Our hands play a vital role in our everyday functioning. Everything from communicating to daily living tasks to recreation requires the use of structurally perfect hands, so when your hands are causing you pain or limiting your activities, it may be time to seek treatment. At Manuel Gigena MD Plastic Surgery in McMinnville, OR, we understand that hand surgeries can be an ideal solution to help you restore the function and appearance of your hands.
What Are Hand Surgeries?
Hand surgery is an umbrella term referring to any medical procedure that is performed on the hand, wrist, or fingers. Hand surgeries are some of the most complex procedures to perform given that the hands have several nerves, tendons, and bones that all must operate in harmony for the hand to function normally.
To be sure, seeking hand surgeries is an extreme step that is generally reserved for those who have extreme hand pain, deformities, or injuries that can’t be treated with less invasive techniques. If you require hand surgeries, then you have likely sustained a serious strain or injury that requires intensive medical intervention. Some of the most common hand surgeries include:
Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, yet difficult injury. Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, which creates tingling and numbness in the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger. The compression of these nerves can make it difficult to use your hand and can cause lasting damage.
Carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive surgery that involves cutting through the ligaments in the wrist to make more room for the compressed nerves. There are two ways to perform this surgery – either endoscopically or open.
Endoscopically vs Open
The method for your carpal tunnel release surgery will depend on the severity of your condition. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release requires only two small incisions to separate the carpal ligament compressing the median nerve. An open surgery, on the other hand, will involve incisions on the wrist and on the palm to release the carpal ligament and alleviate symptoms.
Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive contracture that affects the ring and pinky fingers, as well as the tissue on the underside of the palm. This condition causes knots to form beneath the skin that creates a cord that keeps the fingers in a bent position. The treatment of this condition is most successful with surgery.
During contracture surgery, incisions will be made on the underside of the palm to remove the thick cords that are causing the contracture. The removal of this tissue will improve the mobility of the fingers and alleviate other discomforts associated with the condition.
Tendons are essentially pully systems in the limbs that allow for natural movement. However, tendons can rupture due to injury and that can limit normal movements, particularly in the hands. Tendon repair is a fairly common surgery that can restore one or more ruptured tendons. This surgery will involve stitching together tendons that have been torn or injured, which will then restore natural movement once healed.
Breaking a hand or a finger is usually more complicated than breaking larger bones. This is because many fractures in the hand are caused by displacement or even the shattering of multiple small bones. Fracture repair may involve hand surgery if the break is particularly severe.
We have nerves all over our bodies and some of the most sensitive nerves can be found in our hands. Damaged nerves in the hands can be the result of injuries or scarred nerve endings. During nerve repair, any scar tissue compressing the nerves of the hands will be removed and the nerve will be reconnected so it can heal correctly and restore sensation to your hands.
Some people are born with deformities that affect the function of the hand and even prevents infants from interacting with their environment. Many deformities may require intervention hand surgeries, including simple or complex syndactyly, polydactyly, and macrodactyly.
The hands are a very common location for arthritis to erupt. Left untreated, affected joints can degenerate to the point where joint replacement is the only viable way to save or preserve the function of the hands. Joint replacement surgery will involve removing the abnormal joint and the surrounding lining of the joint and replacing those bones with artificial joints made of metal, plastic, or coated carbon.
Other Hand Treatments
Naturally, there are dozens of treatments (both surgical and non-surgical) that can be used to treat the hand. For example, surgical drainage or debridement may be necessary to treat hand infections affecting the nails, tendons, or deep spaces of the hands. Scar revision is also common, particularly if the appearance of a scar is negatively impacting your confidence or the function of the hand. Other hand treatments also include:
- Skin cancer removal
- Trigger finger release
- Fasciotomy for compression syndrome
- Tumor or ganglion cyst removal
- Skin flaps after removal of tumors or malformation
- Closed reduction and fixation of bone
Will You Need a Consultation?
Yes, a consultation will be necessary to determine which hand surgery is appropriate for your condition. During your consultation, the condition of your hand will be examined and possible treatment plans will be proposed based on which surgery promises the best results. We will gather your medical information and ask you to complete certain labs or examinations if surgery is recommended for your treatment.
Restore Your Hand Function and Appearance
Functional hands are necessary to live. When your hands cause pain or prevent you from living your life the way you want to, then seeking hand surgery may be your best tool to restore normal living. Hand surgery can refer to several treatments, including repairing tendons, releasing carpal tunnel, or setting broken bones. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.