The Hand & Upper Extremity Center
Your Hardworking Hands
No matter what your age or occupation, your hands are always working. Each day, they perform hundreds of functions—buttoning a shirt, typing a letter, gripping a steering wheel. While these tasks may seem ordinary, the hand’s ability to accomplish them is truly extraordinary.
The hand—which comprises the wrist, palm, and fingers—is a mechanically complex and highly sensitive structure made up of 27 bones and a network of muscles and tendons. The 3 main nerves that travel to the hand transmit electrical impulses to and from the brain to enable the hand to perform highly intricate functions and feel even the most delicate sensations.
It’s not surprising that any abnormality of the hand—especially one that causes pain— also causes great concern, frustration, and limitation of activity.
The causes of hand pain are numerous; many can be treated nonsurgically, but sometimes surgery is necessary. In either case, the diagnosis and treatment of hand pain is best provided by a hand specialist.
At The Hand and Upper Extremity Center at Southern Bone & Joint Specialists, you will be treated by a dedicated hand surgeon—not just an orthopedist who practices a little hand surgery. Like all of the specialty physicians in our distinguished practice, your hand specialist is board certified, highly experienced in the care of the hand, upper extremities and nerves, and active in a number of prestigious medical associations.
A Complete Hand Center
The Hand and Upper Extremity Center is known throughout Dothan and the entire Wiregrass area for providing high-quality comprehensive care for hand pain sufferers. For thousands of patients, putting themselves in our capable hands has meant relief from pain and a return to normal activity.
Treatment for a Wide Range of Hand Problems, Including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome—numbness, tingling or pain in the hand, especially at night
- Rheumatoid arthritis—causes pain and loss of function
- Ganglion cyst—a noncancerous, fluid-filled mass commonly occurring on the back of the wrist
- Ligament and tendon disorders—can cause pain and weakness with use
- Dupuytren’s contracture—thickening of tissue in palm; may eventually pull fingers into palm
- Trigger finger—an irritation that causes the tendon to “catch” and then suddenly release
- Scaphoid fracture nonunion—failed fracture healing due to improper treatment; leads to arthritis; requires corrective surgery
- Trauma and sports injuries—fracture or severe injury of the hand and arm
- Congenital deformities—birth abnormalities
- Elbow disorders—fracture and tendonitis
The Latest Techniques and Technology
The Hand and Upper Extremity Center offers patients the latest techniques and technology, utilizing such advanced diagnostic equipment as fluoroscopy to observe bone movement, and electromyelography to measure the electrical transmissions between muscles and nerves.
We emphasize the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques such as arthroscopy and endoscopy. These procedures utilize state-of-the-art equipment—fiber-optic lenses and microscopic cameras—allowing major surgery to be performed through tiny incisions that cause minimal disruption to the healthy tissue below.
These procedures are highly effective—and they offer other proven benefits such as less pain, less risk, less cost, and less recovery time. In fact, our minimally invasive hand surgery patients often require only local anesthesia, a few stitches, and a few hours in the recovery room.
An Elective Approach to Surgery
All of our specialty physicians recognize the value of taking a conservative approach to treatment whenever possible.
In certain conditions, the use of splinting, rest, cortisone injections, and/or anti-inflammatory medications can be extremely effective in relieving hand pain and restoring function. In other cases, surgery will be recommended.
Because hand surgery is not life threatening, it is usually elective. Your surgeon will consider your condition and explain the rationale for his or her recommendation. Patients are then encouraged to come to their own decision about how to proceed.
Specialized Rehabilitation Services
The Hand and Upper Extremity Center at Southern Bone & Joint Specialists includes occupational and physical therapy services specifically designed for the hand. These services are provided by professionals with expertise in the complexities of hand anatomy, function, and pathophysiology. The staff includes an occupational therapist who is also a certified hand therapist.
The hand therapist and surgeon will develop an individualized rehabilitation plan for each patient to help achieve the following goals:
- prevent dysfunction
- restore function
- reverse the debilitating condition