Find out how a hand surgeon from San Jose Orthopedic Center can help you.
Make an appointment today with a hand surgeon in Silicon Valley to learn more about how we can help you find relief from common hand conditions and injuries.
Your hands play an important role in many things you do through your daily life, from eating and dressing to earning a living. When something affects the tendons, joints, bones, and muscles that make up your hands, it often becomes difficult to perform those essential functions without some level of pain or recurring discomfort. If you’ve reached this point, consider how a hand surgeon in Silicon Valley may be able to:
- Provide an accurate diagnosis of your problem
- Restore the normal functioning of your hands
Making an Accurate Diagnosis
The first step a hand surgeon will take is to make an accurate diagnosis. This often includes input from any previous doctors you may have seen, including your primary care physician. Diagnosing a problem with the hand, wrist, or fingers starts with a visual assessment and typically includes image testing, such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, to determine the extent of any possible internal damage to muscles and tendons. Medical history also plays a role in diagnosis, especially for patients with conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that can affect circulation in the hands and fingers.
Presenting Non-Surgical Treatments
An orthopedic hand surgeon will often recommend non-surgical treatments unless there’s a pressing medical emergency requiring surgical intervention. Most non-urgent hand, wrist, and finger issues can be treated with a combination of physical and occupational therapy. For some degree of discomfort making hand and finger movements, hand exercises, such as hand stretches and finger bends, are frequently recommended if there is no evidence of structural damage to joints or nerves to strengthen the muscles supporting the hand and related structures. Non-surgical treatments for hand, wrist, and finger pain may also include:
- Medication for hand pain due to arthritis-related inflammation
- Steroid injections to reduce swelling around joints
- Splinting to support and protect hands
Treating a Variety of Conditions
A hand surgeon has the special training required to treat a variety of conditions affecting the hands, wrists, and fingers. Patients are often referred to a hand surgeon by their primary care physician. There are situations where a hand doctor is the first choice for treatment, as is often the case for medical emergencies like a severed finger or damaged tendons and ligaments. Initial follow-up care is also provided by the hand surgeon and their support staff. Orthopedic hand surgeons are able to treat the following conditions:
- Persistent wrist pain: Often resulting from disease or injury affecting bones, ligaments, and connective tissue, wrist pain can also be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: A hand and arm condition resulting in numbness, tingling and related symptoms, carpal tunnel syndrome can vary in intensity from occasional discomfort to severe pain aggravated by movement.
- Sports injuries to the hand and wrist: Injuries to the hand or wrist as a result of playing sports can range from minor muscle strains to severe injuries involving damage to ligaments and tendons.
- Serious cuts and wounds on the hand, fingers, or wrist: Cuts and wounds anywhere on the hand, wrist, or fingers can include minor surface injuries only affecting the skin and serious injuries involving damage extending to bones and joints.
Orthopedic hand surgeons also treat patients with pain related to diseases affecting the hand and wrist. DeQuervain’s disease, for instance, is a condition characterized by the inflammation of tendons beginning in the thumb and continuing to the wrist that a hand surgeon often treats with medication to reduce the inflammation. Contact our office if you have any questions about the conditions that we treat.
Restoring Normal Hand Functions
The purpose of any treatment for hand pain or injuries to the hand, fingers, or wrist is to restore normal functioning. When joint pain is involved, the primary goal is to restore range of motion. For hand injuries where surgery is necessary, the restoration of normal hand functioning often involves physical therapy to recondition muscles as nerves heal. An orthopedic hand surgeon may recommend gentle stretching exercises a patient can perform at home and track the difference in range of motion with each subsequent visit.
There are many different options for treatments for hand issues, and we will work with you to find the best combination of approaches that will help you to achieve normal hand functions as quickly as possible.
Offering Tips to Keep Your Hands Healthy
Orthopedic surgeons often provide recommendations to patients looking to reduce the risk of experiencing pain or injury in the future. Such tips may be coupled with follow-up care instructions after the completion of a specific procedure or provided in response to a patient-doctor question-and-answer session. Common tips offered to patients looking to minimize the risk of injury to their hands, fingers, or wrists include:
- Performing daily hand stretches to maintain muscle strength
- Using protective grips or gloves when performing heavy lifting
- Applying proper form when playing sports involving repetitive motions
- Taking a break when pain or discomfort becomes noticeable
- Seeking medical assistance for sharp or lingering pain
Since hand surgeons devote their time to understanding how all essential components of the hand operate, they’re able to look at situations from a different perspective. These insights often allow orthopedic surgeons within this specialty to present a more precise diagnosis along with customized treatment options. Your first step in finding the relief you deserve is to schedule an appointment with a hand surgeon in Silicon Valley dedicated to restoring the normal functioning of your hands.
Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you manage any discomfort or pain that you are experiencing in your hand or wrist. We can answer any questions you might have about our diagnostic processes and our treatment methods. At our office, we place an emphasis on minimally invasive treatment methods whenever possible. This means that you can enjoy full relief and range of motion without having to undergo painful procedures with long recovery times. We look forward to helping you!