When you first meet with your Consultant, they will talk with you about your symptoms and when they started. They will discuss your medical history and ask you some questions to help clarify possible causes of your symptoms. These may be:
- Have your symptoms have been getting progressively worse over time?
- If you have pain, what is it like? (For example, is it sharp or dull; constant or sporadic?)
- Is the pain in one specific place or is it spreading more generally around the hand or wrist?
- Was there was an obvious trigger for the problem, such as a fall onto an outstretched hand?
- Are there any obvious movements or actions that cause your symptoms to get worse?
Once they have talked with you, they will carry out a physical examination of your hand and wrist, moving them around into various positions and asking you to perform some simple movements. This helps them to assess the extent of the problem.
Additional tests may be needed to assist with diagnosis. This will often be an X-ray of your hand and wrist to confirm or exclude any abnormality in the bones.
Additional scans like MRI and ultrasound can sometimes also be helpful, particularly when assessing problems involving the tendons, ligaments, muscles or nerves. We have comprehensive diagnostic capabilities and any of these scans can easily be arranged for you on-site should you require them.
The medical history, physical examination and the results of any diagnostic tests are used by your Consultant to help them make a diagnosis.
Once they know the exact cause of your symptoms, they will discuss any suitable treatment options with you.