The hand is a delicate part of the body. It contains a complex network of blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. It also plays an integral role in our daily activities. Thus, it is essential not to ignore hand injuries and disorders. They can cause varying levels of pain and discomfort, loss of movement, and the possibility of impaired function. One of the ways doctors treat serious hand injuries is through surgery. Let’s go through the possible reasons you may need hand reconstructive surgery.
What Is Hand Reconstructive Surgery?
Hand reconstructive surgery is performed primarily to rebalance the hand and return it to its intended shape and structure, so it can perform normal, day-to-day functions once again. It is a type of specialized surgery commonly done for injuries and overuse problems that impair the strength, function, and flexibility of the wrist, hand, or fingers. It can also cosmetically enhance the appearance of the hand after injury, disease, or due to a birth deformity.
Postoperative rehabilitation is crucial to maximizing the benefits of hand reconstructive surgery.
What Conditions Require Hand Reconstructive Surgery?
Hand reconstructive surgery may be necessary for various injuries and deformities. The specific procedure you need will depend on the hand issue that needs to be addressed.
Some common reasons for hand reconstructive surgery are:
- Hand injuries, such as compartment syndrome, fracture, and nerve damage
- Trauma to the hand
- Congenital deformities
- Hand infections
- Degenerative changes
- Advanced cases of Dupuytren’s contracture
Reconstructive surgery is most effective while the hand is still supple. Surgery goals are much harder to achieve when contractures are fixed. In such cases, it is still possible to improve the condition. However, remobilizing the joints is necessary before surgery because a stiff joint before the operation could remain stiff afterward, as well.
Types of Hand Surgery and the Conditions It Addresses
Different types of hand surgery are performed depending on the issue that needs to be addressed. Below are some of the common types of hand surgeries.
Closed Reduction and Fixation
This procedure is often used to treat fractures. During a closed reduction and fixation, the surgeon works to realign the fractured bone. Then, the affected area will be immobilized with internal fixtures, such as a cast, splint, wires, or rods, to facilitate healing.
Fasciotomy is a procedure in which a surgeon makes a cut or incision in your arm or hand to decrease pressure, give muscle tissue space, and restore blood flow. Any damaged tissue inside the affected area may be removed. This treatment helps prevent further damage and restores function of the injured hand. Your provider may recommend this if you have compartment syndrome.
This procedure is also known as arthroplasty. It involves the replacement of a joint destroyed by a disease with an artificial joint, which may be made out of plastic, metal, or silicone rubber. This treatment is best for those who have severe arthritis. The traditional approach to joint replacement uses one long incision. However, surgeons can now perform the procedure with a minimally invasive approach.
Nerve damage may result in reduced mobility of the hand and its ability to function well. The best time for nerve repair is about 3 to 6 weeks after an injury. However, for those not linked with complicated injuries, surgery is usually performed immediately following the injury.
Surgical Drainage or Debridement
Surgical drainage and debridement are performed to treat infections of the hand. Surgical drainage removes pus if a patient has an abscess. On the other hand, debridement cleanses the wound to prevent further infection, especially if the infection or injury is severe.
Tendon repair may be classified as primary, delayed primary, or secondary. Primary repairs are usually done within 24 hours of an injury. This usually involves direct surgical correction of the affected tendon. Delayed primary is usually performed a few days after an injury while the wound is still open. Secondary repairs occur 2 to 5 weeks after an injury. This may include tendon grafts and more complex procedures.
Hand Reconstructive Surgery in Florida
Hand reconstructive surgery should be performed by a surgeon with expertise in the procedure that fits your condition. At South Palm Orthopedics, you can rest assured that Dr. Steve Meadows and our team will take care of you and deliver the care you need. Dr. Meadows is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and has completed specialized training in hand surgery.
To set an appointment, you may use our secure online request form. You may also reach us by calling (561) 496-6622. Visit our patient education library to learn more about hand, shoulder, and elbow conditions.