Most people take their hands for granted. We just don’t recognize what a huge role our hands play in our lives – when we’re at work and at play. That is, we don’t recognize their importance until an illness or injury shows us how essential they really are. Hand surgery is an area of medicine that I’m passionate about, so I thought I’d share some common conditions that can be treated through hand surgery at my Boston plastic surgery practice.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the fingers due to pressure on the nerve at the wrist. The hand may become weaker and day-to-day activities like driving and typing can become more difficult or impossible. For some people, a splint may be all that’s needed to achieve improvement. However, others may need surgery to create more space for the nerve.
- Congenital malformations. These encompass a wide variety of conditions such as extra digits, webbed digits, and missing parts of the hand. Obviously, treatment differs for each case as they are all unique. Surgery is often the only option.
- De Quervain’s Tendonitis. This condition is due to inflamed tendons at the base of the thumb, making movement of the thumb and wrist painful. While splinting and anti-inflammatory medications may provide some relief, surgery may be required to create more room for the irritated tendons.
- Fractures. Broken bones in the hand can be painful and limit movement. Surgery to treat hand fractures may involve pins to reset the bone, screws to keep the bone in place, or a bone graft.
- Ganglion cysts. Found near joints or tendons, ganglion cysts are benign, fluid-filled bumps. Although these cysts do not spread and are not cancerous, surgery may be necessary to remove the cyst if the patient is experiencing pain.
- Trigger finger. Trigger finger occurs in the tendons of the hand, keeping them from moving freely. Because of trigger finger, fingers or the thumb may become “stuck” in a bent position. Surgery can create more space for the tendon, allowing it to glide smoothly again.
As you can see, there are many conditions that can require hand surgery. The good news is that – in the hands of a skilled surgeon – these conditions are treatable, allowing men and women to restore full hand function.