Dr. Vitale Directs Hand Specialty Conference

ONS hand and wrist surgeon Dr. Mark Vitale served as co-director with Dr. Alex Shin, director of the Mayo Clinic hand surgery fellowship, for the 2017 Mayo Clinic Hand Surgery Conference, which was held at the main campus of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN from May 11th to 13th..

Dr. Vitale and Dr. Shin coordinated and moderated several discussions, symposia and debates among the annual gathering of national hand surgery specialists.  Some topics that were discussed included wide awake hand surgery, new research into causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, advances in nerve reconstruction in the hand and upper extremity, and new methods of scapholunate ligament reconstruction of the wrist.

The conference welcomed guest keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Stern, former chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Cincinnati, and speaker Dr. Ed Athanasian, a Mayo Clinic alumni and renowned specialist in hand and upper extremity tumor reconstruction at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Dr. Vitale, a 2012 graduate of the Mayo Clinic Fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery, remarked, “This conference was a special opportunity for me to give something back to the very place where I was fortunate to train to be a hand surgeon.  It provided a valuable forum for hand surgeons from around the country to discuss advances, research and observations to further our field of expertise. I think we are all excited to move forward in building similar programs in the future.”

Solutions for Hand, Wrist and Elbow Pain

Tips to manage chronic hand, wrist and elbow pain.

Chronic upper extremity pain affects as much as 20% of the population at any given time and can lead to significant disability and time away from work and activities. It can originate anywhere from the neck to the fingertips and can have a wide range of underlying causes from nerve compression and ligament injury to degenerative arthritis. Learn about common causes of hand, wrist and elbow pain, ways to lower your risk of developing it, and strategies to keep the pain under control at this informative discussion by ONS orthopedic surgeon, Matt Cantlon, MD, a specialist in upper extremity conditions. There will be time for audience questions following the presentation.  Free.  Registration required. Call 203.863.4277 or register online at greenwichhospital.org

Treatments for Tennis Elbow

ONS DR. DAVID WEI TALKS ON TREATMENT FOR TENNIS ELBOW. 

Tennis season is in full swing and so are the risks of overuse injuries such as Tennis Elbow.

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Tennis Elbow typically happens when a repetitive swinging motion pulls on the extensor tendons that connect the muscles in the forearm to the elbow, creating microscopic tears. Despite its name, there are many types of activities that can injure these tendons, especially those involving repetitive wrist motion. Although it continues to be a mystery as to why some patients develop Tennis Elbow while others are not affected, we do know that the end result is an abnormal change in the quality of the tendon itself, called angiofibroblastic hyperplasia.

Typical symptoms are pain along the outer side of the elbow with wrist motion and with gripping. The pain can be especially exacerbated by activities involving lifting objects with your elbow extended and the palm of your hand facing downward.

Recent data suggests that nearly all cases may resolve spontaneously, and the mainstay of treatment always begins with non-operative options. Avoiding aggravating activities or modifying the way you perform them can help decrease pain. For instance, lift things closer to your body, with your palms up. A splint or a counterforce brace can also help by relieving the strain on the tendon. In some cases, a physical therapy program and possibly injections will help the condition.

Most people don’t require surgery for Tennis Elbow. If, however, non-operative measures fail and the pain persists beyond six months, it may be time to consider surgery to repair the damaged tendons. Recovery time from surgery is relatively fast, but the tendons need time to regenerate, requiring approximately six to eight weeks.

Dr. Wei discusses tennis elbow in greater detail in this video.