Hand surgery may be recommended for patients suffering conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Dupuytren’s contracture. Dr. Rappaport may also perform hand surgery in the event of injury to the tendons and joints, bone fractures and burns. Dr. Rappaport’s membership in the Hand Association and his fellowship in hand surgery provide him with the knowledge and skill necessary to improve both the function and appearance of the hand.
Hand surgery offers the following benefits:
- Restoration of function to the fingers and hand
- Some feeling and sensation may be returned to the hand
- Cosmetic improvement to the appearance of the hand
- Reversal of some types of issues like trigger finger
- Decreased discomfort from arthritic changes and nerve compression
Options in Hand Surgery
The following conditions are the most common reasons why hand surgery may be recommended:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome -The carpal tunnel is a passageway through the wrist carrying tendons and one of the hand’s major nerves. When there is pressure on the nerve within the tunnel, you may have a tingling sensation in the hand, often accompanied by numbness, aching and impaired hand function. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Pressure can build up due to disease, injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, overuse or repetitive motions. In some cases, splinting the hand and anti-inflammatory medications will relieve the problem. If this doesn’t work, then surgery may be required. Dr. Rappaport will assess your situation during your consultation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – This disease causes inflammation of the joints that can affect the appearance and function of the hands (and other parts of the body). It often deforms finger joints and forces the fingers into a bent position that hampers movement. This disease can often be managed without surgery but for some, surgery may be the best solution. The options will be based on Dr. Rappaport’s examination of your specific condition.
- Dupuytren’s Contracture: This disorder of the skin and underlying tissue on the palm of the hand causes thick, scar-like tissue to form under the skin of the palm and may extend into the fingers. This results in restricting the motion of the hand and fingers. This condition usually occurs in mid-life and has a tendency to run in families. Surgery is the only treatment for this condition. Dr. Rappaport will explain the specifics of this surgery during your consultation.
How is Hand Surgery Performed?
Hand surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis at Dr. Rappaport’s Houston associated facilities. The procedure will likely be done under regional anesthesia and sedation with the duration of the procedure depending on the specific surgery to be performed. Incisions are commonly placed inside the palm of the hand where post-surgical scarring will be less visible.
What is the Recovery Like?
Most patients are up and around immediately after hand surgery, although activities that require use of the hand may be restricted much longer. While cosmetic results may be seen soon after surgery, you may need to commit to a much longer period of rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain full use of the hand.
Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about Hand Surgery
Can I treat both my hands at the same time?
While it might be tempting to get both hands taken care of in a single surgical procedure, there are advantages in treating one hand at a time. By staging these procedures, we can assure you that you have full strength and function in at least one hand at all times.
What are some of the congenital deformities that may require surgical treatment?
In addition to injuries and conditions treatable by surgery, some patients also have congenital defects that can be addressed through reconstructive surgery. Those defects might include short or missing fingers, immobile tendons or syndactyly, a defect in which two or more fingers fuse together.
Why should I choose a plastic surgeon for my hand surgery?
While plastic surgeons may not be the only doctors to perform hand surgery, they are one of the most competent in ensuring the final results of your surgery will provide the best functional and aesthetic results. Surgery of the Hand is an integral part of Plastic Surgery training. In addition, because of my interest, I completed a Hand Surgery Fellowship
Who is more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome?
Women are much more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome than men, three times more likely, in fact. The condition is also seen frequently in individuals that perform task requiring repetitive motion, like cutting hair and typing on a keyboard.
Will my insurance cover hand surgery?
Insurance companies are very likely to cover at least a portion of hand surgery, since the purpose of the procedure may be to restore function of the hand as much as improving on the hand’s appearance. At Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, we understand navigating the complex world of insurance can difficult. Our staff will provide you with support in understanding your insurance coverage and help you to get preauthorization completed prior to your surgery.
Dr. Rappaport’s experience and training in treating the hand have made him a top choice for hand surgery in the Houston area. He will work with you to determine the best course of action to restore function to the hand as well as improve its function. To learn more about hand surgery, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 713-790-4500.