Hand and wrist surgery is broad ranging orthopaedic specialty. It is normally performed by an orthopaedic consultant with a special interest in hands and wrists to treat:
• Hand and wrist injuries.
• Arthritis treatment including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that change and damage the structures in your hand and wrist.
• Degenerative changes to the structures in your hand and wrist.
• Hand and wrists problems or defects that are present at birth.
A hand and wrist surgeon may perform many hand surgeries to help relieve pain and restore hand function. Here are some of the more common hand surgeries:
• Carpal tunnel release – the carpal ligament of your carpal tunnel at your wrist is cut so that the median nerve that passes through it is no longer compressed and your pain is relieved.
• Closed reduction and fixation – the realignment and immobilisation of broken or fractured bones in your hand and wrist. Wrist bones are regularly broken or fractured. The most common type of fractured wrist is called a distal radius fracture, when your radius bone breaks.
• Dupuytren’s contracture fasciotomy – the connective tissue in your palm or fingers is divided to release the tightness in your hand that is causing Dupuytren’s contracture.
• Dupuytren’s contracture fasciectomy – the connective tissue in your palm or fingers is removed to treat more severe Dupuytren’s contracture.
• Ganglion removal – the cutting away of a harmless fluid filled swelling called a ganglion for pain relief, better joint function and improved cosmetic appearance.
• Joint fusion (arthrodesis) - to treat arthritis in many hand and wrist joints. Fusing the joint straightens and adds stability to it.
• Joint replacement (arthroplasty) – hand or wrist joints can be replaced with artificial ones to relieve pain and increase function. It is often used to treat severe wear and tear osteoarthritis of the hand and, rheumatoid arthritis of the knuckles that causes damage and deformity.
• Tendon repair – the repair of ruptured tendons caused by infection, trauma, or arthritis to improve hand control.
• Trigger finger release – the cutting through of an affected section of your tendon sheath to stop your tendon getting caught in it when you unbend your finger.
• Trapeziectomy – the removal of your trapezium bone (a bone in your wrist at the base of your thumb) to treat arthritis that is causing you pain and, to improve your hand function.
• Surgical drainage or debridement – the removal of cartilage and pus and, wound cleaning, to treat and prevent hand infections and promote healing.
You will typically have an anaesthetic before your wrist or hand surgery.
Surgery usually involves cutting, repairing, removing, and replacing damaged or swollen tissue. It can be performed by open or keyhole surgery. Your hand and wrist surgeon will advise you on what is involved in the procedure recommended for your individual needs.
The benefits of hand and wrist surgery include:
• long-term pain relief
• improved hand and wrist function
• enhanced appearance of your hands and wrist.
Most hand and wrist surgeries carry the risks of an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic and bleeding.
Additional risks will depend on the type of hand or wrist surgery being performed. They may include:
• Incomplete healing
• Loss of feeling or movement of the hand or fingers
• Blood clots.
Your consultant orthopaedic surgeon will talk through in detail the complications that might arise when you have your recommended hand and wrist surgery.
Recovery time after hand and wrist surgery will vary depending upon on the cause of your condition and the type of surgery performed.
You could expect to initially have mild to severe pain after your hand or wrist surgery.
Your hand and wrist surgeon will discuss with you the expected recovery timings for your individual situation and surgery requirements.
If you decide to pay for your treatment, Ramsay offer an all-inclusive Total Care package, where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price, delivering direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. You can also spread the cost of your treatment with finance options available.
A hand and wrist surgery may be covered by your medical insurance policy. We advise you to check directly with your insurance provider and get written confirmation before commencing treatment.
With Ramsay Health Care, our hospitals regularly perform all the common types of hand and wrist surgery. We offer rapid and convenient appointments so that you can see one of our highly regarded orthopaedic surgeons with a special interest in hand and wrist surgery at the earliest opportunity. They can request all the necessary diagnostic tests required so that treatment can commence quickly.
We understand that hand and wrist conditions can be painful and, frustrating when your hand and wrist functionality is limited. We aim to offer you the very best hand and wrist care for your needs so that you can get back to your normal activities as soon as possible without pain.
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