Hand & Arm Care

Pain in your hands and arms can make it difficult to do daily activities or hobbies you love. UNM Health’s hand and arm specialists can help you find relief.

Here, you will get the most advanced care in New Mexico. We offer medication, physical therapy and surgery to restore motion and function. Our team of more than 25 orthopaedic surgeons treats all types of conditions, from traumatic injuries to sports-related pain and carpal tunnel.

Schedule a visit for arm, shoulder or hand pain today. The earlier we see you, the better your outcomes can be.

Conditions We Treat

Pain and numbness in the wrist and fingers may be due to carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel runs along the palm side of you hand and wrist. This condition occurs when the median nerve inside the tunnel become compressed due to overuse or repetitive motion.

Over 3 million cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. Most patients get relief and healing through physical therapy, wrist splinting, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or pain relief injections. Surgery is typically reserved for the most severe cases.

One of the most common shoulder injuries is to the rotator cuff, which consists of four tendons that attach to four muscles in the shoulder. These tendons help keep the shoulder stable in its socket and enable it to rotate.

It is possible to tear the cuff through physical trauma or repetitive motion injuries such as swimming or throwing a ball. Surgery is often recommended for rotator cuff tears to limit the risk of future tears or further damage.

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in and around the shoulder
  • Pain that radiates into the neck, arm, wrist or hand
  • Pain that worsens at night or that interrupts sleep
  • Weakness of the shoulder
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping, creaking or cracking sensation or sound in the shoulder

Your doctor might recommend some or all of these tests to diagnose your injury:

  • CT scan
  • Electromyogram
  • Health history with physical examination
  • MRI
  • Neurological exam
  • X-rays

We also use these tests to diagnose other shoulder issues such as tendinitis or arthritis. If your shoulder issue is more severe, your doctor might recommend total joint replacement.

This painful condition is caused by overworked elbow tendons. It typically occurs through repetitive wrist and arm motions (such as swinging a tennis racket).

Tennis elbow causes pain primarily where the forearm muscles attach to the prominent bones of the elbow. The pain and potential weakness can radiate from the elbow to the wrist. You may feel pain when shaking hands, picking up small objects or pulling up a blanket in bed.

Diagnosis includes a physical examination and sometimes additional tests to rule out other conditions. Your doctor may prescribe any or all of the following to treat you:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to stretch and strengthen your affected muscles
  • Braces to reduce strain on the injured muscle tissue
  • Surgery, which is a last case option after other treatments have failed to improve your condition after a year of trying

Make an Appointment

Schedule an appointment with a UNM orthopaedic doctor. Call 505-272-4866.