Hand & Wrist Pain

We offer exceptional care and comprehensive treatment options for hand and wrist pain.

Check out our orthopedic resources for more information about joint care and connect with our experienced health professionals.

Comprehensive and Personalized Care for Hand and Wrist Pain

The hands and wrists play a vital role in performing everyday functions, from driving to household chores. Injuries or disorders of the hand and wrist can significantly impact a person's life if left undiagnosed and untreated.

The experienced orthopedic team at Los Alamitos Medical Center uses treatment options that help target the source of hand and wrist problems. Let's help you get back to living your life to the fullest. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons treat a range of hand and wrist conditions from carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis and bursitis.

To help ensure you get an accurate diagnosis, we start with imaging. Our team will then work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your unique needs. Nonsurgical options are the first line of treatment, including pain management and physical therapy. Our goal is to get you back to a pain-free life as conservatively as possible.

If nonsurgical options and medications do not work for you, our orthopedic surgeons have the experience needed to perform minimally invasive procedures.

Hand and Wrist Conditions Treated

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow and rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand. It houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. The median nerve controls the sensations and movements of the fingers, except the little finger. A compressed median nerve causes numbness, weakness or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist. Some people may also feel discomfort in the forearm and arm.

Carpal tunnel symptoms usually start gradually and often first appear in one or both hands at night. Many people find that their symptoms come and go at first. The following are symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Burning, numbness, pain and tingling in one or both hands, primarily in the thumb and index, middle and ring fingers
  • Pain and tingling sensation that travels up the forearm toward the shoulder
  • Difficulty in performing specific movements, such as buttoning clothes and making a fist
  • Problems with gripping objects with one or both hands

Some tests help doctors measure how well your median nerve is working and whether you have other nerve conditions that might be contributing to your symptoms. The following are some of the tests performed to evaluate the median nerve for signs of compression:

  • Electrophysiological tests that may include nerve conduction studies or electromyogram (EMG)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans


Although carpal tunnel syndrome is gradual, people with this condition need to be evaluated and diagnosed early on to slow down or stop the progression of the disease. Carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen over time without some form of treatment.

Nonsurgical treatment options:

  • Bracing or splinting
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Making changes to your worksite or workstation
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help the median nerve move more freely within the confines of the carpal tunnel
  • Steroid injections, such as corticosteroid or cortisone

Doctors perform carpal tunnel release if conservative approaches and medications fail to treat the symptoms.

Surgical treatment options:

  • Open carpal tunnel release – Surgeons make a small incision in the palm of your hand to look inside your hand and wrist. The procedure increases the tunnel’s size and decreases pressure on the median nerve.
  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release - Small incisions are made, called portals, so surgeons can insert a miniature camera attached to an endoscope inside your hand and wrist to divide the roof of the carpal tunnel, similar to the open carpal tunnel release procedure

What Is Tendinitis?

A tendon is a thick, flexible band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. Tendons help your muscles move your bones. Tendinitis, also called tendonitis, are severely inflamed tendons after repeated injury to an area such as the wrist or ankle. This condition causes pain and soreness around a joint. Some forms of tendinitis take on the names of certain sports that increase their risk, including:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer's elbow
  • Pitcher's shoulder
  • Swimmer's shoulder
  • Jumper's knee

The condition is prevalent among people who do the same movements every day or stress their joints like carpenters, musicians and athletes. Tendinitis is also common in adults over the age of 40. Other factors that cause tendinitis are:

  • Bad posture or walking habits
  • Infection
  • Stress on soft tissue from an abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone (such as leg length differences or joint deformities)
  • Conditions such as arthritis, gout, thyroid disease and diabetes
  • Side effects from certain medications on rare occasions


Your doctor may ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination to make a diagnosis. Doctors perform the following tests to locate the source of the swelling and help rule out other problems:

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Taking fluid from the swollen area to test for an infection
  • Injecting an anesthetic to see if the pain goes away

If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend the following treatments to reduce pain and inflammation and preserve mobility:

  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE)
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Splints, braces or slings
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medicines
  • Corticosteroid injections, which are injected directly into a joint
  • Surgery

Tendinitis may go away once the activities that cause the problem are avoided or modified. If the condition worsens, you may need specialized treatment from a rheumatologist, an orthopedic surgeon or a physical therapist. Keep in mind that tendinitis doesn't result in permanent joint damage or disability if appropriately treated.

What Is Bursitis?

A bursa is a small jelly-like structure that cushions joints between a bone and other moving parts, such as muscles, tendons or skin. The strategic location of these fluid-filled sacs helps reduce friction between bones and soft tissue. Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa due to overused joints or repetitive movements, but an injury can also cause it.

Symptoms include swelling, tenderness and pain in areas around the affected joint. People with bursitis may find it difficult to move the affected joint through its full range of motion. Symptoms vary depending on the joint involved. Bursitis, like tendinitis, often results from sports injuries and other factors, such as infection, bad posture and underlying conditions.


Bursitis may go away with rest and home remedies, such as applying a hot or cold compress on the affected joint. If symptoms continue, your doctor may recommend treatments to reduce the pain and inflammation to help with mobility. Treatment options may include the following:

  • Splints and braces
  • Medications, such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Surgery, if symptoms persist between six months to a year

Why Choose Los Alamitos Medical Center for Your Hand and Wrist Pain?

Don't ignore your hand or wrist pain. Our experienced orthopedic doctors can help.

We offer a comprehensive range of orthopedic services at our Orthopedic Destination Center combined with the experienced and compassionate team of nurses, doctors and staff. We are committed to providing exceptional care to the communities we serve in Orange County and the Greater Long Beach area.

Los Alamitos Medical Center offers personalized treatment and joint technology for your peace of mind. When you choose Los Alamitos Medical Center, you will benefit from:

  • Comprehensive orthopedic care
  • Nonsurgical and robot-assisted minimally invasive treatment options
  • Comprehensive and customized medical treatment plans
Insurance Accepted

Los Alamitos Medical Center accepts various insurance plans and offers options for payment plan flexibility so you can get the quality care you need when you need it the most. Our dedicated staff is available to answer your questions about your insurance coverage and financial arrangements. Call us at 562-598-1311 or see this page for your billing and insurance questions. If you have specific questions about your coverage, please contact your insurance provider directly.

Find an Orthopedic Doctor in Orange County

Is there a surgery you've been putting off? Are you experiencing pain or discomfort from an undiagnosed condition or injury?

Los Alamitos Medical Center is your destination for joint care in Orange County and the Greater Long Beach area. Speak with one of our experienced orthopedic doctors at Los Alamitos Medical Center for proper diagnosis and advice on the best orthopedic options for your bones, joints and muscles. Please see this page to request an orthopedic doctor referral today. If it's an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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