While unfortunate to note, the hand is sometimes taken for granted.
However, the importance of the human hand cannot be overstated.
Most routine activities carried out daily (i.e. eating, creating art, dressing, writing, working, etc.) would be challenging(if not impossible to perform) sans functioning hands.
While not everyone may be aware of it, most hand problems are the result of trauma, overuse, and injuries.
Depending on the condition’s severity, treatment interventions can range from noninvasive (conventional) to orthopaedic hand surgery.
Some of the common hand conditions that may need hand surgery include:
Dupuytren’s Contracture Fasciectomy
This condition is characterized by tissue formation in the fingers and the palm of the hands.
Although the patient can develop skin nodules, the condition is actually painless.
However, in some cases, it can result to the fingers curling down in the patient’s palm.
When fingers curl, removing the tissue and releasing the affected finger will require surgery.
Fortunately, the skin will already heal after 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
Full use of the hand can be expected after 12 weeks.
In most cases, a hand therapist will monitor the hand’s function and movement and teach patients apt hand exercises.
While a night extension splint is sometimes used, it is not necessary in most cases.
The trapezium is the bone situated in the wrist (at the base of the thumb).
When the joint there becomes afflicted with arthritis, it becomes very painful.
The pain can be very severe that performing the usual daily routine can become very challenging.
While the pain will eventually disappear on its own, surgery might be recommended when the pain lingers.
Patients are required to wear a splint for at least 6 weeks after the operation.
To help quickly regain hand movement and strength, proper hand exercises will be taught.
Carpal Tunnel Release
Essentially, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often characterized by a tingling sensation and numbness in the hand.
Symptoms are often more noticeable when the hand is in the upright position or there is prolonged gripping.
Treatment intervention for carpal tunnel syndrome can include noninvasive options like steroid injections and wearing a splint.
However, if the condition does not respond to conservative alternatives, hand surgery might become the likely resort.
The bandage will have to stay for a week (or two) after the procedure.
However, the stitches will be removed after 10 to 14 days.
By then, patients can already use the fingers and the thumb.
While doing heavy tasks will still be prohibited, moving the fingers every now and then is encouraged to help ensure the nerves and the tendons do not get caught up in any scar tissue that can develop after the operation.
Knuckle (MCP Joint) Replacement
Also referred to as rheumatoid arthritis of the knuckles, metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint can reduce the hand’s function significantly and can be very painful.
When the condition already makes use of the hand challenging, hand surgery will be required.
During the surgery, the knuckles will be replaced by small artificial joints that will also act as flexible hinges.
The surgery is performed to enhance hand function and to reduce pain.
After the procedure, a few days of rest will be necessary before rehabilitation can start.
Patients will be taught exercises to encourage finger movement.
Wearing a splint (at least for a few weeks) will most likely be recommended.
Tendon rupture occurs when the tendons snap or tear.
While this rarely happens, the condition is often attributed to rheumatoid arthritis (and other types of inflammatory arthritis).
Repaired tendons will need at least six weeks for it to completely heal.
While healing, a hand splint will be used to protect it.
Full hand recovery is expected after 2 to 3 months.