A woman’s body undergoes many changes to prepare and provide care for bringing a new child into the world. During these times surrounding pregnancy and the birth of a new child, a woman undergoes changes in hormonal balance, body fluid levels and weight. What many women don’t realize is that these natural dynamic processes contribute to common pregnancy related hand and wrist issues. Although many of these problems can resolve once the pregnancy and postpartum period is over, the great news is that there are great nonoperative treatment options to help tackle the problem head on if they become unbearable during the pregnancy/post-partum phase.
Two common hand/wrist problems encountered in pregnant/post-partum patients are:
- Dequervain’s tenosynovitis (often referred to me by patients as “mommy thumb””
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Dequervain’s tenosynovitis (“mommy thumb”) is an inflammation of extensor tendons that help control movement of your thumb. Different extensor tendons across the wrist run in different tunnels to get to their target to move the wrist and/or fingers. There is a common area in the first tunnel housing the tendons involved in dequervain’s tenosynovitis where the tendons can get impinged. Common symptoms include dull or even sharp pain on the thumb side of the wrist with different movements of the thumb and hand. Rest/intermittent splint use can help, as can a cortisone (anti-inflammatory medication) injection. If the symptoms continue to recur, a day surgery procedure can resolve it completely. However, during pregnancy, cortisone injection can be safely done in the office on the same day as your appointment, and often times, the symptoms improve significantly after a short period of rest/splint use.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve at the level of the wrist in the carpal canal. This condition is common in the time surrounding a pregnancy because body fluid status changes occur. Common symptoms can include a dull aching wrist pain or numbness/tingling and even sharp “electric shock like” pain at the thumb sided fingers in your hand. Again, rest/intermittent splint use can help. Cortisone injection is also a great safe treatment option that can be provided in the office on the same day as your appointment. Cortisone injection into the carpal canal can help relieve your symptoms from carpal tunnel syndrome until your perinatal/post-partum period is over. Similar to dequervain’s tenosynovitis, a day surgery procedure can be done to relieve the compression of the nerve completely if symptoms continue to recur or worsen despite the normalization of your hormonal and body fluid levels.
At Michele Y. Yoon, M.D., PLLC, we’re able to provide safe and effective treatment options for your dequervain’s or carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms on the same day as your consultation. Contact Dr. Michele Yoon’s office today to schedule your appointment.