Human adults have a total of 64 upper extremity bones in their shoulders, arms and hands, representing one third of all the bones in the body. Each limb from shoulder to fingers is flexed and extended by 28 muscles. Factor in the tendons, nerves, arteries and veins and one can understand why there are so many conditions that impact the hands and upper extremities.
Many conditions are specific to one portion of the hand and arm. Many are general conditions that may impact one or more. Regardless of their classification, patients find answers about their conditions and relief through expert treatment at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Location-Specific Upper Extremity Conditions
From fingertip to shoulder, our physicians provide expert care for the most common to the most rare conditions. Learn more about:
- Shoulder conditions, such as rotator cuff injury, labral tears and brachial plexus injury
- Elbow and wrist conditions, such as tennis elbow, cubital tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, ligament injury, deQuervain's tendinitis, elbow tendinitis and injuries
- Hand and finger conditions, such as Dupuytren’s contracture, absent thumb, trigger finger, syndactyly, hand injuries, thumb injuries and finger injuries
General Upper Extremity Conditions
Many conditions can cause pain and immobility throughout the arm and hands. These conditions include:
- Congenital differences – conditions present from birth including shortened limbs, absent (aplastic) thumb or fingers, radial club hand, supernumerary digits and syndactyly. These conditions can be managed with expert treatment by the hand and upper extremity surgeons and therapists at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, in collaboration with Children’s Wisconsin.
- Dislocation of joints
- Fractures – caused by incidents such as sports injuries, falls and motor vehicle crashes
- Gout – a hereditary disorder that results in excessive uric acid in the blood, which can lead to the formation of crystals that accumulate in joints and cause severe pain
- Injuries and trauma – caused by bites, burns, amputations and nerve, bone and joint damage
- Osteoarthritis – a disease of the joints in which the cartilage that cushions the space between bone surfaces begins to wear out
- Repetitive use (cumulative trauma) – recurring motions over a long period of time that result in damage to the nerves, tendons, arteries and muscles of the upper limb and hand
- Rheumatoid arthritis – a condition that develops when the body’s immune system attacks and damages joints
- Tendinitis – inflammation of the cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones, causing irritation, swelling, pain and discomfort
- Tumors, non-cancerous