Finger pain, although affecting a small area, can be debilitating. Many activities of daily living require the use of our hands, and when the fingers are in pain, it can make everyday tasks quite difficult. You may also find it difficult to work or play sports. It’s essential to get to the bottom of your finger pain to find relief and get back to your everyday life. If you experience finger pain, you should go to an orthopedist near you.
Diagnosing Your Finger Pain
Orthopedists are medical doctors specially trained in diagnosing and treating bone, joint, and muscle problems. They can help you determine the cause of your finger pain and develop a treatment plan to address it.
There are many possible causes of finger pain, and an orthopedist will be able to help you sort through them. It could be something as simple as a strained muscle or tendon connecting muscles to bones. Or, it could be something more serious, like arthritis or a fracture. No matter what the cause of your finger pain is, an orthopedist can help you find relief.
How Orthopedists Diagnose Finger Pain
Orthopedists use a variety of methods to diagnose finger pain. They will first take a thorough look at your medical history and ask about your lifestyle and symptoms. Your provider will also perform a physical examination, during which they will check for swelling, redness, tenderness, and deformity. Your orthopedist may inspect your range of motion by having you move your fingers in different ways, too.
After the physical examination, your provider may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. These tests can help to rule out certain conditions and confirm others. For example, X-rays can show fractures, while MRIs can help diagnose problems with the tendons, ligaments, or muscles. CT scans can give more detailed images of bones.
Once the orthopedist has all of the information they need, they will be able to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
The Most Common Causes Of Finger Pain
Some of the most common causes of finger pain include:
- Osteoarthritis – a type of arthritis that occurs when the cartilage cushioning the bones breaks down
- Fractures – a break in the bone, which can occur after an injury from a fall or overuse from playing sports
- Strains – a stretched or torn muscle or tendon
- Sprains – the stretching or tearing of a ligament
- Tendinitis – the inflammation of a tendon that can result from overuse or injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – the compression of the median nerve passing through the wrist
Recommending A Treatment Plan
Treatment for finger pain will vary depending on the underlying cause. For example, if the pain is due to a strain or tendinitis, your orthopedist may recommend simple home treatments. Examples include applying ice over your affected finger and taking over-the-counter pain medication. If the pain is due to arthritis, they may prescribe more potent medication or suggest surgery.
Other common treatments for finger pain include:
- Physical therapy – uses exercise and other modalities to stretch and strengthen the affected joint to improve range of motion and reduce pain
- Splinting or bracing – immobilizes the joint and allows it to heal
- Steroid injections – can help to reduce inflammation and pain
- Surgery – may be necessary to repair a damaged joint or tendon
If needed, your provider will recommend a surgical procedure fit for your condition. Some examples include:
- Joint replacement surgery – the use of artificial implants to replace your damaged joint
- Tendon repair – the reattachment of damaged tissue
- Arthroscopy – uses small incisions and an instrument with a camera attached
Orthopedic Doctor In Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, & Fulton, MD
If you are experiencing finger pain, an orthopedist can help. They will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. Once the orthopedist has all of the information they need, they will be able to make a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
If you’re looking for an orthopedic doctor in Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, and Fulton, look no further than The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics. Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained providers are dedicated to helping patients relieve their finger pain and other orthopedic issues. If you want to learn more, you may call our friendly staff at (410) 644-1880 or book a consultation using our appointment request form.