Our wrist and hand consultants will firstly look to get an in-depth understanding of the history of your problem, including factors such as the severity, the mechanism of any injuries as well as occupational or lifestyle factors which may predispose you to specific conditions.
Associated symptoms such as clicking, clunking, swelling or instability in the wrist or hand can often also give important to aid with diagnosis.
Possible diagnoses will be examined by specifically testing each structure in the wrist and hand. This may entail a number of specialist techniques, including:
- Recognising characteristic signs of inflammation or arthritis
- Palpation (feeling the tissues under the skin to assess for pain)
- Range of motion tests
- Special tests which specifically stress the ligaments and stability of the wrist
- Resistance tests to check the power of the muscles and tendons
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Diagnostic tests can be requested and examined by our wrist and hand surgeons and, if needed, our radiology consultants.
Due to the complex anatomy of the wrist and hand, several tests may be required to examine different aspects of the injury in question before a management plan is drawn up. These tests can include:
- X-rays: useful when assessing fractures to the wrist and hand. Commonly, specialised views may be required to examine the small bones at the base of the hand. X-rays can also be used to determine the extent of any degenerative changes to the joints.
- MRI scans: the imaging modality of choice when inspecting soft tissue such as the ligaments, triangular fibrocartilage (TFCC) of the wrist joint and the tendons of the forearm and hand. In some cases, MRI scans may also be requested when X-rays have not sufficiently excluded a fracture.
- Ultrasound scans: useful when assessing tendon tears or inflammation and fluid within the tendon sheath (tissue around the tendons). Cysts and lumps (known as ganglions) are often best imaged under ultrasound, enabling your consultant to best establish the nature of these problems.
The right treatment for you, always
You will always be given space and time to talk about how your symptoms have affected you. Your individual goals, whether sporting or non-sporting, will also be thoroughly discussed in order to determine the best possible management plan.
As well as offering the best possible surgical outcomes, our hand and wrist surgeons are also able to administer image-guided injections or refer on for rehabilitation with our specialist physiotherapists or hand therapists when needed.