pain in the hand is often the result of a condition that has developed over time. It may be time to seek medical treatment from a hand specialist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

 

  • Increased hand and arm discomfort

  • Pain in the fingers while carrying, gripping, grasping, or twisting objects

  • Swelling and discomfort in the hand or afflicted joint

  • Changes in range of motion in the surrounding joints (for instance, if you are experiencing thumb joint pain, your adjacent finger joints may become more mobile than usual)

  • Warmth and/or redness in the hand, palm, and fingers

  • Numbness, tingling, or throbbing of the hand while resting or sleeping

  • A sensation of grating or grinding in the affected joint

  • The development of cysts on the end joints of your fingers

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Our hand specialists at Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery understand that pain in the hand can disrupt your lifestyle and make simple, everyday activities difficult. Our doctors are committed to developing customized treatment plans to accommodate your individual condition and get you back to your active lifestyle quickly and safely.