Plastic surgery can correct structural and functional irregularities, and in some cases restore a more normal appearance of the hand and fingers.
Conditions treated by hand surgery includes:
- Abnormal nerve or blood vessel
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dupuytrens contracture
- Immobile tendons
- Missing digits, short or crooked fingers
- Polydactyly(extra fingers)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Syndactyly(webbed fingers)
Hand surgery is an operation aimed at improving the functionality of your hands and forearms. However, if you plan to undergo such an operation, it is important that you consider your options carefully. It is worth taking the time to know all the pros and cons of having this procedure done. Here are some of them:
- Plastic surgeons undergoing hand surgery must undergo rigorous training and they (and other general surgeons and orthopedic specialists) treat patients suffering from a variety of hand injuries with a large assortment of techniques. The information written here is intended to provide you with an initial basic knowledge of the most commonly experienced hand injuries-what they are, how plastic surgeons can treat them, and so on.
- If you’ve suffered an injury that has rendered you unable to use your hands, you may have some valid reason for wanting to have hand surgery. If you do, your doctor will be able to suggest a course of treatment based upon his evaluation of your condition. Your choice of surgeon, however, will have a big impact on how successful the operation is. Remember that plastic surgeons are skilled doctors, but they aren’t all the same.
- Certain disorders of the hand affect certain parts of the fingers. Disorders of the index, middle, or ring finger are the most common ones, while a disorder of the palm can affect digits of the ring, middle, or index fingers. Disorder of the full, half, or fourth fingers are even more uncommon. When plastic surgeons are treating patients with such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy, or wrist fractures, the procedure may involve hand surgery involving the use of a tunnel or extender.
- Another reason that some people choose hand surgery includes excessive hand pain, which may result from arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other conditions. In most cases, this can be treated with over-the-counter medication. Some plastic surgeons specialize in treating such hand injuries. If you do, discuss the options with your doctor. Some plastic surgeons even specialize in dealing with such conditions as diabetic neuropathy.
- Hand surgery often involves the removal of skin grafts. Skin grafts taken from the hip, lower back, or shoulders can help to replace and fix severely damaged areas of the skin. These skin grafts can either come from your own body or from a family member. If you’re having hip-replacement surgery, for example, your doctor may order skin grafts from your own thigh. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may suggest the use of synthetic collagen for your skin grafts.
- Hand surgery can also address the condition caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and wrist area. Carpal tunnel syndrome is sometimes a symptom of another condition, such as diabetes. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve within the wrist is pinched, causing pain and limited motion. Hand surgery can be used to open the carpal tunnel and improve movement.
- Sometimes reconstructive surgery may be necessary to repair a hand injury or other condition. Reconstructive plastic surgery may include hand surgery to repair fractures, trauma, or infections. The procedure may be needed to repair bones that have been injured. Hand surgery may also be needed to help prevent infection in these same bones. Plastic surgeons can discuss these reconstructive surgeries with you and your doctor, or you can ask your doctor about the procedure on your own.
- Hand surgery is often done on patients with upper extremity conditions treated with arthritis. Upper extremity conditions treated with arthritis include tennis elbow, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other disorders. In many cases, the upper extremity must be immobilized during treatment, and the patient may need hand surgery to help with daily activities. The surgeon can manipulate the wrist and hand, helping with walking and exercises. In some cases, a simple brace may help the patient with arthritis, allowing him or her to move the arm and hands normally.
- Patients who have suffered an injury that causes weakness in their muscles or paralysis can benefit from hand surgery. This procedure can help to restore strength in the hand and forearm. Most hand surgeons will offer hand therapy to the patient following the procedure. Hand therapy includes massage, exercises, and stretching. You will be able to learn new exercises that strengthen and work the muscles in your hand and forearm.
- Knee surgery is another common procedure that hand surgeons perform. As a patient, you will be able to learn about knee joint issues and how hand therapy and physical rehabilitation can improve the condition of your knee. Arthritis is one of the most common ailments that affects people. Many doctors recommend that patients have regular check-ups and that they receive regular treatment from a hand surgeon or physical therapist. By being informed about your illness and what your options are, you can improve your quality of life and reduce the number and complications associated with your illness.