Clinical Assessment and Diagnostics of Patients With Hand Disorders: A Case Study Approach

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Clinical assessment of the hand is important for diagnosing underlying hand disorders. Using a case study approach, the clinical assessment for three disorders of the hands is presented: trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis), carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar-sided wrist injury (styloid impingement). We assess the annular one pulley and finger range of motion for patients with trigger finger. To diagnose for carpal tunnel syndrome, assessment for Tinel's sign, Phalen's sign, abductor pollicis brevis muscle bulk, two-point discrimination, and obtaining a nerve conduction study are performed. Assessment for ulnar-sided wrist injury includes wrist range of motion, assessment of distal radial ulnar joint stability, provocation tests, grip strength, x-ray, and magnetic resonance imaging. This article begins with a description of the hand and wrist anatomy. For each case study, the clinical history is described, followed by a discussion of the pathophysiology, clinical assessments, and diagnostic tests.

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