When to see a Hand Surgeon

When to see a Hand Surgeon 13October

By: Jason Rovak, MD

As awesome as I am, nobody wants to take time out of their day to visit me in the office. How do you know when it’s time to schedule a visit?

1) If it’s new and painful. While there are several things that can cause hand pain, there are a few that we don’t want to miss or wait to treat. If you have redness, swelling, and increasing pain it should be seen immediately. Any sign of infection is a reason to head in. Injuries should also be seen quickly. The first stop for an infection or new injury is usually the local urgent care or ER. They can usually start treatment and determine if and how quickly you need to be seen by a dedicated hand doctor. Some of those “jammed fingers” aren’t just jammed and if you wait too long to head in you can miss a window to have appropriate treatment.

2) If it’s not new, but it’s keeping you from performing your work or recreational activities. While tendonitis and arthritis don’t absolutely require that you have treatment, it doesn’t mean that you have to “just live with it.” Therapy, steroid injections (cortisone), and occasionally surgery can all be used to improve your pain and keep you working and playing. Some of these procedures only take 10 minutes with local numbing medicine, like a dentist visit. You will be the one to tell us when it’s time to take those next steps, but we can give you your options so you can make the best decision for you. Sometimes it just takes finding the right splint that lets you work/play without pain.

3) If your fingers are going numb and it’s keeping you from sleeping or becoming a frequent problem throughout the day. Nerve compressions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are extremely common and very treatable. If we treat it before it becomes a permanent problem, we can easily have you sleeping through the night.

4) Lumps or bumps that are growing and/or are painful. While most masses in the hand are benign, many are painful or in the way. Not every bump requires a surgery to improve the symptoms or size.

If your issue doesn’t fit one of these categories, but you’re worried about it, feel free to come in. Even if you don’t need a surgery, it never wastes my time to give a bit of reassurance.

Schedule today! 928-668-5506

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