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Hand Surgery

hand surgery patient

On any given day, the hands carry out a range of tasks at work, at home and at leisure. It can be easy to take our hands for granted until problems arise. The hand contains a huge variety of tendons, bones, muscles, joints and nerves; any of which can be injured or affected by age, making movement difficult. Hand surgery encompasses a range of different techniques and procedures that address the specific types of problems that affect the hands.

At Niche Plastic Surgery, our staff of specialist plastic surgeons perform hand surgery procedures for the most common problems that affect your hands. Our experienced team provides personalised care to ensure that the specifics of your condition are taken into account and properly treated. For now, gaining an overall understanding of the different types of surgeries can help you decide whether hand surgery is something you should consider.

Dupuytren’s Surgery and Xiaflex Injection

Dupuytren’s contracture is a disorder of connective tissue that limits movement in the fingers. An involuntary bending of the finger(s) develops as Dupuytren’s gets worse.

Dupuytren’s surgery and the Xiaflex injection offer two effective approaches for treating Dupuytren’s contracture, both performed on an outpatient basis. The surgical procedure involves removing the diseased connective tissue. Doing so loosens the tension in the fingers and allows them to straighten out normally. Xiaflex is an enzyme-based substance that’s injected into the affected connective tissue. The Xiaflex gradually acts to gradually break up the excess connective tissue, eventually allowing the fingers to straighten out and start to move normally.

Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the more common hand-related conditions, develops as a result of repetitive or awkward hand and wrist movements that strain the ligaments and nerves in the wrist. Increased swelling in an area of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel puts pressure on both the median nerve and the tendons that extend through the carpal tunnel. People affected by carpal tunnel syndrome experience numbness, tingling and even pain in the fingers because of the ongoing pressure on the median nerve.

Carpal tunnel release surgery involves reducing the swelling in the wrist by cutting a portion of the ligament that makes up the carpal tunnel. By doing so, pressure decreases and allows nerve transmissions to flow to the fingers. This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

Cubital Tunnel Release

Cubital tunnel syndrome results from increasing pressure on the ulnar nerve, a nerve that runs through a region of the elbow known as the cubital tunnel (a passageway that runs through the bony portion of the elbow). Symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may include tingling, pain and numbness in the ring finger, little finger and palm of the hand. When left untreated, cubital tunnel syndrome can cause permanent nerve damage, so it’s important to seek out medical attention if you experience these symptoms on a frequent basis.

Cubital tunnel release surgery can be done in two ways. For mild cases, your surgeon may perform a medial epicondylectomy, which entails shaving down the bony bump so the nerve can pass through freely. For moderate to severe cases, an ulnar nerve transposition is most likely needed. This procedure involves moving the ulnar nerve out of the cubital tunnel, from behind the elbow to the front of the elbow.

Ganglions

Ganglions, also called ganglion cysts, result from fluid pockets that grow inside the wrist and hand. Cysts appear as lumps and contain sacs of clear liquid that feels spongy or firm to the touch. In some cases ganglions can press on the nerve that runs through the wrist causing pain and sometimes restricting movement. Hand surgery for ganglions entails removing the cyst or cysts. When multiple cysts exist, they’re usually connected by a stalk within the deeper tissue. In this case your hand surgeon will remove both the cysts and the stalk.

Trigger Finger

Stenosing tenosynovitis, better known as “trigger finger,” develops when the sheaths covering the tendons in the fingers start to thicken and impede movement. This condition causes the joints of the finger to lock up and prevent them from bending. Pain and stiffness may also result.

Surgery to correct trigger finger involves cutting the tendon sheath so the tendon can move freely. This is an outpatient procedure that can be done in three different ways depending on the thickness of the sheath:

  • Making a small incision in the palm to treat the affected tendon
  • Inserting a needle into the bottom of the finger to cut the tendon sheath
  • Removing part of the tendon sheath
  • Sometimes the triggering will respond to a simple steroid injection which can be performed in the surgeon’s rooms

Hand Trauma

Hand Trauma can take two forms: fractures and soft tissue injuries. Fractures are defined as a crack or break in one or more bones in the hand. Soft tissue injuries result from injury to the tendons, ligaments, muscles or the skin of the hand. Both types of hand trauma can lead to permanent damage when left untreated.

For fractures, hand surgery should be considered in cases where the bones are loose or when the bone has pierced through the skin. Surgery often entails implanting screws, wires or plates in the hand to secure the bones in place. Depending on the extent of the break, your doctor may remove the implant once the fracture has healed.

Hand surgery for soft tissue injuries can take many different forms depending on the extent of the injury and the structures affected. The goal of soft tissue hand surgery is to restore both joint stability and the functional capacity of the affected tendons, muscles and ligaments. For both types of hand trauma, surgery may be performed in the doctor’s office or in an operating room environment, depending on the severity of the injury.

Schedule a Hand Surgery Consultation Today

More often than not, the longer you put off getting treatment for a hand-related condition the worse it gets. What starts out as a mild discomfort or minor problem can soon turn into a serious condition. A consultation with one of our specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeons will not only answer all your questions, but also help you determine whether hand surgery is necessary.

At Niche Plastic Surgery, our team is made up of qualified, experienced hand surgeons. Our facility has provided quality treatment and services for over three decades. We serve patients from St Vincents, Northpark Private, St Vincents Kew and East Melbourne, as well as other nearby areas. To schedule a consultation, contact Niche Plastic Surgery on 9853 9705.