Why is Choosing a Specialist Hand Surgeon is Important?

Our hands are a very important part of our bodies, and we require an intricate balance of hand strength and precision almost every type of work imaginable. What’s more, we use our hands to communicate and express ourselves!

Not just musicians, sports people, writers, doctors and artists, but every person needs optimal function of their hands. Sometimes however, we can lose the use of our hands for a variety of reasons, be it a traumatic event, arthritis or other pathological process.

Whether you hand is stiff, painful, swollen or lacks strength or sensation, it is important to be reviewed by a specialist hand surgeon, to assess how this can be improved.

Here are Some Common Conditions Which Affect Hands:

Dupuytren’s Contracture: This dysfunction is caused by gradual contraction of connective tissue in the palm and fingers, leading to a contracture and difficulty straightening the fingers. This typically affects the little and ring fingers. Nodules may occur over the palm and be uncomfortable. Usually pain isn’t the predominant complaint of patient’s with Dupuytren’s disease, however the contracture may significantly interfere with activities of daily living, and treatments are available, hence review with a hand surgeon is advisable.

Osteoarthritis: One of the world’s most common diseases, Osteoarthritis (or wear and tear arthritis) may affect any joint, including the hips, knees, but also the small joints of the hand and wrist. Typically, this disease causes joint pain, swelling and deformity. There are many treatment options for osteoarthritis, including operative and non-operative options, and many patients may benefit from intervention.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A condition arising from compression of the median nerve at the wrist, the nerve which is responsible for sensation of the thumb, index, middle and some of the ring fingers. Classically patients report numbness/pins and needles or burning in these fingers, particularly at night and when driving a car. Surgical intervention for carpal tunnel syndrome is usually very effective in treating these complaints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease (where the body attacks itself), resulting in joint pain and swelling, but also problems with other organs. Medical treatment under a Rheumatologist is paramount in managing the disease process, however surgery can still offer fantastic pain relief, functional improvement and cosmetic benefits in appropriate cases.

Wear and Tear / Overuse injuries: Of course, like any other part of the body, the hand is prone to simple wear and overuse. Pain and swelling may affect any tendon / ligament or joint, however there are classic examples of tendon irritation throughout the hand and wrist. Hand surgeon and Hand therapists manage these through a combination of splinting/exercises, activity modification, medications, steroid injections and surgery.

Trauma / Fractures / Lacerations: Our hands often sustain injury at work, home or when undertaking our hobbies. Unfortunately, poorly managed hand injuries may result in a suboptimal outcome, and having a specialised hand surgeon and specialised hand therapist manage your hand injury is the best way to ensure your treatment is optimised for your injury.

Many pathological processes affect our hands, all of which may require different treatment, tailored to your specific problems and needs. Our hands are a complex structure with a balance of prevision and strength and thus, when we have an issue with our hands review with a hand specialist is advisable.