Pacific Rim Orthopedic Surgeons

Hand Surgery

The hand is a highly complex organ, consisting of multiple joints, several different types of ligaments, tendons, and nerves which can suffer an array of injuries and disorders requiring hand surgery. Injury to the hand is common due to excessive use, including the wrist, and can result in the loss of the hand's function.

What is Hand Surgery?

Hand surgery is a term that covers a wide range of different surgeries on the hand, from plastic surgery to restore the cosmetic appearance to surgeries meant to restore the function of the hand. Surgery on the hand can aim to relieve inflammation, and pain, repair tendons and nerves, or correct a deformity or injury.

Depending on the symptoms, underlying causes, and nature of the injury or disease, there are several surgical options available.

An elder man massaging his hand.

Types of Hand Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

A highly common hand surgery performed to help alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome, which is when there is excess pressure on the median nerve that runs through the wrist. The surgery aims to relieve the pressure by creating more space within the carpal tunnel.

Trigger Finger Surgery

When the flexor tendons cannot slide smoothly when the finger bends and extends, it prevents the fingers from straightening and locks them in a bent or curled position. The surgery widens and expands the tendon sheath to the thumb and fingers can regain their proper motion.

Nerve Repairs

Hand injuries can damage the nerves in the hand and can make using it difficult or can cause a person to lose the function of their hand. It’s important to have nerve repair surgery as soon as possible as the sooner the nerves are treated, the more likely function can be restored.

Tendon Repair

Tendons attach muscle to bone and can be injured due to infection, rupture, or trauma.

Skin Grafts

Replacing or attaching skin to a part of the hand by taking a piece of healthy skin from another area and attaching it to the injured site.

Joint Replacement Surgery

Also known as arthroplasty, it is usually recommended for severe arthritis in the hand and involves replacing the joint affected with an artificial one.

Hand Surgery Overview

As there are several types of hand surgery that can be recommended depending on the reason for surgery, below is an overview that covers the general steps for any hand operation: 

doctor discussing hand surgery procedures with patient

Before the Procedure

Prior to the operation, it’s important to refrain from eating or dirking anything after midnight as food in the stomach can increase surgical risks. Also, speak with your doctor about any medication you’re currently on or herbal supplements to see if you should refrain from taking them till after the procedure. Before the day of the surgery, you’ll want to make arrangements for your recovery and have a ride home, as you’ll be unable to use your hand and likely still feel the effects of pain medication and anesthesia. 

Close-up of doctor hands holding skiagram. Surgeon talking about wrist trauma. Smiling intern listening carefully to traumatologist. Traumatology and health care concept

During the Hand Operation

Anesthesia is usually recommended or required for any hand surgery and depending on the condition a patient is being treated for, the operation may be performed using an open or endoscopic technique. The hand surgeon will make small incisions in the skin and remove any tissue that is impeding the hand’s function or repair any damaged tissue to restore the hand’s function. 

doctor wrapping wrist after surgery


Following the operation, you’ll likely experience swelling and discomfort in the affected hand and physical or occupational therapy is recommended to help the hand heal properly. The surgeon will also give specific instructions for how to properly care for your hand and what activities to avoid, and for how long. It’s crucial to have help at home during recovery so as to not re-injure the hand while healing. 

Make an Appointment with our Orthopedic Surgeons

We at Proliance Pacific Rim Orthopedic Surgeons strive to help our patients achieve a return to normal activity through compassionate and exceptional care using evidence-based medicine in a patient-friendly environment. We are committed to bringing you a high standard of care that is patient-focused, with the goal of improving your quality of life.