How to Determine When Surgical Treatment is Required
Hand surgery refers to the array of surgical procedures performed to improve mobility and function, reduce pain, or address an infection or abnormality. For those who have sustained an injury to the hands or are dealing with a medical condition that hinders its function, the topic of hand surgery and whether it’s required comes to mind.
For instance, one of the more common issues that affects the hand and wrist area is carpal tunnel syndrome. There are several treatments that a patient can try to reduce the symptoms of pain, weakness, and numbness.
How does a patient know which carpal tunnel treatment is best?
And at what point is carpal tunnel surgery appropriate?
In this entry, we’ll discuss signs and symptoms of the hands to look for and when to consider hand surgery. Additionally, we’ll review some of the most common medical conditions that hand surgery addresses.
Hand Symptoms to Look for That Indicate a Problem
Hands can be compromised due to injury or by way of a medical condition that hinders mobility and/or causes pain. Whatever the case may be, there are some common symptoms to look for that indicate medical attention is needed. You should reach out to an orthopedic doctor if you experience:
- Prolonged numbness
- Excessive bruising
- Fractured or broken bones
- Significant reduction or total loss of mobility
- Sharp or prolonged pain
- Swollen joints
Common Hand Conditions That Require Treatment
Symptoms occurring in the hand that cause pain, discomfort, numbness, or lack of mobility usually are a sign of injury or other medical issue. However, determining the severity of the issue is something that patients struggle with, especially with conditions deemed an annoyance rather than an injury.
Severe or not, no one should have to live with pain or discomfort of the hands. The following are some of the most common hand conditions treated at Mid-America Orthopedics:
- Acute and chronic pain in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, and shoulder
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Broken and fractured bones
- Ruptured or cut tendons
- Degenerative arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ganglion cysts
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- Trigger finger
What’s important to note here is that some of these hand conditions are completely debilitating while others may be deemed by patients as not serious enough to treat. Some hand conditions – arthritis, for instance – gradually build over time, which can make them easy for patients to ignore until the symptoms become unbearable. When it comes to medical conditions affecting the hands and wrists, getting treatment sooner rather than later is always the best course of action.
Hand Surgery and Other Forms of Treatment
It should be noted right away that hand surgery is typically reserved as the last resort treatment method. Patients who require hand surgery have typically gone through several other forms of treatment to resolve their condition. Some of the most common non-surgical forms of treatment for hand conditions include:
- Rest and activity modification
- Ice/heat therapy
- Splints and supportive devices
- Over-the-counter medication
- Prescription medication
- Steroid injections
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Occupational therapy
If non-surgical treatments fail, that’s when patients are generally referred to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in conditions that affect the wrists and hands. For example, your orthopedic doctor may determine the only way to release the pressure on the median nerve that’s causing carpal tunnel is through carpal tunnel surgery.
Fortunately, Mid-America Orthopedics has orthopedic doctors and orthopedic surgeons under one roof, which makes internal patient handoff easy and efficient.
Contact Mid-America Orthopedics to Schedule an Examination
If you are suffering from a hand or wrist condition – even a minor one – you don’t have to suffer in silence. Mid-America Orthopedics has a full team of orthopedic doctors and surgeons with decades of combined experience delivering carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, fracture repair, and treatments for arthritis.
The best way to address your condition and get on the road to recovery is by scheduling an appointment for an examination. For the convenience of our patients, we can typically book same-day or next-day appointments. This ensures we can examine, diagnose, and develop a treatment plan on a tight turnaround so our patients can begin reclaiming their quality of life.
If we discover that a certain condition requires hand surgery, your orthopedic doctor will internally refer you to one of our skilled hand surgeons. They perform carpal tunnel surgery, joint replacement surgery, surgery to address breaks and fractures, and more. Post-surgery, your surgeon will put you in touch with one of our in-house occupational therapists or physical therapists, which will help reduce any pain symptoms and improve the mobility and recovery of your hand.