Our hands help us to write, eat, perform actions, earn a living, draw art and do a host of other activities. They require sensation and movement in the joints to perform their work. Sometimes due to an injury or infection it may get sore or numb and a feeling of needles or pin may arise. This may necessitate some medication or in some cases even a surgery. Here are some common types of hand surgery that are performed to cure the injuries in the hand.
Joint Replacement –
This is generally performed on patients who are experiencing severe arthritis in the hand. joint replacement is also called arthroplasty. A joint is basically a point where two or more bones come together. joint replacement involves removing a joint that has been damaged due to a disease process and replacing it with an artificial joint. Sometimes the surgeon may not remove the whole joint but may just replace or fix the damaged parts. The new, artificial joint that is put in place is called a prosthesis and it may be made of plastic, metal or ceramic parts.
Closed reduction and fixation –
This type of hand surgery is performed when there is a fracture in a part of the hand or the fingers. An attempt is made to realign the fractured bones and immobilise the area during the healing phase. Immobilisation can be done with internal fixtures like rods, splints, casts and wires.
Nerve repairs –
There are 3 main nerves that regulate the movement of hand – ulnar, median and the radial nerve. An injury may damage these nerves which may lead to a decrease in the ability to experience feeling or move the hands. An inspection is performed and if any of the nerves are found to be damaged a surgery is performed by reattaching the damaged nerves with the other. In some cases nerves from other areas of the body may also be placed in the damaged area. This type of replacement is essentially called a nerve graft.
Tendon repair –
Tendons are fibres that attach the muscles to the bones. Sometimes due to an injury these tendons may get damaged. It is a surgical challenge to repair the tendons. This type of surgery is classified into primary, delayed primary or secondary. In primary repair the surgery is performed within 24 hours of the injury while in delayed primary the surgery is performed after a few days Delayed repairs are performed two to five weeks after the injury.
Surgical drainage or debridement –
Infections are a common reason due to which people seek treatment. These infections in the hand may be cured through heat, evaluation, antibiotics, rest or surgery. If there is an abscess in the hand then a surgical drainage is performed to remove the collection of pus. A severe wound may even require debridement. Debridement is the process of cleaning the wound to prevent the further spread of infection and to promote healing of the wound.