Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Surgery
In recent years, many advances have been made to correct a wide variety of issues, defects and imperfections of the hands. Whether looking to alleviate inflammatory disorders, address congenital defects or traumatic injury, our team of plastic surgeons are equipped to address the most complex hand issues. Fully skilled in restorative hand and finger function as well as corrective cosmetic surgery caused by injury or birth defects, Rhode Island Hospital’s department of plastic surgery is a multidisciplinary department that takes a caring, collaborative approach.
Our surgeons are trained to evaluate and determine the best approach for each individual patient based on their expertise and the patient’s needs. Services include evaluation of hand and wrist injuries, outpatient and inpatient surgery, hand therapy and rehabilitation, and when possible non-surgical options.
Hand surgery is a broad term that incorporates a large variety of different types of surgical approaches to the hand and wrist. Common reasons to be referred to a hand surgeon include carpal tunnel syndrome, congenital defects, trigger fingers, fractures and dislocations of the hand and wrist, osteoarthritis, ligament reconstruction, wrist and tendon injuries, and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
Hand surgery may also be performed to correct the effects of a traumatic injury, inflammatory disorders, a surgical procedure or aging, and is occasionally performed purely for cosmetic reasons. Our hand surgeons work closely with occupational therapists and other surgeons to achieve an optimal post-operative result.
Rhode Island Hospital's department of plastic surgery has a comprehensive, active microvascular surgery division. Microvascular surgery uses microscopes to suture together blood vessels of healthy tissue to a damaged area.
The division of microvascular surgery emphasizes upper and lower extremity reconstruction and replantation surgery. Microvascular surgery is also performed when a patient suffers from a detached body part.
Patients will undergo outpatient rehabilitation for hand injuries after being treated by our plastic surgery team. Certified hand therapists work closely with orthopedic and plastic hand surgeons at Lifespan to create personalized treatment plans to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.
Common Conditions Treated
Hand surgery is a term that covers a broad range of procedures. From skin grafts, to degenerative hand function, there are many kinds of surgeries and procedures that can be performed to address complications surrounding hand function and mobility. Some common issues that our surgeons address are:
- Degenerative changes to hand structure
- Damage to muscles/ligaments
- Crush injuries
- Skin grafts
- Ganglion cyst
- Hand fractures
- Congenital hand issues in children
Finger surgery addresses anything from trigger finger release to reattachment surgery. Degenerative issues of the fingers, like osteoarthritis, are common from wear and tear on the fingers and joints. Some of the issues our plastic surgeons can address include, but are not limited to:
- Trigger finger
- Steroid injection
- Nail bed injuries
- Fingertip injuries
- Dupuytren's contracture
- Mucous cyst
Most of our daily activities involve grasping or pinching and are only made possible because of our thumb’s remarkable strength and range of motion. But, because of their versatility and dexterity, thumbs can suffer traumatic and painful injuries. Some issues commonly addressed are:
- CMC arthritis
- Thumb sprain
- Ski and snowboard injuries
- de Quervain syndrome
Arthritis in the wrist joint is one of the most common reasons that people require wrist surgery. Painful rheumatoid arthritis or wrist movements can be addressed during surgery. Whether you require a wrist fusion to reduce pain, or a full wrist joint replacement, our skilled team of plastic surgeons can determine the best treatment for a variety of wrist-related issues, some of which include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Wrist sprains
- Wrist dislocation
- Wrist fractures
- Scaphoid fractures
- Kienbock’s disease
- Joint replacement
A critical joint in the upper extremity, the elbow helps us meet and perform your most basic daily needs, such as putting on a shirt or brushing your teeth. When the elbow joint is injured or strained, it can lead to decreased functionality of the entire arm. Depending on the degree and scope of the injury surgical intervention may be needed.
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
There are many more issues surrounding the hand, wrist and arm that can be commonly caused by trauma or overuse. Our surgeons are skilled in providing both surgical and non-surgical treatments in both adults and adolescents. To ensure well-rounded patient care, our surgeons collaborate with colleagues, physical and occupational therapists and nursing staff. Other issues our surgeons can address are:
- Lumps and bumps of the skin
- Fractures / sprains
- Nerve problems
- Vascular disorders
- Tendon problems
- Skin cancer
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Nerve injuries