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  • Hand Surgery

  • Plastic Surgery HandsMany advances in hand surgery have been made in recent years to correct imperfections caused by injury or birth defects. Hand surgery may also be performed to correct the effects of a traumatic injury, inflammatory disorders, a surgical procedure or aging, and is occasionally performed for purely cosmetic reasons.

    At Rhode Island Hospital, hand surgeons work closely with occupational therapists and other surgeons to achieve an optimal result.

    Common reasons to be referred to a hand surgeon include:

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome, in which pressure builds up in the passageway through the wrist carrying tendons and one of the hand's major nerves. This can happen as a result of arthritis, injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, thyroid disease, overuse or repetitive motions.

    • Congenital defects that interfere with proper hand growth in children, such as the fusing together of two fingers (known as syndactyly).

    • Dupuytren's contracture, a disorder of the tissue just under the skin in which thick, scar-like bands form under the skin of the palm and fingers, restricting motion.

    • Traumatic injury to the tendons, nerves, blood vessels and joints, resulting in fractured bones, burns, cuts and other soft tissue injuries to the skin.

    • Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder of inflammation of the joints that can deform finger and wrist joints and force them into positions that impede movement.

    • Brachial plexus injuries, which can result from sharp injuries in the shoulder and neck area from motorcycle accidents and falls, or from birth-related trauma. The brachial plexus, which is a meeting of nerve origins, can be stretched, torn or lacerated as a consequence of these accidents. Damage to these nerves can cause pain, numbness and weakness from the shoulder to the hand.

    Other common reasons for hand surgery include:

    • Degenerative arthritic conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist

    • Additional peripheral nerve entrapments, including cubital tunnel syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome

    • Wrist arthroscopy

    • Microsurgery