Pain in your hands can make simple tasks challenging, such as typing or tying shoelaces. If your discomfort has lasted longer than 12 weeks, and you aren’t sure why, consider seeing a hand specialist for a chronic pain diagnosis and treatment plan. Here's more information about what causes hand pain and what to expect from surgery.
Causes of Hand Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a ligament and bone passageway that holds the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the palm and controls finger movements. Repetitive actions, physical trauma, or an underlying medical condition inflame and thicken the tendons, narrowing the tunnel and putting painful pressure on the median nerve. This condition also causes hand stiffness and reduced grip strength.
Broken bones and osteoarthritis can also cause hand pain. These injuries wear away the cartilage between the joint bones. Without adequate cartilage, the bones will rub each other, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Bones can break from forceful impacts, and osteoarthritis occurs from genetics, age-related wear, and repetitive sports injuries that dislocate joints.
What to Expect From Hand Surgery
Types of Solutions
If your pain is significant and affects your quality of life, a hand specialist will suggest surgery to address the problem. The surgery includes undergoing local anesthesia so that you won't feel discomfort during the procedure.
If you need it, the surgeon can reattach a severed nerve or construct a new one from a graft. Severe arthritis, where joint tissue has been completely destroyed, calls for joint replacement surgery. Artificial joints are made from plastic, metal, silicone rubber, or your tissue to function like real joints without pain.
Hand surgeries also include closed reductions and fixations for broken hand and finger bones. The affected hand is immobilized with a splint, wire, rod, or cast after the surgeon realigns the affected bones. This tactic keeps the bones in place so that they heal properly.
Your doctor will prescribe painkillers to enhance your comfort while healing and suggest exercises to keep the muscles and ligaments strong. You may also have to wear a splint or cast to keep the bones in place and a dressing to protect the incision from infectious bacteria.
If your hand pain is severe, turn to Independence Healthcare, PC, in Soldotna, AK. These hand specialists and orthopedic surgeons will assess your condition to create an accurate diagnosis and custom treatment plan. Visit the website for more information about their services, or call (907) 262-6454 to schedule an appointment.