The most common procedures in hand surgery are those done to repair injured hands, including injuries to the tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and joints; fractured bones; and burns, cuts, and other injuries to the skin. Modern techniques have greatly improved the surgeon’s ability to restore function and appearance, even in severe injuries.
Among the techniques now used by plastic surgeons:
- Grafting – the transfer of skin, bone, nerves, or other tissue from a healthy part of the body to repair the injured part;
- Flap surgery – moving the skin along with its underlying fat, blood vessels, and muscle from a healthy part of the body to the injured site;
- Replantation or transplantation – restoring accidentally amputated fingers or hands using microsurgery, an extremely precise and delicate surgery performed under magnification. Some injuries may require several operations over an extended period of time.
In many cases, surgery can restore a significant degree of feeling and function to injured hands. However, recovery may take months, and a period of hand therapy will most often be needed (see Recovery and rehabilitation below.)
Carpel tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, or a dull ache in the shaded area shown in this illustration.