Hand Specialist

Orthopedic Hand and Wrist Surgery

The orthopedic surgeons at the Steadman Clinic are at the forefront of treating injuries of hands and wrists, such as fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, and nerve and tendon damage.

The hand is a very complex area of the body because it is comprised of 19 bones and numerous tendons and ligaments. There are four sections of the hand, the fingers, palm, dorsum and wrist, that are used when describing or inspecting an injury. The hand and wrist are used more than any other joints in the body, making an injury or pain in the area significantly more impactful to everyday life. Because of the complexity, it is highly recommended that a patient be treated by a hand specialist. 

Common Hand Injuries

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The most common injury of the wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is increased pressure on a nerve within the wrist. There are eight carpal wrist bones, a single ligament, nine tendons and a nerve that make up the carpal tunnel, so even a small amount of swelling can put a large amount of pressure on the nerve resulting in pain that can impact daily life of the patient
 
There are numerous factors that can contribute to CTS such as an injury to the wrist, overuse, arthritis, tumors, obesity, diabetes or hypothyroidism. The first symptoms that are often experienced is numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle and radial side of the ring finger.
 
To best determine the treatment of CTS, an xray will usually be taken. If symptoms are more severe, surgery is necessary to make room for the nerve inside of the carpal tunnel. 
 
 

Scaphoid Fractures

Within the carpal tunnel the single bone that sustains the most injuries is the scaphoid. The scaphoid is best described as a ball in the wrist joint that allows the hinge-like movement of the wrist. The placement of this bone does not allow adequate blood flow, so any injury such as a fracture typically results in surgery. Without enough blood, the bone is unable to heal on its own.
 
If the scaphoid injury is left untreated, the patient can develop a loss of motion in the wrist and arthritis. Treatment of a scaphoid fracture may include a cast to immobilize the wrist until the injury heals or a screw may be inserted to realign the bone, in addition to wearing a cast for 6-12 weeks. 
 
 

Making an Appointment

Make an appointment with one of our hand specialists today to begin the steps of finding a solution to your hand or wrist pain. 
 
It is beneficial to bring x-rays and previous surgical information to your first appointment with the surgeon, so they can determine the best course of action.  Other items to bring to your appointment:
 
  • Driver’s License or a valid ID
  • List of Medications
  • Insurance Information
  • Any other relevant medical information
To find out if your insurance is accepted at The Steadman Clinic, be sure to visit our insurance page.
 
 
 
Preparing for Surgery

When preparing for your hand or wrist procedure it is important to think through what will be needed post surgery.  For example what changes will need to be made at home and how much time off work will be needed. Be sure to make a list of any questions that you may have to ask your hand specialist prior to surgery.

It can also be helpful to meet with your physical therapist prior to the procedure as doing some of the postoperative exercises before can help with recovery.

For more on how to prepare for your hand or wrist surgery, please visit our Preparing for Surgery page. 

Recovery from Hand / Wrist Surgery

Depending on the severity of the injury, the recovery process following hand surgery can be up to 2 to 5 months.

Following your surgery you will typically begin a customized physical therapy plan developed specifically for you and your  injury. The physical therapist (PT) will go over specific exercises that will help you to reduce stiffness and regain full mobility in the hand or wrist.

The length of your hospital stay will also depend on your surgery and the recommendation of your hand doctor.  Once you are released to go home, you will continue physical therapy for the designated period your doctor has prescribed.

Read more on Rehabilitation and Training.

 

Educational Resources
For additional information on the hand & wrist procedures The Steadman Clinic doctors can assist with, please visit our patient education pages: 
 

 

Hand and Wrist Specialists

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