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We use our hands in almost all of our daily activities. This is why when injury, disease, or deformity affects our hands it can be difficult to complete daily tasks and is often debilitating to a normal way of life. Plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and general surgeons can all be trained to specialize in hand surgery techniques. Hand surgery is the field of medicine that helps to alleviate health problems involving the wrists, hands, and forearms, and sometimes the shoulders and elbows. There are many problems involving the nerves, joints, tendons, bones, and muscles of these areas that may be helped by hand surgery.
Traumatic injury to the hand area can include crush injuries, burns, detached digits and limbs, and injury to the blood vessels and nerves. Hand surgery to treat these injuries often involves a plastic surgical specialist who can reset and repair fractures and dislocations, reattach severed limbs and digits, repair nerves and blood vessels, and reconstruct lost skin, bones, muscles and nerves.
There are many types of disease for which hand surgery may be necessary. The most commonly acquired diseases of the hand include carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, trigger finger, ganglion cysts, tendonitis, and other problems with the tendons, joints, and nerves of the hand area. Often there are several non-surgical techniques a hand surgery specialist will employ before resorting to surgical options. These include: physical therapy, modification of activity, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and restricted mobility measures like splinting. When other treatments are exhausted, hand surgery may be the ultimate outcome. Often these procedures are successful in repairing the injury and alleviating pain.
Hand surgery may also be used for congenital defects that cause hand deformities. These include syndactyly (webbing of digits), deformed or missing fingers, absent thumbs, or abnormal development of nerves, blood vessels, or tendons. Often hand surgery is the best treatment for these problems. Reconstructive plastic surgeons specialize in micro skin grafting techniques and other types of hand surgery that restores proper form and functioning to the affected areas.
If hand surgery is the chosen solution to your hand problems, you may wish to speak with a hand surgery specialist about your options. Often hand surgery is done on an outpatient basis using local anesthetic and IV sedation. Recovery times will differ depending on the type of hand surgery you receive. Most times post-op physical therapy is necessary to the rehabilitation process.
Often hand surgery is covered under health care insurance when the procedure is necessary to restore health and proper functioning of the hands. Plastic surgeons specializing in hand surgery are trained to complete reconstructive hand surgery for congenital and acquired hand ailments.
If you are suffering from a hand problem which may benefit from hand surgery, please choose a state below to locate a plastic hand surgery specialist in your area.