A Hand Surgeon is a medical doctor who is trained specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries or disorders affecting the hand and wrist. Preservation and restoration of the form and function is the primary objective of this specialist. The special interest is a subspecialty of Orthopedic Surgery, General Surgery, or Plastic Surgery.
Some of the common conditions that are treated by Hand Surgeons are the following:
- Hand injuries - A hand surgeon is trained to treat any injury involving the hands, which can be injured in so many different ways. Hand injuries can include bone fractures, soft tissue lacerations, tendon injury or transection, nerve injury or transection, vascular injury, burns, animal bites, nail bed injury, amputation, and so much more. Hand surgeons are capable of repairing bone, tendon, nerve, and vessel injuries. Most hand surgeons are also trained in re-attaching amputated digits if the conditions permit.
- Entrapment or Impingement Syndromes - Entrapment syndromes, or conditions wherein a specific tissue is impinged by surrounding structures, are common in the hands. The most common example of these are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. These syndromes commonly result in numbness and weakness of the hands because of the impingement of the soft tissues. These can be addressed by surgically releasing the impinged structures.
- Deformities - Masses, contractures, and other deformities can appear on the hands. These can include ganglion cysts, warts, mallet finger, trigger finger, hand tumors, and wrist tumors. These deformities are usually addressed surgically.
- Hand infection - The specialty of hand surgery doesn’t treat only surgical conditions. It also address non-surgical cases such as hand infection. Infections in the hand can be critical because the hands anatomically has compartments or potential spaces where the infection can easily spread. If not treated immediately, hand infections can result in long-term complications such as contractures, stiffness, and loss of skin, muscles, or other tissues. Hand infections are treated with antibiotics.
- Arthritis - The hands notably have so many joints that can suffer from different forms of arthritis. The hands can have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gouty arthritis. These conditions are generally managed with pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs.