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Hand & wrist surgery

Expert care for hand & wrist concerns

Pain, stiffness or weakness in a hand or wrist can have a significant effect on your ability to carry out your normal tasks and activities. 

If you enjoy taking part in a particular sport, pain in your hand could prevent you from performing to the best of your ability. Away from sporting activities, even seemingly simple tasks like opening a bottle top or buttoning a shirt can quickly become frustrating when coupled with debilitating hand or wrist pain.

If you’re struggling with pain, stiffness, weakness or numbness in your hand, wrist or forearm, you will no doubt appreciate fast access to expert assessment, advice and treatment.

The experienced hand and wrist consultants here at BMI The Harbour Hospital will ensure you receive a prompt diagnosis and personalised treatment plan to ensure you return to better health as quickly as possible.

Each hand consists of 27 bones in addition to numerous ligaments, tendons and muscles. This complex anatomy is all contained within such a small space, it is not surprising that problems can easily occur.

Pain in the hand or wrist is a particularly common complaint. This may be the result of injury or from natural wear and tear in our joints which often becomes more noticeable as we age. While many people visit with one of our Consultants for help with pain in their hand or wrist, others come for advice about another problem.

Conditions that most commonly cause symptoms in the hand and wrist include:

  • Osteoarthritis –the most common type of arthritis in the UK, causes pain and stiffness in joints. It can develop in the wrist, fingers and thumb. As the arthritis progress, symptoms tend to get worse.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – caused by compression of the median nerve (one of three main nerves in your hands and arms) as it passes through the wrist. This leads to weakness and/or pain.
  • Ganglion – swelling around the hand or wrist, caused by a build-up of fluid.
  • Trigger finger – caused by inflammation of a tendon. This leads to a finger bending and becoming fixed in a ‘trigger finger’ position. Surgery will often be required to ‘release’ the finger back into its normal resting position.
  • Dupuytren’s disease - a thickening of the layer beneath the skin in the palm of the hand, causing the fingers to contract.

While some hand and wrist problems may resolve themselves naturally over time, others will require treatment of some kind to adequately relieve symptoms.

If your symptoms are limiting the quality of your life, an appointment with a Hand and Wrist Consultant in order to discuss things further with them can be helpful.

A private consultation is an excellent way of ensuring you receive tailored care and treatment for your hand or wrist problem.

When you first meet with your Consultant, they will take your medical history and talk with you about your symptoms. They will ask you questions like:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms for?
  • Have they been getting progressively worse (or better) over time?
  • If you have pain, is it sharp or dull?
  • Is the pain in only one area (localised) or is it spread across your hand and wrist?
  • What things are you no longer able to do as a result of your symptoms?

Your Consultant will carry out a clinical examination of your hand, wrist and arm in order to assess strength, mobility and flexibility in any affected joints.

Further tests or investigations are sometimes also needed to help confirm a diagnosis or to accurately assess the extent of any injury or disease. This will often be an X-ray of your hand and wrist to help show the presence of any bony abnormalities. Further diagnostic scans like Ultrasound or MRI may be carried out to help look at tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. With comprehensive diagnostic capabilities on-site, we can arrange any tests you require quickly and easily.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your Consultant will discuss suitable treatment options with you. These may include rest, bracing of the hand or wrist, pain relief medication, physiotherapy, steroid injections or, if necessary, an operation.

Depending on the cause of your symptoms, your Consultant may advise an arthroscopy, a type of keyhole surgery. This is carried out as a day case procedure and involves passing a thin, flexible tube with a small camera and light attached through a small cut in your wrist. This transmits a live feed to a screen, giving your Consultant a clear view inside the joint. Arthroscopy can be used to help diagnose a problem as well as to carry out surgical repair.

There are a number of effective non-surgical treatments available for hand and wrist conditions. For some conditions though, some form of surgery will be required to restore pain-free movement. Should you require surgery, your Consultant will explain how it will be done, the benefits you should expect to see from surgery and any potential risks you need to be aware of. 

You will always have the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment. If you have any questions or concerns at any stage, your Consultant will be happy to talk with you about them.

When you choose to have your treatment at BMI The Harbour Hospital, you’ll benefit from:

Rapid access – When the quality of your life is being affected by pain in your hands or wrists, you’ll want to receive a diagnosis quickly and without delay. We can offer you rapid access to an experienced Hand and Wrist Consultant.

Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, over 98% of people we’d treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend BMI The Harbour Hospital to their friends and family. Every member of our healthcare team helps ensure you will always receive the highest level of care and support.

Personalised care – A bespoke approach to treatment is invaluable for a hand and wrist problem. Your Consultant will tailor treatment to your specific needs and whatever may be best for you. With state-of-the-art facilities and experienced healthcare professionals, we’ll help restore function in your hand and wrist sooner.

Remote Consultation – While your Consultation can be carried out in person on-site, we can also offer remote consultations by telephone or online video call where required.

Appointments to fit your schedule – We’ll help you book a time for a Consultation that suits your needs and availability.

If you have pain, weakness, numbness or stiffness in your hand and/or wrist, it’s good to know that help is available. Your Consultant will diagnose the cause of your problem, outline all treatment options and schedule surgery if required.

If you’d appreciate help for your hand and wrist problem, book your appointment online now.

Specialists offering Hand & wrist surgery

Mr Graeme Nicholas Fernandez

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

MBBS FRCS FRCS Ed ORTH

BMI The Harbour Hospital 2 more BMI The Winterbourne Hospital Circle Reading Hospital

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Mr Jeremy James Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB BS FRCS (Orth)

BMI The Harbour Hospital

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Mr David O'Connor

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB, Bch, FRCS, FRCS (Trauma and Orthopaedics)

BMI The Harbour Hospital

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Mr Simon William Richards

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS FRCS (Tr & Orth)

BMI The Harbour Hospital

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Mr Richard Howarth Hartley

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB BJ FRCS FRCS (Orth)

BMI The Harbour Hospital

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Professor Robert Middleton

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BMI The Harbour Hospital

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