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The demographics of hand injuries and disorders depend on the specific injury or disorder in question. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) of the hands are often related to occupation; for example, nurse anesthetists, dental hygienists, keyboard instrumentalists, word processors, violinists, and some assembly line workers are at relatively high risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis of the fingers related to their work. Nearly 17% of all disabling work injuries in the United States involve the fingers, most often when the finger strikes or is jammed against a hard surface. Over 25% of athletic injuries involve the hand or wrist.
An injury can damage the nerves in the hand. This can cause a loss of hand function and a loss of feeling in the hand. Some nerve injuries may heal on their own. Others may require surgery. Generally, surgery is done about 3 to 6 weeks after the injury. This is the best time for nerve repairs that are linked with other more complicated injuries.
This procedure is done to help treat compartment syndrome. This painful condition occurs when there is swelling and increased pressure in a small space, or compartment, in the body. Often this is caused by an injury. This pressure can interfere with blood flow to the body tissues and destroy function. In the hand, a compartment syndrome may cause severe and increasing pain and muscle weakness. Over time, it can cause a change in color of the fingers or nailbeds.
Surgical drainage or debridement
Hand infections are very common. Treatment for hand infections may include rest, using heat, elevation, antibiotics, and surgery. If there is a sore or abscess in the hand, surgical drainage may help remove any pus. If the infection or wound is severe, debridement may be used to clean dead and contaminated tissue from the wound. This prevents further infection and helps promote healing.
Tendon repair is surgery done to treat a torn or otherwise damaged tendon. Tendons are the soft, band-like tissues that connect muscles to bone. When the muscles contract, the tendons pull the bones and cause the joints to move.