The human hand is the last part or as medically called, the most distal part of the upper limb and has evolved to perform large number of functions that our closest species like the chimpanzees are not able to perform. Humans or the modern homo sapiens have a very strong thumb when compared to other fingers. Very high manual dexterity is achieved in humans when compared to other apes as humans have longer, flexible thumbs and shorter palms and fingers. The evolution of bipedalism (walking on two feet) as opposed to walking on all the four limbs has permitted to use the hands freely to use tools and thus led to its unique evolution. 

The thumb is the most interesting part in the human hand. It is in opposition of the other four fingers and helps to provide a tighter and precise grip on objects. This characteristic grip is called the pincer grip. The importance of thumb can be understood by its specific representation in the brain cortex. A very large area is attributed for the thumb in the brain. So the tactile feedback can be felt in each part of the thumb. Even though the trunk is a large area, its representation in the brain is quite less and hence it becomes difficult to even discern the exact location of itching in the back.

The hand is composed of specific bones to which various muscles and structures that are responsible for drainage and innervation are attached. Wrist, which forms an important part of the hand, is quite a complex structure and performs many functions. Fingers contain many nerve endings and thus are the richest source of tactile feedback. The hands are controlled by the opposite brain hemispheres. Hands possess the greatest positioning capability of the body and hence the sense of touch is intimately associated with hands. 

Many conditions affect the hand as it is richly supplied with nerves and is composed of many bones. The usual symptoms in the hand are pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, or problems moving the affected hand. The usual symptoms arise because of injury or damage to any of the structures of the hand which includes bones, joints, tendons, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, connective tissue, skin or fingernails.

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NOTE: Above More accurate treatment cost estimates can be provided if medical reports are emailed to us or after the patient is examined by doctors after arrival at hospital in India and medical tests are done after admission.

Frequently asked questions about Hand

What are the functions of the hands?

The function of the hand is to grip, grasp and form precise movements, e.g. writing and sewing. The evolution of bipedalism (walking on two limbs) caused unique evolution of the hand and enabled it to perform highly complex functions which the closest relatives of humans, the apes, cannot perform.

What are the signs and symptoms of broken hand?

The signs and symptoms of broken hand are as below:

  • Severe pain that might worsen when gripping or squeezing or moving the affected hand
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Obvious deformity, such as a crooked finger
  • Stiffness or inability to move fingers or thumb
  • Numbness in hand or fingers
What are the Complications of a broken hand?

The complications of broken hand are usually rare and include:

  • Stiffness, pain or disability. 
  • Osteoarthritis. Fractures that extend into a joint can cause arthritis years later
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage. Trauma to the hand can injure adjacent nerves and blood vessels.
What are the various types of grip?

The function of the hand is to precisely grip and perform the intricate functions. The grasping power is also strong in humans when compared to apes because the thumb is in opposition of other fingers. Also the thumb is larger when compared to the other fingers and the palm.

Hammer grip- This grip is formed by bending all of the fingers into the palm, and bending of the thumb, to lie outside the palm. 

Baseball batter grip- both hands hold the cylindrical object with thumb lying outside the gripped hand

Precision grip (tip to tip)- The tip to tip connection of the fingers is caused by bending of the fingers, with bending and opposition of the thumb to touch the tip of the finger with the thumb

Lateral Prehension

Key grip- it involves the thumb and the fingers middle bone to hold the object mostly the key.

Hook grip- All the finger take part except the thumb is usually not involved eg holding a bag handle

Tripod (pen) grip- the thumb index finger and the middle finger come together to hold the object.

Which are the types of hand injuries?

The types of hand injuries are as below:

  • Severed fingertips
  • Finger and hand fractures
  • Wrist fractures
  • Tendon injuries

How do you prevent hand injuries?

Below are some of the ways which will help to prevent the injuries of the hand as below:

  • Avoiding fine motor or heavyweight works after having antihistaminic or other similar medications
  • Concentrating on the work while using sharp tools
  • Being careful on slippery surfaces so that you don’t fall with the palms open

When should the patient visit the doctor for pain in the hand?
A person should see a doctor for severe, persistent, or reoccurring pain in the hands or wrists. If one has an injury to the hand or arm along with the following symptoms:
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Color changes
  • Pain
  • Drainage
  • Unusual position
  • Continued inability to move
  • Difficulty or pain with motion

What Is a Wrist/Hand Sprain?

When the ligaments of the hand or specifically the wrist are stretched beyond their limits, that which happens when a person falls with an outstretched hand, or get torn, wrist/hand sprain occurs. The recovery usually takes quite a long time as the ligaments are not very richly supplied with blood.

How do you know if you have damaged a tendon in your hand?

If the extensor tendons are damaged, it will be difficult to straighten one or more fingers. If the flexor tendons are damaged, it would be difficult to bend one or more fingers. Tendon damage can also cause pain and swelling (inflammation) in your hand.

The most common signs of a flexor tendon injury include:

  • An open injury, such as a cut, on the palm side of your hand, often where the skin folds as the finger bends
  • An inability to bend one or more joints of your finger
  • Pain when your finger is bent
  • Tenderness along your finger on the palm side of your hand
  • Numbness in your fingertip

Symptoms of Extensor Tendon Injuries

  • Inability to straighten the fingers or extend the wrist.
  • Pain and swelling in fingertip.
  • Recent trauma or laceration to the hand.
  • Drooping of the end joint of the finger.
What is hand surgery?

Hand surgery covers many different types of procedures.

Hand reconstructive surgery may be done for many reasons, including:

  • Hand injuries
  • Rheumatic diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, that change and damage the structures in the hand
  • Degenerative changes to the structures in the hand
  • Problems or defects of the hand that are present at birth, or congenital
  • Infections of the hand

What causes Stiff hands?

A variety of problems can cause stiff hands, limiting the use and function that we often take for granted. Some of these problems may include:

  • Arthritis
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Trigger finger- is a common condition and can cause a stiff finger.  swelling, from any number of causes, the tendon can catch at the opening of the tunnel through which it slides.
  • Dupuytrens contracture- causes a contracture or bending of the fingers into the palm.
  • Bad sprains

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The types of ailments that the hands are susceptible include:

  • Arthritis
  • Deformities like polydactyly(a condition in which a person is born with extra fingers or toes), syndactyly(a condition wherein two or more digits are fused together.)
  • Nerve disorders usually ulnar, median nerve
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fractured bones usually scaphoid fracture and boxers fracture
  • Sprains, strains, cuts, and bruises

Dupuytren's contracture, a condition in which fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be straightened

Treatment: Rest, icing, using a splint to support and aid proper positioning may fix the problem. Over-the-counter pain medications can ease the pain. Physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles and mobilise the joints. Steroid shots which are basically corticosteroid injections at the site of pain often help relieve symptoms. Surgery is recommended if other treatments fail.

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