Hand Surgery and what you should know
It’s all too easy to take for granted any body part when it is in full working order, especially our hands. However. Even the smallest injury to your hand can make you realise how much we use our hands and how incapacitated we are without them both in full working order. When you need to have hand surgery it can be difficult to know whether a plastic surgeon or an orthopaedic surgeon would be better for the job.
What Kind of Specialist Should Perform My Hand Surgery?
Often we assume that the best person to perform hand surgery would be an orthopaedic surgeon. While this can be correct, there are also many plastic surgeons who have specialised in hand surgery. Thus, the best surgeon to perform hand surgery would be a surgeon available to you that has specialised specifically in hand surgery. The most important factor is to use a surgeon who is dedicated to operating on hands, as the procedure is usually very delicate and the hands are so valuable it is not a body part that you can risk having an inexperienced surgeon for.
When looking for a surgeon, make sure that they have experience in reconstructive surgery for both skeletal problems as well as issues with soft tissue like the skin, muscle, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels for example. Your surgeon should be comprehensive in their practice, dedicated and hold themselves accountable for the outcome of your procedure.
Before and After Hand Surgery
Before you have your surgery, you will have a diagnostic scan like an x-ray, MRI or CT scan. This will help your surgeon to diagnose the issue and decide what surgery should be done to fix it, and how soon it needs to be scheduled for. Regardless of what kind of surgeon operates on your hand, it is vital that you see an occupational therapist after hand surgery for the best possible results. In fact, in most cases patients will be assigned a qualified hand therapist or occupational therapist to help with their recovery. Treatment after surgery will include splinting, management of the wound, and mobilisation work to manage and prevent stiffness. Your surgeon will keep in constant communication with your occupational therapist in order to monitor your recovery. If you require additional surgery, this communication will ensure that it is performed at the optimal time.
It is generally required that your surgeon keeps your employer up to date with your recovery with the progress reports from each follow-up visit with your surgeon and occupational therapist. Your return to work will depend on your case and be determined by both your surgeon and your occupational therapist based on your healing.
The most important thing with any surgery is that you have full faith and trust in your surgeon and their abilities. If you feel comfortable with your surgeon, listen to their instructions, and follow your occupational therapist’s instruction closely, you are likely to have a successful recovery from your hand surgery.