If you’ve had chronic pain in your hands you know how discomforting and inconvenient the pain can make simple every day task. Holding a cup of coffee or typing on a keyboard can cause considerable pain. But how do you know when it’s time for surgery and what exactly is hand surgery anyway? Of course only you and your orthopedic physician can decide when surgery is appropriate as the need for surgery will greatly vary from case to case. In this article will talk about hand surgery and some of the conditions that may lead to a surgery.
What is hand surgery?
Hand Surgery is a field in orthopedic surgery that diagnosis treats and corrects problem of the hand. The title “hand surgeon” is a little misleading as a hand surgeon is a doctor with specialized training for upper extremities including hands, arms, and shoulders. Hand surgeons also do more than surgery. Hand Surgeons also treat fractures, nerve problems, and tendonitis.
How do I know if I need hand Surgery?
If you have been visiting your physician you will have tried other methods to reduce or eliminate the pain and surgery will typically be used as a last resort. It’s important that you have good open communication with your orthopedic physician as most people know when they need surgery as the pain has made it impossible to do normal day- to- day activities. If you are experiencing this type of pain and it continually gets worst, your physician needs to know and together you can take the best course of action.
Common Conditions that May Cause Hand Surgery
Arthritis of the hands is a very common condition and could progress to hand surgery. Osteoarthritis of the hands is generally describes as a degenerative condition where the protective condition between the joints wears out over time. If other treatments fail, your movement becomes too restricted and the pain continues to progress, surgery may be a viable treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel is a common condition that affects the hands and wrist. There is usually pain or numbness due to pressure or the compression of the median nerve. Treatment may start as rest and anti-inflammatory medical but can progress to a hand surgery.
Hand or Finger Tendonitis
Tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendon and it usually caused by overuse. Because this is typically caused by over use, rest and ice are typically the first line of defense against this condition. Physical therapy and over-the counter medications may also help reduce the inflammation and pain. However if pain is unbearable your orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery.
Pain in the hands is much different than almost any other condition as we use our hands for almost everything. Eating, bathing and just doing day-today chores can become impossible with chronic hand pain. A good orthopedic physician will try to help you reduce and eliminate pain with non-invasive methods before considering surgery. However surgery is sometimes the best route to get functional use of your hand.
If you have any questions about hand surgery contact a Hand Surgeon at IBJI and make an appointment today.
This information is not intended to provide advise or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s).