Cleveland Clinic hand and upper extremity surgeons and therapists work together with the goal of reducing or eliminating pain, and restoring as much normal form and function as possible. At Cleveland Clinic, the Department of Plastic Surgery has a team of surgeons specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin and nails, muscle and tendons, nerves and vessels and bones, joints, and ligaments of the hand and upper extremity. Our hand and upper extremity specialists work with both adults and children, and treat a variety of hand injuries, disorders and conditions.
As a team, our plastic surgeons collaborate with physicians from other medical and surgical specialties to give our patients comprehensive care of their hand and upper extremity needs. These include specialists in Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Vascular Medicine, Rheumatology, Hand Therapy and Dermatology. Additionally, our plastic surgeons work closely with Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Surgery Department's Upper Extremity Center to provide patients with the best treatment or surgical plan to optimize look, as well as return to function.
Cleveland Clinic surgeons apply minimally invasive techniques when possible to reduce postoperative pain and quicken the return to function. This includes endoscopic carpal tunnel release and arthroscopic joint procedures.
Hand surgery and rehabilitation is commonly done for injuries and cumulative problems. This is most often performed as an outpatient surgery, except in the case of a major reconstructive procedure.
For a hand injury, a Cleveland Clinic hand surgeon will first examine you to review the extent and severity of the problem. Together with your family, the surgeon will discuss possible treatment options, as well as details and expectations for recovery. Our goal is to restore the form, function and appearance of the hand as much as possible, as well as reduce or eliminate any pain being experienced by the patient. Before your surgery, the surgeon will review with you an estimated recovery time length and rehabilitation process, as well as help answer any questions you might have regarding desired outcomes or when you will be able to return to your normal activities.
If hand therapy is required after your surgery, our hand therapists will work with you to help you restore the normal function of your hand, as well as minimize pain. At Cleveland Clinic, our hand therapists must meet education and experience requirements to become Certified Hand Therapists through the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by nerve compression. Nerves that run between muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons through narrow channels, such as the wrist, are more likely to become constricted or compressed. When compressed over a period of time, the nerve sustains permanent damage
In early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome, conservative treatment can be applied, such as the use of a wrist brace and anti-inflammatory medications. In advanced stages, however, surgery to release the compression of the nerves is usually required. By releasing the pressure, blood flow to the nerve is improved and further damage prevented.