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Description of the Symptom

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Wrist and hand pain, as discussed in this chapter, includes diffuse/general wrist and hand pain, central wrist pain, radial wrist pain, ulnar wrist pain, dorsal hand pain, palmar hand pain, and digit pain. Local causes of wrist and hand pain are defined as pathology that occurs within the distal one-quarter of the radius and ulna, carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges; component articulations of the wrist and hand; and associated soft tissue structures. Remote causes are defined as those occurring outside this region.

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Special Concerns

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  • Decreased pulses

  • Fracture with suspected skin break

  • Pain in bilateral hands provoked with cervical movements

  • Pain out of proportion to the injury

  • Severe edema following trauma in areas with fascial muscle compartments

  • Skin break and fever

  • Sudden or progressive paresthesia or loss of sensation associated with trauma

  • Warmth and swelling associated with a fever or purulent drainage

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CHAPTER PREVIEW: Conditions That May Lead to Wrist and Hand Pain

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