152013Apr

The number ONE way to avoid hand surgery

When someone says the word “surgery,” it’s easy to jump to a visual image of a person in a hospital bed wrapped head to toe in gauze: hand surgery is NOT this way! Still, if you could avoid hand surgery all together – why wouldn’t you? The number ONE way to avoid hand surgery is to consult a hand doctor or hand surgeon as soon as symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome or other disorders present themselves.

Here’s what to look for:
Symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome:

  1. Numbness or tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers. People are often tempted to shake these symptoms off, “oh, it’s nothing…” What if it’s not? If symptoms persist – consult a hand surgeon now and you’ll greatly reduce the chance of needing hand surgery.
  2. Pain in the fingers, hand or forearm – sometimes this can even extend up to the shoulder. If you’re experiencing any pain for longer than a week – consult a hand doctor to explore your treatment options.
  3. Loss of strength or trouble holding items (how many times have you had to sweep up broken glass in the kitchen recently?). This can be a symptom for carpal tunnel as well as a variety of other hand ailments that may require treatment from a specialist.

What if it is not carpal tunnel syndrome?
The hands are miraculously complex – as a result, they can be affected by a variety of ailments. While carpal tunnel syndrome is quite common, other symptoms to look out for in relation to different disorders and hand surgery needs include:

  • Pain, numbness or sensation in the little finger (the little finger is connected to a different nerve than the nerve responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • General pain that could be related to nerve damage
  • Arthritis and related pain or pressure
  • Infections as a result of injury or trauma
  • Discomfort that may be related to other health issues including diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroid and arthritis
  • Discoloration in the fingers or nail beds

Remember – the number one way to avoid hand surgery is to consult a hand surgeon early. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome or the other symptoms discussed, call a hand doctor today to explore your treatment options.