What is it? Our hands serve many purposes. Hands help us eat, dress, write, earn a living, create art, and do many other activities. To do these tasks and activities, our hands require sensation and movement, such as joint motion, tendon gliding, and muscle contraction. When a problem takes place in the hand, care must be given to all the different types of tissues that make function of the hand possible. The field of hand surgery deals with both surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions and problems that may take place in the hand or upper extremity (from the tip of the hand to the shoulder).
Many conditions occur in the upper extremity that can be treated by a hand surgeon. These conditions include immediate care of an injury, treatment and reconstruction of old injuries, congenital problems, arthritis, infection, and new growths and tumors. Hand surgeons also treat other problems such as nerve compression syndromes and swelling of tendons. Microsurgery is used for the reattachment of amputated parts and certain hand reconstructions. Some hand surgeons also take care of problems of the elbow and shoulder.
What are the qualifications of a hand surgeon? Hand surgery is part of the practice of general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, and plastic surgery. As surgical techniques in the upper extremity become more refined and complex, specialized training in upper extremity surgery continues to be very important. Training usually takes place during orthopaedic and plastic surgery residency or a fellowship. A fellowship is an additional period of study in surgery after a physician completes a multi-year residency. Surgeons may take an examination in hand surgery, which qualifies them to obtain a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand. our mission
What is hand therapy? When a problem takes place in the hand or upper extremity, making the hand work is the main goal. The objective of therapy is to provide exercises and activities designed to help return the hand to normal use. Therapy may be necessary after surgery and may be provided by your surgeon or a physical or occupational therapist with specialized training in rehabilitation of the upper extremity. Therapy sessions are important for recommending changes in the treatment program as well as keeping a record of progress being made. It is important that each patient understand his or her therapy program and practice it at home if maximum recovery is to be made. Achieving the best result following a hand injury or problem is a team effort of the patient, hand surgeon, and hand therapist.
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