What is a Hand Surgeon?

What is a Hand Surgeon? 2013-09-12T21:39:29+00:00

What is a Hand Surgeon?Hand surgeons are doctors who specialize in conditions that affect the Hand. Hand surgeons can be medical doctors, meaning they have an M.D., or they can be doctors of osteopathic medicine, meaning they have a D.O. Both degree titles require the same certifications and and post-medical school training to specialize in Hand surgery.

After completing medical school, doctors who aim to become Hand surgeons must graduate from an orthopedic surgery residency program. Specialization in Hand surgery requires an additional year or more of fellowsHand training after completing surgical residency.

Overview

Hand surgeons are doctors who specialize in surgery of the hand. They are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Hand surgery is considered a subspecialty of orthopedics, plastics, and general surgery. Doctors who wish to specialize in it must spend an additional year or more training after they have already completed five years of surgical residency. This means a qualified hand surgeon has expertise in the complex anatomy of the hand and in microvascular surgery. This means they are able to operate on the small bones and nerves, vessels, and other structures in the hand, wrist, and forearm. Some physicians who wish to be hand surgeons also take on additional training to treat problems in the elbow and shoulder, earning the title of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons. A hand surgeon may also specialize in specific areas within hand surgery, such as only treating children.

Typical Conditions Treated

Hand Surgeons treat many different kinds of conditions, such as sports injuries, deformities, overuse injuries, and injuries. The causes of these conditions often varies but often result from disease, trauma, or degeneration.

If an injury or problem with your hand, wrist, or forearm is affecting your quality of life by causing pain or other issues, you many want to consider consulting a hand surgeon. Some of the conditions treated by hand surgeons include carpal tunnel syndrome, finger lacerations with injury to nerves or tendons, arthritis of the hand or wrist, hand numbness, and hand fractures.

Typical Procedures Performed

Surgery of any kind should be considered only after conservative treatments have failed. Conservative treatments like medication, splints, injections, and physical therapy should always be attempted first for a set period of time. A hand surgeon should be consulted to diagnose the condition and determine the best treatment option.

The causes of these conditions often varies. These conditions may be congenital, meaning they were present at birth, or they may be due to trauma, tumors, or infections. Conditions may also be degenerative, meaning that they cause the structures they affect to gradually deteriorate or break down over time. Osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and rotator cuff tears are all examples of conditions that are degenerative. The gradual degeneration of joints and other structures can occur due to gradual wear-and-tear or aging, but it can also occur due to genetics, unhealthy lifestyle choices, repetitive motions or overuse.

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