Hand Surgery Library
The disability of a hand condition is only really felt when the affected hand becomes unable to fulfill its normal functions. This is usually the case when the hand is immobilised following a fracture of the bone or any other surgical procedure. Certain conditions like arthritis of the hand create painful joints that prevent us from utilising the important functions of the hand. Certain pinched nerve conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome disable the limb by causing loss of sensation, pins and needles or weakness of the hands. Other inflammatory conditions like gout or rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints but commonly affects the hands. These conditions can create sudden disability, pain and complete loss of function.
The good news is that most of these conditions are treatable. Many of these conditions require a combination of lifestyle modifications, medical treatment and some rehabilitation by a therapist (physiotherapy or occupational therapist). In certain conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or other pinched nerves, surgery becomes an option if conservative treatment (physiotherapy or hand therapy) has failed. Other traumatic conditions like fractures of bones warrant immediate surgical intervention.
Irrespective of the condition, or the chronicity, the loss of hand function impacts our life rather dramatically: Please share your experience with fellow patients that might be dealing with the same problems or suffering from the same condition!
Flexor Tendon Injuries
Flexor tendons refer to the tendons moving the fingers and the thumb running on the palm side of the hand. Each finger has two tendons (flexor digitorum superficialis and flexor digitorum profundus) and the thumb has one tendon called flexor pollicus longus. Injuries to these structures are devastating and there is no quick fix. […]
Scapho-Lunate Ligament Injuries
The complexity of wrist movements is still not fully understood. The wrist is by far the most complex joint in the body and the most intricate and cleverly designed piece of engineering to create movements in all planes. There are eight wrist bones and they move in a very well orchestrated synchronous way with […]
Major Trauma and Degloving Upper Limb Injuries
Major trauma to the hand and upper limb can be devastating injuries that change the course of life for the injured person. These injuries usually involve a high energy mechanism like industrial machines, heavy weights or high speed car and motorbike accidents. These injuries are commonly associated with other injuries of the chest, spine […]
Osteoarthritis, often simply referred to as arthritis, is the global term for the degenerative joint process where the common denominator is the loss of articular cartilage. The ‘itis’ in arthritis is referring to an inflammatory condition, and is a misnomer in medical terminology, since the cause is not inflammatory in nature. Osteoarthritis is therefore seen […]
Trauma surgery refers to all those surgical interventions that are performed in an urgent/emergent fashion to ensure the best outcome. Young and old are at risk of getting injured. The old can get injured falling in the house, the younger might get injured on the sports field whilst the very young might fall of the […]
Orthopaedic surgery as part of hand surgery
Orthopaedic surgery refers to the surgical discipline that specialises in the limbs and spine of the human skeleton. These doctors are commonly referred to as ‘bone doctors’. Essentially orthopaedic surgeons manage all the bones, soft tissue and joints of the upper and lower limbs as well as the spine. You will therefore consult an orthopaedic […]
The Hand Surgeon’s approach to the musician
There is a lot of attention given to sports injuries and many sport physicians, sport physiotherapists and even psychologists have focussed exclusively on the athlete’s needs. The special needs of the musician are commonly overlooked and under-appreciated. Considering the technical skill required to perform on a high level, the long hours of practice and the […]
Rheumatoid arthritis in the hand
Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an inflammatory arthritis. This per definition implies that there is an inflammatory process that drives the disease. In RA the inflammatory process is caused by an autoimmune process (the body produce antibodies against itself) that stirs an inflammatory process in joints and tendon synovial sheaths. The inflammatory process produces enzymes […]
Hand surgery and the sportsman
Every sport has its injuries. Some sports have more than others. The hand is involved in most sports and even in the sports where you not allow to use your hands, like soccer, the hand becomes the instinctive first line of contact to lessen a fall or to reduce an impact. The hand serves as […]
Gout in the hand
Gout is classified as a crystalline artropathy, which means that the problem of this condition is a deposition of crystals. In this case the culprit is sodium urate crystals. The crystals are deposited in the joint lining and joint fluid secondary to raised uric acid levels (hyperuricaemia) in the blood. There are many causes for […]