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Hand & wrist surgery

Relief from hand and wrist pain

Hand-and-wrist-examination

As we use our hands constantly throughout the day, any hand or wrist pain can quickly become debilitating, especially as it is so hard to fully rest them. If your hands or wrists are in pain, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better over time, why not book a consultation with our expert hand and wrist specialists at Mount Alvernia? With an array of diagnostic tests on offer to find an accurate diagnosis, you’ll be just a few steps away from relief.

Patients tend to seek a consultation for a range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Loss of function
  • Lesions on the hand
  • Lumps and bumps (such as a ganglion cyst)
  • Contractures (when your fingers bend in towards your palm)
  • Tingling sensations in the hand

Lumps and bumps can either be a simple fatty lump or be something more serious, making an accurate diagnosis an obvious priority.

Typically, patients notice that their pain is particularly prominent during activities, prompting them to seek medical help: your hands may go numb when driving, or you may have difficulties in the gym or during sport. Sleep can easily be affected when you’re in pain, so you may notice it more prominently at night. Patients may also present with symptoms after a sudden change, usually from a trauma or injury, and this is often in the form of broken bones or torn tendons.

Some of the typical conditions treated at Mount Alvernia include:

  • Fractures of the hand or wrist
  • Ganglion cysts (swelling around the hand or wrist, caused by a build-up of fluid)
  • Trigger Finger (inflamed tendons, causing your finger to get stuck in place)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (when one of the main nerves in your arm gets pinched, causing pain, weakness and tingling)
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture (a thickening of the layer under your skin)

The necessity for surgery will depend largely on your symptoms and how responsive they are to non-invasive measures. Treatment tends to start off conservatively, and progress towards surgery if other means have been ineffective.

Ganglion cysts can be drained with a needle, often improving symptoms, or a steroid injection can be administered. If neither of these approaches help, cyst removal surgery may be the best option, especially if the cyst is causing you pain.

Rheumatologists can play an important role in your treatment plan as well, focused on managing your symptoms of joint pain. This may be relevant if you have arthritis in your wrist or fingers, which may be treated with disease-modifying medication, available to be collected from our on-site pharmacy.

Sometimes, if your symptoms are severe, surgery may be the best option in terms of finding you relief. Your consultant will be able to outline all appropriate options, and can advise you on expected outcomes, based on your goals for recovery. Whatever your choice, you will be supported by our specialists throughout the entire process.

At your initial consultation, your consultant will wish to discuss your symptoms, and take a detailed medical history. You’ll need to be ready to discuss:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?
  • How long have you had them?
  • If you are in pain, can you describe it? Is the pain sharp or does it spread out? Is it constant or intermittent?
  • Have your symptoms become progressively worse?

They will then conduct a physical examination of the affected limb to assess these symptoms. An x-ray is then taken in our on-site Imaging department, and the results can be discussed on the same day.

Often this is enough to form a treatment plan, but occasionally your consultant will wish to see either an MRI, CT, or ultrasound scan to investigate the soft tissues, especially if you have had tendon issues.

Nerve conduction studies (from our colleagues in Neurophysiology) may be used if you have had a tingling/pins and needles in your hand, which is useful in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar nerve issues. Pinched nerves in the neck can even present as symptoms in the arm due to referred pain, so our colleagues in Neurology may be consulted in order to determine exactly where your symptoms originate.

Any treatment requiring steroid injections can be offered under ultrasound guidance for added accuracy, allowing your consultant to more accurately target the source of your pain, increasing the effectiveness of relief. If these injections have proved successful in managing your symptoms, they can be repeated.

Non-invasive measures like this are often the most appropriate, and invariably you will be given options. Physiotherapy, injections, analgesia, or even activity modification can help, adapting certain aspects of your daily life and routine to avoid triggering symptoms in your hand or wrist. If after investigating your symptoms, surgery seems to be the most obvious choice, your consultant will be able to advise and prepare you for the appropriate operation.

For example, nerve compression or carpal tunnel syndrome are unlikely to get better on their ownand may degenerate even further without surgical intervention.

Similarly, any sort of tendon tear is best dealt with sooner rather than later, as this tends to produce better results. A tendon tear can either be treated arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) or with a mini-open repair.

By choosing to have your treatment at Mount Alvernia, you’ll be able to take advantage of all these great benefits:

Assessments ASAP – If your quality of life has been affected by your hand or wrist pain, you’ll want to be seen by a consultant without any unnecessary delay. By seeing patients rapidly, our consultants can get you started on the right course of treatment as soon as possible.

State-of-the-art Investigations - With an all-encompassing X-ray department with MRI, CT and Ultrasound available on-site, any standard diagnostic scan can be carried out without long waiting lists, helping you get your diagnosis quicker.

Patient Satisfaction – 98% of other patients in 2020 said they would happily recommend the Mount Alvernia Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98% also said that the quality of care here at Mount Alvernia Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.

Personalised care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you.

A multidisciplinary approach – Our teams at Mount Alvernia work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. We have close links with Neurology and Pain Management to aid your treatment. Alongside colleagues in physiotherapy, and a dedicated team of radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.

Convenient appointments – With appointments available at dedicated clinics five days a week, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

If you have been suffering from persistent hand and/or wrist pain, why not get in touch with our reception team today to book a consultation? Our consultants can organise the necessary diagnostic tests to investigate your symptoms, and outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any further scans or surgery if required.

For expert personalised care, please contact Mount Alvernia to book an appointment now.

Specialists offering Hand & wrist surgery

Mr Sean Hughes

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBs, MSc (Orth Eng), FRCS (Tr&Orth)

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

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Mr James Logan

Consultant Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon

MBBS, BSc (Hons), AICSM, PGDip (SEM), FRCS (Tr & Orth), Dip Hand Surg (Br)

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

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Mr Anthony Hearnden

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, BSc, FRCS (Tr&Orth)

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

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