This is the first in a series of blogs about protecting various parts of our body. It’s all about prevention without sacrificing quality of life, in order to maintain quality of life…for a long time.
Our hands are one of the most amazing arrangements of sinew and bone in the natural world…ever. They’re one of the things that differentiate us from the lesser animals, enabling us to put our huge brains to use. What good is a big brain if you can’t make a club, wield a sword, turn the pages of a book or use a keyboard? I don’t know which evolved first; the big brain or the facile hand, but one wasn’t much good without the other, as far as the caveman was concerned.
In the old days a saw bones couldn’t do much more than an amputation for a bad hand. Later he could set a fracture and release the median nerve for carpal tunnel syndrome. But now there are so many things a surgeon can do to help our hands that we have subspecialists for just that end.
And we need them because we abuse our delicate hands. I’ll always refer back to my caveman concepts to remind you that we’re good for about 25 years. Somewhere between 25 and 40 things start going downhill…and that’s not just our faces. Our hands take a beating and once they’re suffering from arthritis, whether that’s genetically scheduled osteoarthritis or post-traumatic arthritis, there’s really no putting Humpty Dumpty back together like he was at 20.
So why not help them out a little? Especially that special little joint at the base of our thumb that allows it to pivot around in a movement we call opposition. I thank God every day for the ability to press my index finger against my thumb. Not many critters can do that.
I see and treat a bunch of hand disease and because I would like to minimize my potential to develop those diseases, I’ve come up with a list of things to protect my hands, without diminishing the quality of my life. I’m going to share them with you tomorrow, and assure you I am doing these things for myself.