Choosing a hand doctor: the critical credential

Your hands are one of your body’s most useful tools, and sometimes they need a doctor of their own. Hand doctors and hand surgeons specialize in knowing exactly how the complex workings of bone, muscle and joints combine to power the hands. If you are experiencing symptoms for carpal tunnel syndrome or continual pain, numbness or clumsiness in the hands, it is likely time to consult a hand doctor. But how do you know which hand doctor you can trust?

First and foremost, check a doctor’s certification. Hand doctors and hand surgeons should be board-certified through the Boards of Surgery or Orthopedic Surgery, both of which are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

When is it time to see a hand doctor?
If you have pain, numbness or are having trouble conducting normal tasks with your hands for more than a week or two, it is time to see a hand surgeon and consider your hand surgery options.

Diagnosis is the first step!

Common vein conditions a hand doctor or hand surgeon can help include the following:
·         Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
·         Wrist Pain
·         Basilar Joint Arthritis
·         Trigger Finger
·         Dupuytren’s Contracture
·         DeQuervain’s Tendonitis
·         Ganglion Cysts
·         Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
·         Lateral Epicondylitis
·         Small Joint Arthritis
Remember, carpal tunnel syndrome can result from common illnesses including diabetes, arthritis and hypothyroidism. If you have any of these conditions, consult a hand doctor immediately or if carpal tunnel symptoms like numbness, pain or lack of sensation are experienced in your hands.

Our hand doctors
Committed to alleviating debilitating pain, hand specialists Dr. Stephen Helgemo, Jr. and Dr. Ivan Olarte have built a hand surgery practice with expertise to address a variety of conditions.

From carpal tunnel procedures to specialized hand surgery, their bilingual practice is the only in the Charlotte County region to treat hands and arms exclusively. Presenters at local and national hand surgery meetings, Dr. Helgemo, Jr. and Dr. Olarte focus on minimally invasive hand surgery, trauma, tendon repair, fingertip injuries, and arthritis.

Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr.
Dr. Stephen L. Helgemo, Jr. is a highly regarded Board Certified Arm and Hand Surgeon, and a Board Certified Orthopedic Doctor. Dr. Helgemo received his MD from Johns Hopkins University where he also completed an Orthopedic Surgery Residency. Dr. Helgemo is an active member of the American Society of Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Helgemo passed his re-examination for dual board certification and is Board Certified in Orthopedics and Hand Surgery.

Dr. Ivan G. Olarte
Dr. Ivan G. Olarte is a Board Certified General Surgeon with a BA in Biology from Baylor University and his MD from Ponce School of Medicine. He completed a General Surgery residency at St. John Hospital Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, where he ascended to Chief Resident. He then went on to receive subspecialty hand and microsurgery fellowship training at the University of Mississippi. Currently, Dr. Olarte is a candidate member of the American Society of Surgery of the Hand, a member of the American Medical Association, and The American College of Surgeons.

Hands are a wonderfully complex and intricate collection of muscles, bone and tendon. Taking care of them ensures the ability to take advantage of all they can do – from work, to nourishing ourselves to providing comfort in the simple act of holding someone else’s hand. Learn more about their care at www.floridahandspecialist.com.