If you are suffering from any type of hand discomfort or injury, contact our office today to see an orthopedic hand specialist in Irvine.
What Education does an Orthopedic Hand Specialist Have?
An orthopedic hand specialist has attended and graduated from an accredited medical school and passed an exam in order to become a licensed physician certified to practice in the state of California. To attain the specialty of orthopedic hand surgeon, the physician participates in a residency program that involves clinical and academic training for an additional four years. This training involves learning about conditions, diagnosis and treatment for conditions, diseases and injuries of the hand, wrist and forearm. If the doctor wants to be a part of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, an additional training period and passage of a challenging exam are required.
Once the board certification is obtained, the physician is then able to start practicing as an orthopedic hand specialist in Irvine. Most new physicians will work with a more experienced hand surgeon and orthopedic specialist for a few years until they gain the level of experience that is necessary in order to practice on their own. For you as a patient, this means that your doctor has many years of hands-on experience and an in-depth education in order to provide you with the best possible level of orthopedic care for your hand problem.
Common Problems Treated by an Orthopedic Hand Specialist
Your qualified orthopedic hand specialist focuses on disorders of the fingers, hand, wrist and lower arm. The human hand is a particularly complex part of anatomy because it is made up of a network of small bones, multiple fragile joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, critical nerves, delicate skin and blood vessels. All of these parts must be in proper working order so that you can move and use your hands to the best of your ability. Because people use their hands for so many different types of tasks, there is a wide range of injuries and conditions that can develop in these parts of the body.
Some of the most common hand, wrist and lower arm conditions that are treated by an orthopedic hand specialist in Irvine include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, tendinitis, wrist pain, trigger finger, sports related injuries of the hand and wrist and accident related fractures of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Orthopedic hand specialists may also help patients with chronic and acute conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, injuries of the nerves and tendons and congenital limb defects such as missing or extra fingers.
There is no limit to the hand conditions that can be treated by an orthopedic hand specialist in Irvine. Regardless of the symptoms you are experiencing, it is best to contact our office.
Reasons to See an Orthopedic Hand Specialist in Irvine
When you are having pain or dysfunction of the hand, your visit to an orthopedic hand surgeon in Irvine may begin with an assessment of your pain and symptoms. The physician may ask you to perform certain movements of your hands, such as making a fist or snapping your fingers. The doctor may touch around your hands, wrists, lower arm and elbow to see if the pressure increases or changes your pain in any way.
Your doctor may also order imaging tests in order to get an idea of the cause and extent of your hand injury or condition. These tests may include x-rays, ultrasound or an MRI study. If you have arthritis, the doctor may order tests for autoimmune markers to determine if it is an autoimmune condition causing the inflammation and pain in your hand.
Services Provided by Orthopedic Hand Doctors
Your orthopedic hand specialist may recommend conservative treatments to begin with to see if these services lessen your pain. Conservative treatments may include bandages and wraps, wrist and hand supports, compression gloves and arm slings. Your doctor might give you an injection of an anti-inflammatory or pain relief medication. You might also be prescribed a pain reliever to take at home on a routine basis or to use when your pain interferes with the activities that you need to do. In the case of an autoimmune disorder, you may also need treatment to lessen your immune system response as well as treatment for the damage that the condition has caused to your hand.
For a fracture, your doctor may give you a cast. In some cases, surgery may be needed in order to solve your hand, wrist or arm problem. If you have surgery, your follow-up may include physical or occupational therapy so that you can regain the full use of your hand, wrist and arm.
If you do need surgery, you can expect your doctor to provide you with information about what you should expect to experience during your surgery and the recovery that follows. You will also receive instructions about ways you can prepare for your surgery and what you will need to do afterward in order to minimize complications.
Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Hand Specialist
It is important for you to understand your plan of treatment for your hand, wrist or arm condition. During each of your visits with your doctor, please feel free to ask any questions that you have. You can bring along a list of questions that you have compiled since your last visit so that you do not forget anything. You may wish to ask your orthopedic hand specialist questions about exercises to do at home. You may also want to ask about how to properly take your medication. If surgery is a possibility, you may want to inquire about the usual recovery time and what to do to promote good healing.
To learn more about how our orthopedic hand specialist in Irvine can help you to experience relief from pain or discomfort, contact our office today. We can answer your questions and also schedule a consultation for you.