It’ll be hard for you to function without your hands. You need them when you prepare meals for your family or drive your car to work. It’ll be challenging for you to become a student, employee, or parent without your hands. These are essential parts of your body, which is why you should know when to seek the help of a hand surgeon such as Paul Paterson, MD.
What Is A Hand Surgeon?
As the name suggests, a hand surgeon is a doctor who specializes in dealing with the problems of the forearms, hands, and wrists. Depending on the gravity of the problem, a hand surgeon can provide solutions with or without surgery. They can diagnose any problem involving the forearms, hands, and wrists, and make a thorough assessment about which procedure is the most appropriate. Hand surgeons are also trained and experienced to care for a patient’s elbow and shoulder problems.
How Can A Hand Surgeon Help You?
Contrary to popular belief, experiencing pain or discomfort in your arms and hands won’t go away on their own. When these problems are left untreated for a certain period, they can worsen and can cause severe damage to your overall wellness.
Here are some of the most common conditions a hand surgeon can help you with:
- Hand And Wrist Arthritis
Your body will start to degenerate as you age. The vigor you had when you were a teen will be nonexistent once you become an adult and, eventually, as a senior. Because of the aging process, different parts of your body will start to become weak—and your hands and wrists are just two of the most affected areas.
When you age, your body will no longer be strong enough to fight off foreign germs and bacteria. Because of these, the tiny joints in your hands and wrists can become inflamed. This inflammation can cause your bones to destroy your cartilage and rub against each other. This can result in hand and wrist arthritis.
A hand surgeon can help treat hand and wrist arthritis. They will perform reconstructive surgery in order to remove any damaged cartilage and tissues in the patient’s body. Reconstructive surgery is usually a pain-free procedure, which is recommended for patients who have joints severely affected or degraded by arthritis.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When your hands and wrists are overused or go through repetitive exercises, you’re at risk of
developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition causes the joints in your hands and wrists to compress and create pressure with each other, resulting in numbness, weakness, and chronic pain. Once left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage.
A hand surgeon will recommend a patient who is suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to undergo surgical treatments. These treatments are accomplished by cutting the ligament on the top of your hand’s tunnel, relieving pressure as the tunnel increases its size.
- Ganglion Cyst
A ganglion cyst happens when a small sac of fluid develops in the joints or tendons of your wrist. This cyst contains a jelly-like material that has a sticky, clear, and thick consistency. The cyst can either feel spongy or firm, depending on its size.
Ganglion cysts usually occur at the back of the patient’s hands but can also develop on the palm of the wrist or bases of the fingers. And while some cases of ganglion cysts disappear on their own, others cause chronic pain, which can become worse when the patient is in motion. If the cysts develop within the patient’s tendon, the affected finger can feel weak. Once this happens, it’ll be hard for the patient to use or even move their finger.
Before a hand surgeon will conduct any surgery to remove a ganglion cyst, you will be required to undergo a physical exam first. The exam is usually done by inserting a syringe to draw out fluid from the cyst in your wrist or hand. Ultrasound can also be used during the physical exam to assess if the cyst is liquid or solid. An ultrasound can also determine whether the cyst is connected to your artery or blood vessel. You will be recommended to undergo surgery once nonsurgical treatment doesn’t work to remove the cysts.
Always Compare Options
If you think you need the services of a hand surgeon, take the time to scout for options. Ask for recommendations from your friends and family, and do your own research online. The more information you know about a specific hand surgeon, the easier it’ll be for you to choose.