Hand & Wrist
The hand and wrist consist of dozens of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that need to work together seamlessly for even simple activities. A number of conditions can make everyday tasks challenging and painful. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, picking up a child, or carrying groceries, the pain does not have to last.
Although the shoulder is the most moveable joint in the body, it is unstable because the ball (the humerus) is larger than the socket (the glenoid) that holds it. To maintain stability, the bones of the shoulder are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons are tough cords of tissue that attach muscles to bone, and ligaments attach bones to each other for stability.
Three bones come together to make up the elbow joint (Figure 4). The humerus bone is in the upper part of the arm and attaches to the two bones of the forearm (ulna and radius). Each of these bones has a very distinct shape. Ligaments connect all three bones together. As muscles contract and relax, two unique motions can occur at the elbow:
To a large extent, these spinal disorders are not problems in themselves. The trouble starts when they put pressure on the nearby nerve roots or spinal cord, causing pain, numbness, or even paralysis in the limbs. Pinched nerves can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery, with the aim being to relieve pressure on the nerve by increasing the space around it.
Your hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, formed by the ball, or femoral head, at the upper end of the thighbone, and the rounded socket, or acetabulum, in the pelvis. The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth, tough material called cartilage. Normal cartilage cushions the bones and allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. The rest of the surfaces of the joint are covered by a thin, smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that acts as a lubricant to reduce friction and wear in the joint.
The knee is a complicated joint which is made up of muscle, tendons, ligaments, and bones. These components permit it to move in a number of directions enabling us to sit, stand, walk, climb stairs, and change direction (pivot). There are three bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (knee cap). The surface of the ends of these bones is covered in cartilage. A cartilage pad, called the meniscus, sits between the femur and the tibia.
Foot and Ankle
The foot and ankle are two of the most versatile and complex areas of your body. One foot alone contains 26 bones supported by a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When everything is working well, you hardly give them a thought. But when a problem arises, it’s often impossible to ignore.