Hand Surgery in Atlanta, GA
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons perform hand surgery to restore form and function of a person’s hand, often in cases where disease, injury or birth defects have impaired hand form and function. The Atlanta Center for Breast and Aesthetic Surgery, led by Dr. Frederick T. Work, Jr., can perform several different operations in hand surgery, including carpal tunnel release and surgery to correct congenital hand defects for men and women who live in and around Buckhead, Vinings, and Sandy Springs.
What is Hand Surgery?
Hand surgery is the medical specialty that corrects conditions in the hands, wrists and forearms. Hand surgeons may treat these conditions with or without surgery, depending on the necessity of each case. Qualified hand surgeons are general, orthopedic or plastic surgeons who have undergone additional training to become experts in surgery of the hand.
Good Candidates for Hand Surgery
Candidates for hand surgery are men, women, and children who have congenital deformities or disorders affecting one or both of their hands. Many candidates for hand surgery have also experienced injuries that impair function and affect hand appearance.
Common reasons to pursue hand surgery include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Birth defects.
- Dupuytren’s contracture.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Hand injury or trauma.
What Happens During Hand Surgery?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes impaired hand function, pain, tingling, and numbness. To treat the problem, a procedure called “carpal tunnel release” is done to relieve pressure within the carpal tunnel. The operation typically requires an incision from the palm to the wrist so the doctor can release the tissue that is pressing on the lower hand and wrist nerves.
People with rheumatoid arthritis often suffer from deformed finger joints that force the fingers into a bent position, which hinders their movement. Although splints or physical therapy may help, corrective surgery is often the best solution. To treat rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Work may surgically remove tissue from inflamed joints, reposition tendons or implant artificial joints. Full use of the hands is not always regained, but patients can usually expect significant improvement.
Another common disorder is Dupuytren’s contracture, which is characterized by thick, scar-like tissue forming under the skin of the palm. The tissue may extend into the fingers, pulling them toward the palm and restricting hand motion. To treat Dupuytren’s contracture, Dr. Work may need to cut and separate those bands of thickened tissue, which frees the tendons and improves finger movement.
Congenital hand deformities will often interfere with normal hand growth and seriously impair function. Most of the time, these deformities can be corrected at a very early age. In many cases, they are corrected during infancy. Other deformities are corrected around age two or three. Surgeons regularly address congenital defects like syndactyly, immobile tendons, short fingers, missing fingers or irregular fingers and abnormal nerves or blood vessels.
What is Trigger Finger and How is it Treated?
Trigger finger is a condition that affects the tendons in your fingers or thumb. This condition may come on suddenly and is not typically caused by injury, although it may follow a period of heavy repetitive motion or intense use of the fingers.
Symptoms of trigger finger typically include:
- A lump in your palm that feels tender or sore.
- Swelling in the palm and fingers.
- A catching, snapping or popping sensation in your finger or thumb joints.
- Pain when bending or straightening your finger or thumb.
Stiffness and popping tend to increase after long periods of inactivity, such as first thing in the morning. In some cases, the fingers loosen up over the course of the day as movement increases. Sometimes it may feel as though the finger joint is dislocating, causing severe pain. In extreme cases of trigger finger, the finger remains bent and cannot be straightened, even with assistance. One or more fingers may be affected with trigger finger.
Nonsurgical treatment may suffice in some cases and the finger may be straightened with a splint to rest the affected tendons. In more extreme cases, hand surgery may be required.
Recovery After Hand Surgery
After your hand surgery, your hands may need to be immobilized for some time, depending on the procedure and Dr. Work’s recommendations. Prescription medication is often prescribed to help manage pain. Many hand surgeries will require patients to wear a special dressing and splint, which will restrict motion and promote proper healing. A hand therapist may be helpful as well, assisting with physical therapy and rehabilitation. Remember to follow all instructions from your hand therapist, in addition to post-op instructions from Dr. Work.
In many cases, hand surgery can restore a significant degree of feeling and function to injured hands. However, recovery may take months and a period of hand therapy will most often be needed. Rehabilitation therapy may be needed to regain the full use of your hand.
Will Insurance Cover My Hand Surgery in Atlanta?
Many health insurance carriers cover costs for reconstructive hand surgery when deemed medically necessary. However, some may not cover the full procedure. For patients who must pay out of pocket for any portion of the procedure, the Atlanta Center for Breast and Aesthetic Surgery provides easy financing through CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending. Our office also accepts cash, personal checks, and credit cards.
If you are suffering from a deformity, injury or physical impediment of the hand, such as trigger finger or other conditions that may require hand surgery, you may find the solution you seek at the Atlanta Center for Breast and Aesthetic Surgery, led by Frederick T. Work, Jr. Dr. Work and his expert medical team serve residents of the Atlanta, Buckhead, Vinings and Sandy Springs area in Georgia.