About Your Hands
You use your hands everyday, but you may not realize just how complex they are. Your hands are made of tissues, bones, muscles, vessels, and nerves. All of these small parts form a delicate and complex network that enables you to perform a very wide variety of activities, from rock climbing to playing the violin. However, conditions that can arise from injury or degenerative conditions can cause issues that may require hand surgery.
Hand surgeons are doctors who specialize in surgery of the hand. They are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Hand surgery is considered a subspecialty of orthopedics, plastics, and general surgery. Doctors who wish to specialize in it must spend an additional year or more training after they have already completed five years of surgical residency. This means a qualified hand surgeon has expertise in the complex anatomy of the hand and in microvascular surgery. This means they are able to operate on the small bones and nerves, vessels, and other structures in the hand, wrist, and forearm. Some physicians who wish to be hand surgeons also take on additional training to treat problems in the elbow and shoulder, earning the title of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons. A hand surgeon may also specialize in specific areas within hand surgery, such as only treating children.
Surgery of any kind should be considered only after conservative treatments have failed. Conservative treatments like medication, splints, injections, and physical therapy should always be attempted first for a set period of time. A hand surgeon should be consulted to diagnose the condition and determine the best treatment option.
If an injury or problem with your hand, wrist, or forearm is affecting your quality of life by causing pain or other issues, you many want to consider consulting a hand surgeon. Hand surgeons treat issues including carpal tunnel syndrome, finger lacerations with injury to nerves or tendons, arthritis of the hand or wrist, hand numbness, and hand fractures.