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Melinda Garcia- Schalow
Orthopedic Hand & Wrist Surgery
Covenant Medical Group
4102 24th St Ste 407



I have a round knot that just came up on the back of my wrist.  What could this be?

 This knot may be a ganglion cyst, a common lump within the hand and wrist that occurs adjacent to the joints or tendons.  The cause of these cysts is unknown although they may form in the presence of mechanical changes in the joint or tendon.  These cysts may change size or even disappear completely or may or may not be painful.    Non-surgical treatment includes observation, splints, or anti-inflammatory medications if the cyst is painful.  Aspiration may be performed but recurrence is common.  If non-surgical options fail, cyst recurs, or becomes painful then surgical removal of the cyst can be completed.  Your hand surgeon can diagnosis and discuss treatment options for your wrist lump. 


What is a mallet finger?

A mallet finger is when the fingertip drops downward and you cannot straighten it out on its own.  This happens when the tendon that straightens your finger out is damaged by something striking the tip of your finger causing it to bend forcefully, resulting in a tear in the tendon, or even a bone fracture.  The finger may be painful, swollen and bruised, especially if there is a fracture present too.  X-rays are needed to determine if a fracture is present.  Nonsurgical treatment includes splinting.  Surgical treatment may be required if there is a fracture with large bone fragments or in children where the cartilage that controls bone growth has been damaged. 


The knuckles on my hand are getting big and painful.  What could this be?

The large joints at the base of each finger are the metacarpophalangeal joints, known as the knuckles.  A joint has cartilage where the two bones meet.  When the cartilage is damaged, arthritis can result, causing enlargement of knuckles and pain.  Two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis) and rheumatoid arthritis.  Osteoarthritis results when the cartilage is steadily worn away.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that causes inflammation of the soft-tissue surrounding joints.  The most common arthritis affecting these larger joints at the base of the fingers is osteoarthritis.  Nonsurgical treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medications, joint supplements, steroid injections, therapy, ice and heat treatment, and occupational therapy.  Surgical treatment consists of joint replacement. Your hand surgeon can help you determine the best treatment for your hand arthritis pain.


I accidently cut the side of my finger on glass 2 weeks ago and now that side of my finger and finger tip is numb, why?

When a finger has had trauma by a cut, pressure, or stretching it can result in damage to the nerves.  Nerves are fragile, very small in the fingers, and can be damaged easily.   This damage slows or prevents a nerve from signaling and working properly.  Nerve fibers allow you to have feeling in your fingers.  Cutting of a nerve results in the nerve fibers being broken which causes a loss of feeling.  Pressure or stretching in a nerve can cause the fibers of the nerve to be damaged causing pain, tingling, burning, difficult or limited movement and weakness.  Surgery, at times requiring a microscope, is needed to repair a cut nerve. 




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