HAND SURGERY AND MICROSURGERY

Hand Surgery is surgery of the hand, the wrist ,elbow and the peripheral nerves of the upper limb. It also encompasses reconstructive surgery that improves upper limb function. Speciality deals with conditions from neck to finger tips which affect the function of hand. Hand surgeons care for these problems without surgery, and they are specially trained to operate when necessary.

Micro surgery is a sub-speciality performed with the aid of a microscope on structures that are barely visible to the naked eye. This sub-speciality mainly deals with ‘Replantations’ (reattaching severed parts of the limb), free tissue transfer ( transferring nerves,muscles, blood vessels and tissues from one part of body to other ), repair of nerves and blood vessels of limbs. They form integral part of complex orthopaedic trauma management where limbs are severely injured.

Hand and microsurgery is a relatively new speciality. The St James hospital  has developed a 24 hour state-of-the-art facility for comprehensive care of hand conditions and for microsurgery. This  is one of the very few dedicated centers for treating hand conditions and for microsurgery  in the country.

The hand is a unique area of the human body that is made up of bone, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, skin, and blood vessels. These elements must all be in good working order for the hand to function well. The relationship between all these structures is delicate and refined. An injury or disease can affect any or all of these structures and impair the use of the hand.

To many of us hand may look like a simple structure of our body. But for a blind man they form the eyes; they help him read, for a mute person they form the tongue. For a normal person they help to eat, dress, write, create art, earn a living and do many other activities. To perform such actions hand needs movements and sensation. Co ordinate movements of joints, tendons and muscles along with good nerve function is essential to achieve this. Any disturbance in function of any of the structure can impair the quality of hand function. The impairment can range from constant pain to inability to perform any action. So when a problem occurs to the hand, care is needed to assess each structure and determine the cause of it . Hand surgeons are specifically trained to provide that care.

WHO IS A HAND AND MICROSURGEON

An Orthopaedic surgeon or a  plastic surgeon who have received additional specialised training in Hand and Microsurgery becomes a hand and microsurgeon.