When you hear the phrase, “hand surgery” what type of doctor do you think of first? If you’re not thinking about a plastic surgeon, you should be. Plastic surgery is at the forefront of not only treatments and procedures to help you stay youthful and radiant, but also to keep your body functioning properly for years to come. In fact, plastic surgeons have extensive training in restorative surgeries, including those for the hands. Whether you suffer from pain and swelling due to overuse injuries, a congenital problem leftover from childhood, or a degenerative disorder, your plastic surgeon is an excellent starting point in seeking surgical intervention for your hand and wrist pain.
You have a hand injury
While hand injuries may range from minor to severe and include a number of different types of injuries, some of the most common are due to overuse. One common hand injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Although it is called a “syndrome,” carpal tunnel is actually an overuse injury that causes inflammation in the channel through which nerves pass from the forearm into the hand. Left untreated, the inflammation can cause injury and impairment to the nerve itself. Typical symptoms include pain, tingling, or numbness in the wrist and radiating into the fingers. When anti-inflammatory medications, rest, ice, and physical therapy fail, hand and wrist surgery may be a good option.
You have a degenerative disorder of the hands
Degenerative disorders of the hands such as rheumatoid arthritis and Dupuytren’s contracture are not only painful, but disabling. Over time, these and other degenerative conditions may cause the fingers or hand to deform, causing them to take on abnormal positions without the ability to straighten them out or use them for normal, everyday actions. These may not only reduce your overall quality of life, but may also significantly decrease your independence.
You have a congenital defect of the hands
Congenital disorders of the hand are often treated during childhood, but some may not have had access to such care and are thus seeking treatment as adults. Such problems may have been present at birth or developed over time, but whatever the reasons and however they developed, they may have caused both physical and emotional pain. For some patients, these problems may not have interfered with the ability to use the hand and fingers, while others may have suffered from significant limitations that they are now ready to overcome through surgery.
Knowing if hand or wrist surgery is right for you
The structures of the hands and wrists are complex, and before committing to surgery, you should have a one-on-one consultation with your plastic surgeon. During your consultation, your surgeon should spend a good deal of time understanding your condition, what you have already done for treatment, and what you hope to achieve through surgery. Your surgeon will examine your hands and wrists, and discuss possible approaches and outcomes with you. Your surgeon will also advise you as to whether or not you are an ideal candidate for surgery.
Because we use our hands every day for numerous tasks all day long, it is important to understand the implications of surgery and recovery. You may have limitations on your abilities to do many tasks right away and should consider this when scheduling surgery — will surgery be on both hands or just one? Will it be on the dominant hand? How much time off will you need from work? Will you need assistance after surgery to take care of yourself, your family, or your home? Will the potential benefits outweigh any concerns for recovery or outcomes? These are all important factors to discuss with your surgeon during your consultation.
If you have been suffering from hand or wrist pain, swelling, or debility, perhaps now is a good time to say, “Enough is enough” and call Monarch Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained, board certified plastic surgeons. Call us today at (913) 663-3838 for our Leawood and Lansing locations or (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location.