Dramatic advances have been made in recent years in hand surgery to correct imperfections caused by injury or birth defects. At the forefront of these advances have been plastic surgeon-specialists improving both function and appearance. Hand surgery is often covered by insurance. Hand surgery techniques vary, depending upon the reason for the procedure.
The most common reasons are: Carpal tunnel syndrome, in which pressure builds up in the passageway through the wrist carrying tendons and one of the hand's major nerves. This can happen as a result of arthritis, injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, overuse, or repetitive motions. Surgery involves cutting the tissue that presses on the nerve to release the pressure;
Congenital Defects that interfere with proper hand growth in children, such as the fusing together of two fingers (known as syndactyly). Surgery involves cutting the tissue that connects the fingers, then grafting skin from another part of the body. Other common defects include short, missing or deformed fingers, immobile tendons and abnormal nerves or blood vessels. Dupuytren's Contracture, a disorder of the tissue just under the skin in which thick, scar-like tissue forms under the skin of the palm and fingers, restricting motion. Surgery is a precise procedure that involves cutting and separating the bands of thickened tissue, freeing the joints and allowing better finger movement;
Injury to the tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and joints; fractured bones; and burns, cuts and other injuries to the skin. In cases of injury, a variety of innovative techniques can be used, including grafting, flap surgery, and replantation;
Rheumatoid Arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that can deform finger joints and force them into a bent position that impedes movement. Surgeons can repair or reconstruct almost any area of the hand or wrist by removing tissue from inflamed joints, repositioning tendons, or implanting artificial joints.
Hand surgery can be performed in a surgeon's office or hospital, depending upon the type and extent of surgery. The duration of the surgery, type of anesthesia used, and recovery plan also depend upon which surgical procedure is preformed to correct the problem. Many surgeons will recommend physical and occupational therapy during the recovery period to ensure the fullest possible use of the hand.
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