A hand specialist is a physician who focuses on the hands and arms. The physician is highly trained and can diagnose and treat conditions related to the hands and the lower and upper arms. Our hands are an important part of our body. They help us do tasks that we wouldn’t be able to do without them. We use our fingers more than any other part of the arms or hands. Our fingers have several muscles, tissues, bones and veins that work together to do what the mind tells them to do. Many things can happen to our hands and arms that may require a hand specialist.
Congenital defects can happen when a fetus is exposed to an abnormality while in the development stages in the womb. As soon as the child is born, a hand specialist can assess the situation and determine a course of action. There are several different causes and solutions for congenital defects. Some of these may require a small surgical procedure to correct them. In a case where a baby has missing digits, a hand specialist can recommend solutions to parents regarding how to handle this.
A hand specialist can diagnose and treat damages that occur to the hands or arms due to a trauma or accident. Severed fingers or appendages can be handled by a hand specialist. In many cases, if the dismembered part is found, a hand specialist can perform reattachment surgery. In the case of reattachment surgery, a plastic surgeon may assist the hand specialist to repair the aesthetics of the hand. Reattachment surgery can be complicated due to the delicate veins, blood vessels and other small parts involved.
Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome are both conditions that can be resolved without surgery. Carpal tunnel and arthritis are often the result of excessive computer work. Carpal tunnel causes the nerves in the hands and wrists to experience a lot of pain. Over time, the symptoms become aggravated due to the repetitive motion of the hands. Often times, a person will feel numbness or tingling in the fingers and hands. If carpal tunnel becomes severe, it is possible that surgery would be required. A hand specialist has the proper training to diagnose these conditions and see how serious they are. He is also authorized to prescribe different kinds of pain relief to ease any symptoms the patient may be experiencing.
Most medical insurance companies cover functional problems related to the hands and upper extremities. In some cases, the aesthetic portion of a procedure may not be covered, but the procedure that covers the treatment for hand pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, upper extremity problems, tendon lacerations and trigger finger are commonly covered procedures by insurance companies. Your doctor should work directly with the insurance company for the claim filing process to make things easier on you.
The best way to find a good hand specialist is by asking friends, family and acquaintances. If you know someone who has previously had surgery, their recommendation would be great. If you don’t know anyone who has used a hand specialist, there are a few things to keep in mind during your search.
Look for a hand specialist who has plenty of experience. You want someone who has performed surgery many times on your same body part that requires surgery.
Be sure the doctor is board certified. Any physician who wants to perform plastic surgery must American Board of Plastic Surgery certified. They also need to have a certificate that allows them to work on specific body parts. For you, this means that your doctor should be certified to work on the arms, hands or wrists.
You want to find a doctor you can communicate with well. He should be able to explain your options in a language you understand. He should be able to answer any questions you have and let you know what to expect before, during and after your procedure. If they are reluctant to do so, find someone else.