Strengthening Hands, Wrists and Elbows

Hand and wrist conditions can be debilitating. You don’t have to suffer through pain, stiffness, numbness or weakness. Let Sanford Health’s expert hand surgeons restore function in your hands, wrists and elbows.

Turn to Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to repair both sudden and old injuries. General wear and tear, trauma, repetitive movements, disease and more can cause pain in your hands or wrists. Our orthopedic hand surgeons work to restore and preserve function through precision-based microsurgery.


When Do You Need Hand Surgery?

You need treatment if your hands feel chronically numb, stiff or painful. Sanford Health’s hand specialists don’t recommend surgery until you’ve exhausted other avenues, such as wearing a splint or taking medication.

We offer treatments for these conditions:

  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Infections
  • Lumps on the hands or wrists (ganglion cysts)
  • Nerve compression syndromes
  • Permanently bent fingers (Dupuytren’s contracture)
  • Tendon swelling
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trauma
  • Tumors


You Have Options

Sometimes, all it takes to relieve hand pain is physical therapy or professionally wrapped bandages. If you need surgery to correct hand injuries, look no further than our surgeons.

We provide:

  • Skin grafts: Moving skin from a different part of the body to the injured area. It treats infections, burns, open wounds and more.
  • Skin flaps: Similar to a skin graft, a skin flap involves taking skin from elsewhere on the body and moving it to the affected area. Skin flaps use skin that has its own blood supply. This surgery repairs injuries that have damaged underlying blood vessels.
  • Closed reduction: Realigning broken bones and immobilizing them so they can heal better.
  • Tendon repair: Tendons connect your muscles to the bone. If damaged, they can be reconnected by replacing the injured area’s tendon with fibers from a different area of the body.
  • Nerve repair: Your nerves give you feeling in your hand. Broken nerves cause your hand to feel numb. Our surgeons can fix damaged nerves through grafts or reattachment.
  • Fasciotomy: Surgeons relieve painful pressure in the hand with a few precise incisions.
  • Surgical drainage: Draining a hand or wrist wound to promote healing.
  • Joint replacement: In cases of severe arthritis, surgeons can replace a destroyed joint with an artificial one.
  • Replantation: Reattaching a severed body part (such as a finger or hand) using microsurgery.


Carpal Tunnel Treatment

One of the most common hand conditions, carpal tunnel afflicts millions of Americans every year. It is a numbness or tingling in the hand, typically caused by a pinched nerve. It can sometimes clear up with rest or by using ice and wrists splints. Your doctor may prescribe medications or fight it with cortisone injections.

If these other treatment options don’t relieve your pain, you may need carpal tunnel surgery. During the operation, our hand surgeons will enlarge the carpal tunnel with small incisions to reduce the pressure on the nerve. The surgery typically lasts 10 minutes with light sedation and patients often go home the same day.


Recover Faster After Surgery

Sanford Health offers surgery that puts precision and accuracy first. We aim to reduce your recovery time and increase your comfort during and after surgery. We’ll walk you through recovery. You may need physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain full use of your hand. Your doctor will decide the specifics of your recovery depending on your surgery.


Find an Orthopedic Hand Surgeon

Get specialized care from a hand surgeon at Sanford Health. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in their field and will put your comfort and recovery first.

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Sanford Health has orthopedic and sports medicine clinics across the Upper Midwest. Find a dedicated team of surgeons at a location near you.

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Before Hand Surgery

Let Sanford Health guide you to the information you need to make the best decision for your hand and arm health. We answer common questions such as:

  • How do you diagnose hand conditions?
  • What tests can you expect?
  • How should you prepare for diagnostic tests?


After Hand Surgery

What can you expect after hand surgery? Recovery depends on the type of surgery you had and the cause of your hand condition. In many cases, surgery is just the start of recovery, but we can give you an idea of what to expect, such as:

  • Immobilization in a bandage or splint
  • Restrictions on work and activities
  • Rehabilitation including physical therapy or occupational therapy
  • Exercise


Non-Surgical Options

Our hand surgeons offer non-surgical options for conditions affecting your hands. We also recommend these as rehabilitation after surgery. These options include:

  • Caring for wounds and controlling scars
  • Desensitization, sensory re-education or nerve glides following nerve injury or trauma
  • Exercises to increase motion, dexterity and strength
  • Fluidotherapy
  • Ultrasound
  • E-stimulation
  • Iontophoresis
  • Paraffin
  • Reducing swelling
  • Splints for preventing or correcting injury

Helping you learn to perform daily life skills and work skills through adapted methods and equipment, activity modification and conditioning work.

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