If you’re suffering from a hand or wrist issue that looks like you may be requiring hand surgery, it’s likely you’re nervous and want to know more about the procedure.
The word “surgery” can send send your fears into overdrive, but often, hand surgery can be a quick and easy procedure. Of course, it varies from case to case, and depends heavily on what is actually being carried out. If you’ve booked a consultation with a hand surgeon, such as Ladan Hajipour, they’ll explain to you in great detail what to expect from your surgery before booking you in for it, covering risk factors, alternative treatment options, side effects, and the recovery period.
However, to try and dispel any surgery fears you may have that are preventing you from organising a consultation with a hand surgeon, we’ve decided to try and cover all the basics, and give you a guide on the sort of procedure you might go through, based on your condition.
For mucus and ganglion cysts on the finger, and wrist ganglions, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Fluid can be drained from the cyst under local aesthetic using a needle, but in severe cases, there may need to be surgical removal, using keyhole surgery at the affected joint.
Hand surgery clinics cover fractures of the wrist, scaphoid, fingers, metacarpal and hand. In the best cases, these fractures can be healed with a splint or cast, aligning the bones and letting them heal naturally. However, in some cases, the bone can become too misaligned or damaged to treat in this way, and will need surgery that includes the fitting of screws, plates and wires to hold the bone in place.
Hand injuries aren’t always fractures, but accidents can sometimes cause damage to the fingers in other ways. Mallet finger is one such resulting condition, that can be dealt with using a plastic splint to allow the torn muscle to heal, but can sometimes require surgery if bone has been snapped off. Rugby jersey finger is another example that sometimes requires surgery – in cases where the tendon has completely left the finger bone, surgery is needed to re-attach.
Some of the biggest procedures are a result of arthritis in the fingers and wrists.
Finger joint replacement is one of these procedures, that sees the worn, abnormal joint bones removed and replaced with metal or plastic joints. It’s proven to improve joint motion, increase hand function and reduce joint pain. However, it’s not clear of risks, with these including increased stiffness in the joints, dislocation and wear over time, and damage to surrounding vessels and nerves.
Another arthritis procedure is fusion. Known as finger fusion or wrist fusion depending on the location of the arthritis, the procedure sees the affected joint removed, with a plate or rod then added to hold the finger phalangeal bones or wrist bones together. The procedure reduces the heavy pain of severe arthritis, but flexibility is heavily limited to the removal of the joint.
Syndromes and other conditions
Carpal tunnel surgery is a procedure that relieves pressure on the median nerve, by dividing the transverse carpal ligament and releasing it. This procedure can take 10-15 minutes, and only requires local anaesthetic.
Cubital tunnel syndrome has a similar surgical treatment, that sees the cubital tunnel roof opened to decompress the ulnar nerve. Other surgery options involve moving the nerve into a new location at the front of the elbow, or widening the cubital tunnel by removing some of its bony floor.
There are six different surgical options available for Dupuytren’s Disease. You can read about them in more detail here.
Get in touch
Although this was a brief overlook at just some of the surgery you might require with a hand or wrist condition, we highly recommend booking an appointment with a professional, for a full examination and complete details of your treatment options. Get in touch with us now to arrange a consultation with Ladan Hajipour. Clinics are based at three hospitals across Manchester and Cheshire.