What does hand surgery mean? It’s a term that gets thrown around every once in a while, and it feels like it could mean several different things. Sometimes hand surgery seems to refer to rejuvenating procedures; in other cases, it seems to reference therapeutic techniques. It can be hard for the layperson to know one from the other.

What Does Hand Surgery Mean?

It’s normal to be confused by medical terminology. Doctors have complicated names for everything. Acetaminophen? That’s aspirin. Abdominoplasty? A tummy tuck. And yet, when we use a simple name for “hand surgery,” we can still get a little confused. That’s interesting, because it’s not like we’re using some deep medical terminology.

Hand surgery is, well, surgery on the hand! But… what kind of surgery can you have performed on your hands? I mean, sure, there’s the obvious (if you lose a finger, you want it re-attached!). But what’s beyond that? Well, today, we’re going to take a look at the various forms of hand surgery and talk about what that actually means.

Therapeutic Procedures

Your hand can become injured in all kinds of ways over the years. Sure, there’s the usual: you smack it with a hammer or cut yourself with a knife when you’re making dinner. Accidents happen, and it can take medical treatment to make sure there’s no (or limited) permanent damage.

But that’s not the only way your hand can injure itself. Your hands are chock full of nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. That’s where you get your natural dexterity. But that’s also where things can go wrong.

  • Problems with your tendons can cause your fingers to become locked in place (or unable to flex).
  • Problems with your nerves can cause your hands to feel tingly, lose sensation, and go numb.
  • Problems with your muscle can impact your hand’s ability to function properly.

When those problems develop, hand surgery is often employed to resolve them. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for example, is an issue caused by nerves and tendons (tendons swell, which can cause the nerves to become constricted and result in mobility issues and numbness). Surgery can resolve the issue by giving the nerves a little more room to breath (figuratively speaking).

These types of therapeutic procedures for the hands are relatively common and can greatly improve the symptoms one is experiencing–though, you should always talk with your doctor first!

Cosmetic Procedures

Hand surgery can also refer to a set of cosmetic procedures. That’s because your hands are one of those areas that are quick to show the signs of aging. In part, that’s because the skin around your hands is already quite thin (in theory, that’s designed to help you with sensation). But as you age, that skin can become more translucent, spotty, and wrinkled.

For most people, then, the solution is a set of cosmetic procedures designed to turn back some of the signs of aging. That can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

  • Surgery: Plastic surgery can be deployed to create a kind of “hand lift,” which can eliminate lines and wrinkles from the hand. But this procedure has to be performed very carefully (and not everyone is a great candidate), simply because making the skin of the hands appear thinner can also create a sign of aging. Hand surgery of this type can be done, but it’s not a procedure that’s performed all that often.
  • Dermal fillers: What’s more common is the use of dermal fillers to smooth out wrinkles and simultaneously make the skin on the hands appear less translucent. The results tend to be temporary, but patients who like what they see can undergo regular maintenance injections to keep up their appearances.

A Lot of Options for Your Hands

Whichever way you look at it, you’ve got no shortage of options for your hands. Whether your hands are injured (in which case, you should seek medical attention) or they just look like they’ve had some wear and tear, you can seek out the right hand surgery for you.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over four years. He’s constantly in touch with surgeons to ensure he has the latest and most up to date information possible.

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