At Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, our specialty-trained hand doctors are recognized experts in providing evaluation and treatment for a variety of hand injuries and conditions.
Your hands and wrists are vitally important to your everyday lifestyle; it's hardly possible to count the ways you use them for work or leisure. As such, pain in your hands can truly impede your ability to complete most tasks in daily living. The good news is that visiting a hand doctor can provide you with potential treatment and, ultimately, with relief from pain and a return to normal functioning.
Why Should You Visit a Hand Doctor?
Various conditions and injuries can affect your hands, and that might make it necessary for you to see a doctor. Some of these conditions may be relatively minor, treatable through physical therapy or a corrective brace. Others might be more serious and require surgery. The first step is to visit with a surgeon who can evaluate your hand, wrist, and fingers and determine the best course of treatment.
Some of the most common causes of hand injuries or conditions include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Fracture due to sports-related injury, household accident, etc.
- Pinched nerve(s)
- Tennis elbow
- Trigger finger
When Is It Time to Visit an Orthopedic Surgeon?
It can be challenging to know exactly when it's necessary to visit with a hand specialist and discuss possible hand surgery. Here are some of the telltale signs:
- You experience tingling or numbness in your hands on a regular basis
- You have pain in your hand that is both chronic and debilitating, making it harder for you to complete everyday tasks
- You have recently been involved in an accident that damaged your hand
- You notice swelling in your hand on a regular basis
- Your hand pain extends to your elbow or wrist
What Kinds of Treatments Are Available for Hand Injuries?
A number of potential treatments are available, including both hand surgery and nonsurgical solutions. The first step is to visit your doctor for an evaluation. Your hand doctor will be able to conduct a brief physical examination, possibly taking an X-ray, and determine whether you have problems with your tendon, problems with blood vessels, signs of carpal tunnel, a broken bone, or some other hand condition.
From there, your doctor will recommend a course of treatment. Again, there are options available in orthopedic surgery, but there are viable nonsurgical solutions as well, including:
- Exercise and stretching
- Heat and cold therapy
What Is the Recovery Time for Hand Surgery?
For patients who do require hand surgery, it may take roughly three months before you recover full strength in your hand and up to six months before you regain your full range of motion. Physical therapy can go a long way toward expediting the healing process; make sure that you and your hand specialist discuss the role that physical therapy plays in your recovery.
The Region's Most Comprehensive Hand Care
At the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, our experienced doctors and staff are proud to offer exceptional orthopedic care to people throughout the communities of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Our doctors are available at our office in St. Joseph, Missouri, as well as at the Northwest Medical Center in Albany, Missouri, the Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Missouri, the Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and the Hiawatha Community Hospital in Hiawatha, Kansas.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, Dr. William Humphreys, Dr. Corey Trease, and Dr. Brian Duncan, have years of experience in treating patients with a variety of hand injuries or conditions. Our orthopedic hand surgeons have the knowledge and skills to perform a thorough evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis and viable treatment options. Conservative methods will always be recommended first, but there are some cases when surgery is required to help eliminate pain and restore proper function.
If a hand injury or condition is keeping you from living the life you love, schedule an appointment with one of our specialty-trained hand surgeons by requesting an appointment online or calling (816) 233-9888.
For those urgent injuries that require immediate attention and can't wait for an appointment, visit our OSMC Today Walk-In Clinic.