Hand and Upper Extremity

Amazing flexibility makes our shoulders so versatile and yet so unstable. The elbow is a complex joint that coordinates the movement of the three large bones of the upper extremity. When these vulnerable joints are injured, our lifestyle suffers. From the repair of rotator cuff injuries, to total shoulder replacement surgery, to elbow reconstruction, our upper extremity specialists offer thorough knowledge and experience to restore your shoulder and elbow function.

When the hand is affected by injury or disease, a person’s quality of life can be significantly compromised. Given that our hands are in constant motion – reaching, grasping, carrying and releasing – they are regularly exposed to a number of dangers. They are also susceptible to over-use injuries, such as tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. Whether your hand problem results from trauma associated with new injuries, complications of old injuries, arthritic conditions, nerve compression disorders or abnormal growths, you can depend on our hand and wrist specialists to treat your condition with expertise and care.
Robert B. Blake, M.D.
Fellowship Trained in Hand Surgery, Upper Extremity Care
Richard N. Vinglas, M.D.
Fellowship Trained in Hand Surgery, Upper Extremity Care
1.
 What happens during rotator cuff surgery?
Shoulder surgery for rotator cuff problems usually involves one or more of the following procedures: debridement, subacromial decompression, rotator cuff repair.

Debridement clears damaged tissue out of the shoulder joint.

Subacromial decompression involves shaving bone or removing spurs underneath the tip of the shoulder blade (acromion). This creates more room in the space between the end of the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone so that the rotator cuff tendon is not pinched and can glide smoothly.

If the rotator cuff tendon is torn, it is sewn together and reattached to the top of the upper arm bone.
2.
 What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the term used to describe a specific group of symptoms (tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain) in the fingers or hand and occasionally in the lower arm and elbow. These symptoms occur when there is pressure on a nerve (median nerve) within the wrist (carpal tunnel). Carpal tunnel syndrome develops over time because of repetitive hand motions that damage muscle and bone in the wrist area.
3.
 What is tennis elbow?
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow, is inflammation of the tendon that connects the muscles of the forearm, wrist, and hand to the upper arm at the elbow. The tendon on the bony outside (lateral) part of the elbow (the epicondyle) is most often irritated by overuse during physical activity.
1450 Ellis Street, Suite 201, Bozeman, MT 59715 • ph: 406.587.0122