The hand is a delicately balanced and complex mechanism that we take for granted until it fails. The changes that a laceration or severe crush can produce are immediately apparent and clearly need repair. Sprains and general wear can produce ligament injury that has repercussions in the long term with the development of loss of strength and pain. Arthritis and tendon swelling can develop with medical conditions. Numbness and tingling from nerve compression is commonly found as a problem for the mature adult.
Diagnosis of hand conditions is often challenging. It requires careful attention to your observations of how the condition affects you and how it developed. A careful examination will be needed, often using special clinical tests of muscle and nerve function. Radiology may be needed. X-ray, ultrasound, CT scanning and MRI imaging have individual roles in diagnosis and treatment options. Electrical testing of nerve function has a specialist role in diagnosis and may be recommended.
Treatment of hand conditions is not always operative. Some conditions need rest and support, some need specialist exercises and a hand therapist will then advise and monitor your progress through recovery. Some conditions respond to anti-inflammatory injection or may need collaborative advice from a rheumatologist.
Where surgery is advised, we seek to provide a clear understanding of how the surgery will affect your hand use through the different stages of recovery. Where recovery is likely to be extended and need complex technical assistance, we work with experienced hand therapists to assist your rapid and complication free return to normal hand use.