What Is Reconstructive Hand Surgery And What Are The Different Types?

Your hands are an essential part of your daily life. You use it every day to accomplish different tasks一from simple teeth brushing to complex activities, like woodwork. However, you won’t really realize how important it is until you suffer an injury that completely impairs your hands.

Whether it’s a painful wrist or splintered pinky finger, any hand condition can significantly decrease your quality of life. Not to mention the intense pain and other symptoms that it may bring. 

The same goes for people born with hand deformities. It can be a great challenge to function normally and without discomfort if you have any hand abnormalities. Additionally, it can also become a problem to one’s confidence and self-esteem.

But thanks to the ever-evolving world of science, you can now correct these deformities through hand reconstructive surgery. Find out more about what it is, its types, and who can benefit from it below.

What Is Reconstructive Hand Surgery?

Reconstructive or plastic surgery of the hand refers to a procedure performed to repair and improve the hands’ function. It returns the hands and fingers into their normal state, enabling them to resume your regular everyday activities.

Furthermore, it aims to bring back its normal appearance cosmetically, so the patient can eventually restore their self-image. Other benefits of undergoing reconstructive surgery of the hands include:

  • Improved flexibility, strength, and function.
  • Long-lasting relief from pain and any discomfort.
  • Enhanced aesthetic appearance.
  • Improved psychological well-being.

What Are The Different Types of Reconstructive Hand Surgery?

Plastic surgeons can perform different types of reconstructive hand surgeries. Generally, the surgical procedure will depend on the patient’s hand condition or injury. Some of its most common types include:

Skin Graft

The skin grafting procedure involves removing a patch of healthy skin from a specific body area and attaching it to the affected hand in need of new skin. This procedure is often used to correct hand conditions, such as syndactyly.

Skin Flaps

Flap surgery of the hand is much like skin grafting. It also involves transporting healthy skin onto the fingers or hand that needs it. But instead of skin only, this procedure involves transferring skin with its own blood vessels, muscles, and fats attached

Physicians use this kind of technique for patients who have soft tissue-related injuries on the hand from burns, trauma, or tumor resection.

Tendon Repair or Transfer

Generally, doctors use tendon repair surgery for damaged tendons due to traumatic injury, infection, or sudden rupture. Other conditions that might require this type of procedure include rheumatoid arthritis and sports injuries.

Furthermore, surgeons may also use tendon reconstruction to correct some congenital deformities, such as polydactyly.

Joint and Ligament Reconstruction

In some cases, hand deformities, such as polydactyly, may involve joint or ligament deformity. If the extra finger is normal and well-formed, doctors will perform skin, soft tissues, joints, and ligament reconstruction to correct the anomaly. 

Closed Reduction

This type of hand surgery is used to realign a fractured bone in the affected hand. Such conditions may happen during crush injuries involving the wrist, hands, and fingers.

Surgical Drainage and Debridement

Hand infections involving severe abscesses may be treated using several incisions to drain the pus from the infected area. For severe cases, doctors may also opt for a debridement procedure to remove dead or damaged skin and tissues completely.

Nerve Repair

If the damaged nerves on the hands can still be salvaged, doctors may perform one or a combination of these three types of nerve surgery:

  • Nerve decompression
  • Nerve repair
  • Nerve graft

Who Can Benefit from Hand Reconstructive Surgery?

Reconstructive surgery of the hands usually caters to people with congenital hand anomalies. These are patients born with hand deformities, which can sometimes cause pain and discomfort. 

Congenital hand abnormalities are only mildly common, with an estimated 2.3 per 1000 of total births. However, studies suggest that it can mostly be seen in males (1.5x) than female infants. 

Some cases of these deformities do not need any surgical or conservative interventions. But others may require it as some abnormalities may cause aching or hinder you from becoming a fully functioning individual.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand classified some of the most common hand deformities into seven groups, this includes:

  • Hand Parts Failed to Separate

This refers to hand deformities where two or more fingers get fused together while in the womb. The fusion can be between the fingers’ tissues or bones (e.g., simple and complex syndactyly).

  • Hand Parts Failed To Form 

This happens when some hand parts fail to fully develop while in the womb. It can either be a missing structure or an underdeveloped hand part. (e.g., radial and ulnar clubhand).

  • Duplicated Fingers 

This is the presence of more than five fingers in one hand. The extra digit can be attached to a joint, extra bone, or skin and nerves only. A good example is polydactyly, which is the most common hand deformity.

  • Underdeveloped Fingers 

This may involve a missing bone or muscles or the absence of a whole finger.

  • Overgrown Fingers 

Also known as macrodactyly, happens when a newborn has an abnormally large finger/s. This can be treated through surgery, but in some cases, doctors may recommend amputation of the affected digit.

  • Congenital Constriction Band Syndrome 
  • Other Problems With The Skeletal System

Common conditions other than hand abnormalities that require hand surgery

Besides hand abnormalities, reconstructive hand surgery may also be performed if you have attained acute injuries to your hands and fingers. Some examples include animal bites, accidents involving fireworks, crush injuries, and lacerations from sharp objects. 

Some other common conditions that can hand surgery can treat include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendon lacerations
  • Nail deformities
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hand tumors
  • Dupuytren’s contracture

Who Can Perform This Procedure?

Reconstructive hand surgery involves intricate and complex procedures that only a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in hand surgery can do. So before making your appointment, make sure to check your doctor’s credentials and if they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Where to Get Hand Plastic Surgery?

At Revive Hand Surgical Institute, we can help restore your hand, wrist, and fingers’ complete function and appearance to bring you the highest quality of life possible. 

Our head surgeon, Dr. Morad Askari, is a board-certified hand plastic surgeon in Miami and a recognized expert in the field of reconstructive hand surgery in Miami and Coral Gables. Dr. Askari is uniquely qualified to perform any hand-related surgeries which require the most advanced surgical skills and cutting-edge medical technology. Dr. Askari also specializes in burn reconstruction and other cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. Some of our comprehensive array of services include:

If you would like more information about hand plastic surgery in Miami, give us a call today or schedule an appointment so we can start your transformation towards a happier and healthier you!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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