Pregnancy-related hand conditions
Pregnancy, especially the third trimester, leads to a myriad of changes in the hormone profile in expectant mothers.
The effects of a shift in higher progesterone towards the end of pregnancy causes water retention leading to not only swollen ankles but swelling around the wrists as well. This can lead to compression symptoms in the median nerve, commonly known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as well as tendon swelling and impingement, commonly known as De Quervains Tenosynovitis. Early in the post-delivery period, these conditions tend to affect mums, causing discomfort and pain and interfering with carrying and feeding their bundle of joy.
Dr Ashley Naidoo (FC Orth – SA, MBCHB – UKZN, Mmed Orth – Wits) is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at Netcare Waterfall City Hospital – with a special interest in hand and upper limb surgery. He is also co-founder of The Gauteng Orthopaedic Institute.