Hand Surgery

Female doctor meeting with patient to go over her recent hand surgery

Hand surgery may be recommended for an injury, deficiency, or ailment that causes frequent pain, limited range of motion, loss of feeling, or deformation. The condition may affect your fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm. As a result, even basic life tasks may become difficult. It can be challenging to eat, dress, exercise, lift objects, or you may simply dislike how your hands look.

Hand surgery may be an optimal solution for damaged or infected tendons, muscles, nerves, or bones, especially if therapy and medications are not enough. Thankfully, hand surgery is a successful and safe procedure with high satisfaction rates that aims to permanently restore hand, finger, wrist function, and appearance.

Call (719) 632-7669 to schedule a consultation with one of our hand surgeons today or visit us at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group.

Types of hand surgery include the following:

  • Bone Fixation
  • Joint Replacement
  • Tendon and Muscle Repair
  • Fasciotomy
  • Replantation
  • Drainage
  • Skin Graft and Skin Flaps
Happy elderly woman smiling after a full recovery from hand surgery

Hand surgery recovery time can take several weeks to several months.  Although the recovery time for hand surgeries completed with a minimally invasive technique is typically three times faster than traditional open surgery. Recovery time depends upon:

  • The complexity of the hand surgery
  • Total number of procedures needed
  • The health of the patient

Hospital Stay

Most hand surgeries are outpatient and do not require an overnight stay at the hospital.

Hand surgery in the United States costs $7,000 to $15,000. At CSOG, we accept cash or credit card payments and accept all major insurances.

Costs with Insurance

Your insurance may cover part or the entire cost of your hand surgery. Know that insurance may not cover elective or cosmetic procedures. Contact your insurance provider for coverage details.

Hand Surgery with Modern Technology

If we were to compare modern hand surgery of today with the technology of several years ago the difference would be astounding. Surgery has improved so dramatically over the past decade with modern technologies and advancements.

10 Years Ago: A patient who may have received hand surgery several years ago would have had to frequently change out her bandages. She also would have received a lot of physical therapy and had noticeable scarring.

Today: If that same patient were to receive surgery on her hand utilizing minimally invasive techniques, her recovery would be three times faster, her incisions would be so small that the doctors could use glue instead of bandages to close them (so there would be no need to change out bandages), and she would also experience minimal scarring. In fact, the scarring might not even be visible.

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Causes for Hand Surgery

Hand Injury or Infection

Hand injuries include fractures, sprains, and dislocations. Symptoms include sharp pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Common causes include falling, sports injury, or an automobile accident.

Signs of infection: swelling, tenderness, stiffness, discoloration, numbness or lack of feeling, or oozing from the injured area.

Degenerative Disease

Degenerative diseases of the hand include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Patients with degenerative diseases typically experience chronic, nagging pain and swelling. Common causes include genetics, aging, and prolonged aggravation of the joints.

Hand Defect or Deformity

A hand defect or deformity can include:

  • Cysts or lumps
  • Unnatural growths or shape
  • Crooked or bent fingers
  • Partially or fully missing fingers

A hand defect or deformity may not be a painful or debilitating condition but may simply be cosmetic. Such deformities may have naturally occurred at birth or developed over time.

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Hand Surgery Ortho vs. Plastics

In some countries, hand surgery is its own medical specialty. In the U.S., both orthopaedic surgeons and plastic surgeons can perform hand surgeries. Both receive added certified medical training to perform hand surgeries.

Plastic surgeons tend to specialize in skin and soft tissue repair. This includes reconstructive and replants operations to treat amputations, burns, and cosmetic deformities.

Orthopaedic surgeons treat all facets of hand injury and disease. This includes issues affecting bone, nerves, and tendons in the hand, wrist, and forearm.


Procedures

Hand surgery is more involved than other reconstructive procedures since the hand and wrist are small, complex joints; hand surgery requires surgeons to receive adequate medical training and refine medical techniques to perform hand operations.

Bone Fixation:

The orthopaedic surgeon can repair bone fractures and breaks with open or microsurgery. The surgeon first aligns the bones. Then, the surgeon inserts pins, wires, and screws to hold the bones together. The aim is to mend the bones together to restore integrity and function.

Joint Replacement:

A surgeon can replace a damaged or deteriorated joint with an artificial joint. The replaced joint could be a knuckle or wrist. The surgeon may use minimally invasive surgery to complete the replacement. Fewer incisions reduce the chance of infection and speed up recovery time. Artificial joints may be metal, plastic, rubber, or other body tissue. The aim is to reduce joint pain and restore full function and integrity.

Drainage:

If a sore or infection develops, the surgeon can drain and clean pus from infected areas. The surgeon may also use debridement to clean and decontaminate a hand infection. The aim is to remove infection and allow full healing.

Tendon and Muscle Repair:

Your surgeon can repair torn or severed tendons and muscles. The procedure is difficult due to small and intricate structures. Often, the surgeon will use microsurgery or open surgery to complete the repair. The aim is to restore full strength, integrity, and motion to the fingers, hand, or wrist.

Nerve Repair:

Your surgeon can repair and reattached damaged or severed nerves. This is a complex procedure. Often, the surgeon will use microsurgery to mend the nerves together. In some cases, the surgeon may use a nerve from another area of the body as a replacement. The aim is to restore hand function and feeling to the hand.

Skin Graft and Skin Flaps:

A skin graft or skin flap involves taking skin from another body part to repair hand skin. The surgeon first removes damaged skin. Replacement skin is then attached to form healthy skin. The aim is to restore hand function, appearance, and allow routine healing.

Fasciotomy:

Fasciotomy is the relief of painful compartmental pressure in hand. The surgeon can cut and scrape damaged tissue, causing the pressure. The aim is to reduce pain and improve the function of the hand or wrist.

Replantation:

Replantation is the reattachment of a severed finger or full hand. Microsurgery allows the surgeon to reattach ligaments, tissue, and nerves. The aim is to restore as much normal function as possible.

Treatment

Hand surgery is often not the first option of treatment for hand injury or disease. Your doctor (or doctors) may first prescribe medications, injections, splints, or therapy. But if medicine and therapy are not enough, surgery is a standard permanent treatment option for:

  • Sports-related injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist pain
  • Cuts and severs
  • Creating or extending fingers from other joints
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Defective and deformed fingers and joints

Benefits

The primary benefits of hand surgery are:

  • Permanent treatment
  • Reduce pain
  • Restore hand function

Commonly Used To:

  • Reattach and repair torn tendons and muscle
  • Repair damaged nerves
  • Realign and mend broken or fractured bones
  • Replace joints
  • Remove or scrape diseased or deteriorated tissue
  • Reattach severed fingers

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of hand surgery are:

  • Higher cost than non-surgical procedures
  • Chance of complications from surgery
  • Longer recovery time

Your hand doctor will give you detailed at-home care instructions. Follow the instructions carefully to best assure optimal outcomes and avoid other complications. Your hand doctor will also let you know when you can expect to return to regular activity. In the meantime, protect your surgical wound and avoid strenuous activity. If you experience increased pain or other medical symptoms, get medical help immediately.

All surgeries have risks. Likewise, hand surgery can introduce the chance of complications, to include:

  • Bleeding
  • Clotting
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Infection
  • Nerve or tissue damage

Always consult with a board-certified hand doctor about likely outcomes and risks.

Our Orthopaedic Hand Doctors

At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, we strive to provide the highest quality care. Our board-certified hand doctors receive extensive hand surgery training. And they are some of the most practiced surgeons in Colorado.

Our Specialists for Hand Surgery

We are so fortunate to have some of the most talented and caring hand doctors. Please take a moment to get to know them:

Jeffry T. Watson, MD

Jeffrey T. Watson, MD

Dr. Watson is a board-certified orthopaedic hand surgeon. He specializes in adult and pediatric reconstructive and microvascular hand surgery.

> Jeffry T. Watson, MD

Dale Cassidy, MD, MBA

Dale Cassidy, MD, MBA

Dr. Cassidy is a board-certified orthopaedic hand surgeon. He specializes in hand trauma, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendon repair.

> Dale Cassidy, MD, MBA

Is Hand Surgery Right for You?

Hand surgery is a severe medical treatment consideration. Find out if hand surgery is your best treatment option. Schedule your Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group consultation today. Call (719) 632-7669 now to schedule your appointment.

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