Common Surgical Treatments
The following are the most common upper extremity surgeries we perform at The Hand and Wrist Institute. Follow the links below to learn more details and information on each surgery, including video animations and in depth walkthroughs of each procedure. If you need assistance determining whether or not your condition requires surgical intervention, please contact Dr. Knight at The Hand and Wrist Institute to get a consultation scheduled. With offices in Dallas, TX and Southlake, TX, we are conveniently located and prepared to get you on a proper treatment plan! To schedule an appointment please contact us online or give us call.
- Arthritis Surgery
- Joint Replacement in Hands
- Reconstructive Elbow Surgery
- Reconstructive Hand Surgery
- Reconstructive Wrist Surgery
- Toe-Thumb Transplant (Case Study)
Hand and wrist surgeries include a wide range of medical procedures designed to treat injuries and conditions of the hands and wrists. These could include issues caused by deformities, diseases, and chronic conditions affecting the hand and wrist. These surgeries can vary from minimally invasive techniques to more complex interventions.
Purpose of Hand and Wrist Surgeries
Here are some benefits of having hand and wrist surgeries:
- Relieve pain and improve your quality of life.
- Restore function so you can perform everyday tasks effectively.
- Correct deformities for a more natural appearance and function.
- Repair and stabilize fractures or dislocations caused by accidents or injuries.
- Help manage symptoms of and prevent further deterioration from chronic conditions, such as arthritis.
- Restore mobility in cases of nerve compression or ligament injuries.
Importance of Understanding Hand and Wrist Surgeries
When you know more about your options, any potential risks, benefits, and expected outcomes, you can make an informed decision about how to move forward. Recognizing your symptoms is helpful for early intervention. This prevents the condition from getting worse and improves your chances of a successful recovery. Understanding the importance of postoperative rehabilitation is key, as this plays a critical role in how well you recover after surgery.
Common Hand and Wrist Surgeries
There are some common types of hand and wrist surgeries.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
This procedure can help relieve pressure on the median nerve caused by carpal tunnel syndrome to alleviate numbness, tingling, and pain. Making a small incision at the base of the palm, we cut the transverse carpal tunnel ligament to release pressure on the nerve. We may use an endoscopic approach, using a camera to guide the release. After surgery, you’ll need to wear a bulky bandage on your wrist and hand for a week or two. You’ll see improvements within a few weeks, but it may take longer to get all the feeling back in your hand.
Trigger Finger Release Surgery
When a finger gets stuck in a bent position and suddenly pops straight, it’s known as trigger finger. If nonsurgical treatments fail, we may recommend minor surgery. We’ll make a small incision at the base of the affected finger and cut through the tendon sheath to allow the tendon to move freely. You should see improvements in just a few weeks.
To repair tendon injuries, we’ll make an incision to access the damaged tendon and reattach it using sutures or anchors. We may use healthy flexor tendons from your other fingers to repair the ruptured tendon. If the rupture was caused by rubbing against bone, we’ll smooth or remove the bone to prevent further damage. After surgery, you’ll need to wear a splint or cast and undergo physical therapy to rebuild your strength. Repaired tendons take at least six weeks to heal and up to three months for a full recovery.
Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery
Dupuytren’s contracture occurs when the tissue in the palm thickens and causes the finger to curl down into your palm. We may recommend outpatient surgery to remove the tissue and release your fingers. It may take up to three weeks for your skin to heal. A physical therapist will give you exercises to help improve function, but it can take up to three months before you regain full use of your hand.
A wrist fusion may be necessary in cases of severe wrist arthritis or instability. Surgery helps to immobilize the joint by fusing the bones together to reduce pain and improve strength. However, it usually stops you from moving your wrist up and down. After surgery, you’ll stay in the hospital for a few days and wear a cast for six to eight weeks. An occupational therapist will help you get used to certain tasks.
How To Prepare for Surgery
Before surgery, we recommend asking lots of questions to understand what’s involved. If you’re taking any medication, discuss with your health care provider whether you should stop or alter your dose before surgery. Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated to promote healing, but be sure to follow any fasting instructions before surgery.
Planning makes it easier to manage when you go home. Pack clothes with wide arms and necks that are easy to get into and stock up on easy-to-cook foods. Buy postoperative supplies, such as ice packs, and ensure everything you need is within reach. Don’t forget to arrange your transport to and from the hospital.
Recovering From Surgery: Aftercare
Here are some general guidelines for what to expect after surgery:
- Pain and discomfort: You’ll experience some pain and discomfort after surgery. We’ll recommend pain medication to manage this.
- Hand elevation and ice application: Elevating your hand or wrist and applying ice can help reduce swelling and bruising.
- Dressings and bandages: Your hand or wrist will be wrapped in bandages or a splint to protect it. These dressings may need to be changed periodically.
- Physical therapy: We’ll recommend specific exercises or physical therapy to improve mobility.
- Activity restriction: Avoid activities that strain your hand or wrist. We’ll guide you on when you can go back to work and resume normal activities.
- Rest and recovery: Get plenty of rest and allow your body to heal.
- Patience: You should see a gradual improvement in pain, mobility, and function. Your hand and wrist will continue to heal for several weeks to several months.
- Follow-up appointments: We’ll arrange follow-up appointments to monitor your progress, remove stitches or sutures, and adjust your treatment plan.
- Complications: If you’re generally healthy, the risk of a serious complication from an operation is rare. However, you should contact us if you experience any signs of infection, excessive swelling, or severe pain.
Aftercare Is Key After Surgery
Following postoperative care instructions is key to ensuring a successful and uneventful recovery. We at The Hand and Wrist Institute carefully design aftercare plans to optimize your healing, prevent complications, and manage pain and discomfort. By following them diligently, you not only reduce the risk of infection, swelling, and inflammation but also promote your body’s natural healing process. Contact our Dallas hand surgeons today for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. We can walk you through your options and get you on the road to recovery.