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What Are Some Common Types of Hand Surgery?


For most hand injuries, conservative treatment options (such as physical therapy) are sufficient to return the hand to its pre-injury condition. For some injuries and conditions, however, surgery is recommended. 

Patients that require surgery have significant pain, limited mobility, and inflammation. These patients have tried conservative non-surgical treatment methods, but they have not succeeded. But what types of hand injury most commonly require surgery? This blog post aims to answer this.

What are the Most Common Hand Surgeries?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Millions of Americans have carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by an inflammation of the tendons around the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.

The medican nerve is responsible for allowing individuals to flex their wrists and move their fingers. 

When this nerve is compressed, it can impact blood flow to the area, which results either in a pins and needles sensation or significant pain. 

With surgery, pressure is relieved off the nerve by cutting through the tendon, causing the pressure. As a result, more room is created for the median nerve and tendons that pass through the tunnel, relieving symptoms. 

Trigger Finger Surgery

Trigger finger makes it difficult for a patient’s fingers to move and, at times, “freezing” them in a curled position known as “catching.” It can affect any finger but is more common in the ring finger and thumb. It is not uncommon for patients to experienc swelling or pain in the affected finger. 

Trigger finger is caused by swelling and irritation of the tendon’s sheath. With trigger finger surgery, the surgeon will cut the sheath open to free the tendon. As a result, patients can have mobility restored and relief of symptoms in the affected fingers.

Dupuytren’s Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture is caused by the thickening the tissue under the palm and fingers. It has a gradual onset developing over several years. Though often painless, it can cause skin nodules and form bands that make your fingers curl down into the palm. Though successful for some patients, not all patients see complete relief from symptoms. 

Joint Replacement

Artificial joints are used to replace diseased joints. Joint replacement surgery is usually necessary for patients who have severe arthritis in their hands. Joint replacement surgery effectively provides pain relief, restoring mobility and hand functioning for patients after recovery.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Hand Surgery?

Recovery from hand surgery varies depending upon the type of surgery performed. Many hand surgeries are performed at an outpatient surgery center

Often patients take 2 to 4 months after a hand surgery before they are ready to return to work. For some surgeries, it can take several months or up to a year to see a full recovery. That said, many can see improvement and participate in activities of daily living before fully recovering. 

Overall health and participation in your after-care recovery plan impact how long it takes to recover from hand surgery. Dedication to physical therapy and rehabilitation will help to decrease the time it takes to recover. 

Can You Go Home After Hand Surgery?

Because most hand surgeries are performed at outpatient surgical centers, you can usually go home the same day. With outpatient surgery, there is generally less pain, and patients find it comforting to be able to heal at home.

Recovery at home has several benefits, including:

  • Saving money by avoiding lengthy hospital stays
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Better sleep
  • Social interaction with family and friends

Your Raleigh orthopaedic surgery doctor will provide detailed instructions on a successful, at-home recovery. 

Are You Put to Sleep for Hand Surgery?

Anesthesia used for hand surgery depends on the surgery type and your preference. Other considerations include the length of the surgery and the patient’s health going into surgery. Your surgeon will discuss anesthesia options as part of your pre-operative treatment plan. 

outpatient surgical center

Learn More About Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center

Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center is the largest and most modern ambulatory surgery facility in Eastern North Carolina, specializing exclusively in orthopaedics. Our patients receive outstanding patient satisfaction, superior clinical outcomes, and reduced costs. 

Expect our board-certified surgeons and experienced staff to provide you with the highest quality of services at our outpatient surgical center. We are with you the entire way, and with our care, you can keep enjoying life even during injury. 

Call Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center at 919-719-3070 for more information.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.