Hand & Arm Conditions

Dr. James Ferries, Dr. Anthony Quinn, Dr. Brent Milner, Dr. Brian Laman and Dr. Jeremy Zebroski comprise the Hand / Arm Team at Sheridan Orthopedic Associates. This team is one of the most respected in all of Wyoming and combines decades of experience in both non-surgical and surgical treatments for conditions of the hand and arm. The Hand / Arm Team at Sheridan Orthopedic Associates collaborates on each patient’s diagnosis to establish the most effective treatment plan.

Appointments & Contacts
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Biceps Tendon Rupture

The bicep is one of the main muscles in the upper arm that is responsible for bending the elbow and rotating the forearm and wrist. The biceps tendon is the link between the muscle of the biceps and the bones below the elbow. An injury can occur due to repetitive (or overuse) activities or due to a sudden forceful tearing of the tendon, such as might occur when trying to prevent something heavy from falling or carrying a heavy object.

A tear of the biceps tendon may be partial or complete. Complete tears of the biceps tendon are much more common in middle aged men compared to other age groups.

Symptoms of partial tendon tears include pain, swelling, tenderness in the elbow crease or just below the elbow crease, especially with strenuous activity or firm gripping. One might also notice weakness in elbow and forearm strength.

When a complete tear occurs one usually feels a “pop” in the front of the elbow with immediate pain and swelling to follow. Bruising of around the elbow may develop a few days later. Another sign of a complete tear is the appearance of shortening of the biceps muscle itself. Even in complete tears the ability to bend the elbow and rotate the forearm is usually maintained, although with less strength.

Depending upon the severity and type of injury, the bicep may be partially or completely torn. If you suspect a bicep tear, it is important to seek medical attention as this condition may worsen if left untreated.

Signs and symptoms of a Bicep Tendon Tear may include:
● Pain in the bicep
● Swelling in the bicep
● Tenderness just below the crease of the elbow
● Bruising around the elbow
● Shortening of the bicep muscle

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Ulnar Nerve Injury

The Ulnar Nerve extends from the shoulder into the pinky finger and transmits nerve signals through the arm and into the hand. If this nerve becomes compressed or entrapped it may result what is known as “palsy”, which may cause the hand to look deformed and make motor skills of the hand difficult. The most common area for this nerve to become entrapped is at the point of the elbow (funny bone).

In many instances, Ulnar Nerve Entrapment is caused by repetitive overuse of the elbow, such as manual labor or repetitive motion. In this instance, the nerve can become irritated and inflamed. Also, if the nerve becomes deranged and extends over the elbow the nerve can become severed.

Ulnar Nerve Injuries are also common in pitchers and athletes who engage in repetitive throwing motions.

Signs and symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment may include:
● Weakness in the hand
● Clawed appearance of the hand
● Motor skill deficiencies
● Tingling in the palm and/or fourth and fifth fingers
● Sensitivity to cold
● Tenderness in the elbow joint

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Arthritis of the Elbow

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the elbow occurs when the cartilage surface of the elbow is damaged or becomes worn. This is often the result of a previous injury such as elbow dislocation or fracture, but it also may be the result of degeneration of the joint cartilage from age.

Signs and symptoms of Elbow Arthritis may include:
• Dull pain in the elbow
• A feeling of grinding when the elbow is flexed
• Reduced range of motion
• Swelling around the elbow

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The bicep is one of the main muscles in the upper arm that is responsible for bending the elbow and rotating the forearm and wrist. The biceps tendon is the link between the muscle of the biceps and the bones below the elbow. An injury can occur due to repetitive (or overuse) activities or due to a sudden forceful tearing of the tendon, such as might occur when trying to prevent something heavy from falling or carrying a heavy object.

A tear of the biceps tendon may be partial or complete. Complete tears of the biceps tendon are much more common in middle aged men compared to other age groups.

Symptoms of partial tendon tears include pain, swelling, tenderness in the elbow crease or just below the elbow crease, especially with strenuous activity or firm gripping. One might also notice weakness in elbow and forearm strength.

When a complete tear occurs one usually feels a “pop” in the front of the elbow with immediate pain and swelling to follow. Bruising of around the elbow may develop a few days later. Another sign of a complete tear is the appearance of shortening of the biceps muscle itself. Even in complete tears the ability to bend the elbow and rotate the forearm is usually maintained, although with less strength.

Depending upon the severity and type of injury, the bicep may be partially or completely torn. If you suspect a bicep tear, it is important to seek medical attention as this condition may worsen if left untreated.

Signs and symptoms of a Bicep Tendon Tear may include:
● Pain in the bicep
● Swelling in the bicep
● Tenderness just below the crease of the elbow
● Bruising around the elbow
● Shortening of the bicep muscle

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Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a term commonly used to describe a pain in the elbow brought on by repetitive strain of the tendons of the elbow. This condition is brought on by repeated contraction of the muscles in the forearm that are used to raise and extend the arm. These motions can stress the tissue of the arms causing micro tears in the tendons attached to muscles of the and outside of the elbow.

Although the term would imply that this is a condition specific to tennis players, it is more common in those whose jobs require repetitive motions or activity. This condition is especially prominent in painters, construction workers and chefs as their daily routine requires long hours of repetitive motion. For tennis players, this condition is usually the result of poor technique, especially the backhand. Generally, the pain will begin at the point of the elbow but may extend down the tendon into the forearm and wrist.

Signs and symptoms of Tennis Elbow may include:
● Pain in the elbow
● Pain that radiates into the forearms and wrist
● Weakness of the hands
● Difficulty to turn objects such as doorknobs
● Shaking hands