Finding the right hand doctor is as simple as knowing which questions to ask. Here are the 5 most important questions to consider when searching for a hand doctor:
1) Have they been recommended?
When treating something as important as your hands (or any other part of your body for that matter!) you must ask for recommendations from previous patients. Check a hand doctor’s web site to read patient testimonies and hear first hand how hand surgery has helped address carpal tunnel symptoms or other hand ailments.
2) Are they properly certified?
When you first experience symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome or other pain or discomfort in your hand, you might be tempted to visit the first doctor you find. Make sure that before you commit to your treatment that you vet your doctor and ensure they are board certified as a hand doctor and surgeon. Other certifications and memberships include the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Medical Association and theAmerican College of Surgeons. Think twice before trusting a doctor who cannot share this involvement!
3) Do they give you confidence?
The bottom line when choosing a doctor is developing a relationship and building confidence in their ability to help you. An exceptional hand doctor will answer all your questions, explain the details of your treatment or hand surgery and ensure you trust them as a hand surgeon completely.
4) Is there an alternative to hand surgery?
You know what they say about surgeons, they love to operate! The best hand surgeon, however, will do everything they can to not operate. No matter how simple, surgery should always be a last resort if a less intrusive treatment can be identified. Make sure to ask your hand doctor if there is anything that can be done as an alternative to surgery before proceeding.
5) How do I keep my hands healthy and strong?
Whether your hand treatment involves hand surgery or not, a good hand doctor will provide guidance on how to maintain your hand health and avoid hand surgery moving forward. Following a carpal tunnel procedure, it is especially important to learn the exercises and practices you can do in order to avoid re-injury and prevent further symptoms for carpal tunnel or other hand disorders.