The hand is a complex instrument. Hand injury may affect many components: bones, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, skin, and/or ligaments. Diagnosis of your hand injury requires thorough examination and specialized testing. Your treatment may involve non-surgical and/or surgical repair to treat hand pain, motion, function, and numbness.

When is hand surgery used?

When hand nerves are injured, this can impair or destroy hand motion or nerve sensation. While some nerve injuries recover on their own, others require surgical repair. Your hand surgeon can evaluate whether surgical treatment is needed.

Hand trauma is common, and phalynx and metacarpal fractures are generally caused by sports injuries, car accidents, or work-related injuries. Most fractures of the metacarpals and phalanges can be corrected without surgery. Your surgeon can evaluate whether surgical treatment is needed.

How is hand surgery performed?

Intermountain Medical Group hand surgeons repair nerves and tendons through sutures and/or grafts, depending on the type and extent of the injury. If the ends of a severed nerve can be held together without tension, sutures can be used to reconnect them. In other cases, the surgeon may place a tube between the ends of the nerves to guide the nerve fibers as they reconnect.

Occasionally, a nerve graft is required for more extensive nerve injuries. A section of nerve can be taken from another area of the body, such as the lower back of the leg, and grafted into the injured area to restore nerve function. Nerve conduits or cadaver nerves are a growing alternative to nerve grafting.

What results can I expect?

Recovery for nerve repairs is often long because nerves are slow to regrow. The speed and extent of nerve function recovery depends on many factors, including the patient’s age and the type and severity of the injury.

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