At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, the region's most preferred orthopedic practice, our fellowship-trained hand specialists are recognized experts in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with hand injuries and conditions.
Hand doctors are medical specialists who care for patients experiencing pain in the hand or wrist for any number of reasons. They draw on their specialized training as well as experience, offering patients the help and care they need. This begins as soon as the hand doctor meets with the patient, during the initial consultation. After assessing the hand condition (often including the entire upper extremity: wrist, forearm, elbow, and shoulder), the doctor will provide a diagnosis and discuss available nonsurgical treatments or hand surgery, if necessary.
People can injure or fracture their hands and wrists in many ways, but a fairly common one is during a fall. That’s because a natural instinct while falling is to stretch out a hand to brace and protect the body from the impact of the fall. Another type of hand condition that causes people to seek out a hand doctor is a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes, conservative treatments can help; however, a surgery called carpal tunnel release may also be an option.
Some older adults may experience hand pain due to years of wear and tear. Others may be diagnosed with arthritis. Some people may have a condition that is so degenerated that a physician or hand surgeon may recommend hand surgery, such as joint replacement for a finger or wrist or tendon repair surgery. In this case, the doctor or surgeon will help the patient understand what the hand surgery involves, how best to prepare for the procedure, and what the recovery process will be like.
When Should I See a Hand Doctor?
Hand issues can result in a variety of symptoms. Depending on your injury or condition, you may describe the pain as swelling, stabbing, or severe. Pay attention to these issues so when you meet with a doctor, you can provide him or her with detailed information regarding your pain. People with hand problems sometimes report symptoms such as:
- Bones that feel like they are rubbing against other bones
- Elbow pain that radiates into the hand
- Grinding sensation that occurs when moving the hands or fingers
- Joint pain in the thumb
- Nerve tingling or numbness
- Numbness or weakness in the hand
- Tingling fingers
- Unable to grip items properly or painlessly
- Wrist pain
If any of these symptoms seem familiar, you may have one of the following hand issues, wrist conditions, wrist injuries, nerve problems, or other common upper extremity conditions:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain's disease
- Dupuytren's contracture
- Fractured finger or hand
- Ganglion cyst
- Mallet finger
- Nerve injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sports-related injury
- Tendon damage
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Torn ligament
- Trigger finger
What to Expect With Our Hand Specialists
After a thorough assessment, which may include electrodiagnostic medicine or on-site imaging (including X-ray, MRI, and bone density scans), our hand and wrist doctors will work with you to determine a course of treatment. Our experts always consider nonsurgical treatment first, such as medication, physical therapy with one of our certified physical therapists, and in-office orthobiologics.
When hand surgery is necessary, our hand surgeons utilize the state-of-the-art Summit Surgical facility and employ the latest techniques in performing advanced procedures for simple and complex needs. Additionally, as part of our Hand Center, our hand experts work together to offer you comprehensive hand care and the latest treatments to help you restore your function.
The Strength of Experience at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics
At Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, we are dedicated to providing all our orthopedic surgeons and physicians, including fellowship-trained hand surgeons Dr. Erika Kuehn, Dr. Alexander Majors, and Dr. Cary Tanner, with every tool and resource they may need. This includes state-of-the-art technology, a dedicated staff, and the strength that comes from working side-by-side with a team of specialty-trained orthopedic medical experts.
Our fellowship-trained hand surgeons are specialists whose medical practices focus on patients with hand and upper extremity issues. They are trained in the anatomy and function of the hand and wrist as well as the many conditions and injuries that can affect them.
If your hand is causing you concern, contact us today at (559) 256-5200 or schedule an appointment online to receive the specialized hand care you deserve.