Things You Should Know About Hand Surgery
Our hands are incredibly important parts of our bodies that allow us to do things like hold objects, move items, lift, push, and carry. They are crucial when it comes to eating, drinking, cleaning ourselves, and more. But sometimes they get injured and require medical attention like hand surgery.
Hand surgery specialists are often plastic surgeons when the issue is on the exterior, and orthopedic surgeons when it is structural. There are many different reasons why a person may need hand surgery. Some of the most common ones include:
- Joint replacement. Also known as arthroplasty, this is hand surgery for arthritis where a deteriorating joint is replaced with an artificial one.
- Drainage or debridement. This hand surgery occurs when a hand is infected. Depending on the severity of the infection, abscesses or sores on the hand are either surgically drained or the infection area is debrided, removing dead and contaminated tissue.
- Skin grafts. This surgery is for individuals who are missing skin on a hand. Surgeons take skin from another area of the patient’s body and graft it onto their hand.
- Skin flaps. This surgery is similar to a skin graft, but a skin flap is an area of skin that has its own blood supply and is used in cases of damaged blood vessels, extensive tissue damage, or a lack of blood supply.
- Nerve repair. This involves surgery to repair nerve damage in a hand, which can be caused by a variety of injuries and lead to loss of function and/or feeling in the hand.
- Tendon repair. Similar to nerve repair surgery, tendon repair surgery involves repairing tendons in the hand that are injured by trauma, a sudden rupture, or infection.
- Fasciotomy. This procedure is used to treat compartment syndrome, which is usually caused by an injury and leads to increased swelling and pressure in a small area of the body.
- Replantation. This type of hand surgery reattaches a piece of the hand—like a finger—that has been severed, in an attempt for the hand to regain function. It’s a very complex procedure that uses small tools under a microscope.
- Deformity repair. This surgery helps to fix hand deformities that people are born with in order to give them the full function of their hands. It is usually performed when children are still growing so their bodies can heal and develop properly.
- Amputation. Sometimes a part or all of a hand must be cut off—or amputated—in order to limit infection and protect a patient’s overall health. Amputation can be necessary in cases of severe injuries where no other surgical option will work.
Hand surgery is something that is often needed in Palestine, but there is little reliable access. Many of these patients are children in need of hand amputation surgery or deformity repair. The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) continues to provide humanitarian aid to children and their families through our hospitals, pediatric medical programs, health initiatives, hospital infrastructure projects, orphan and refugee sponsorships, and medical missions. These efforts help to ensure that children in need get the vital assistance they require.
In 2014, the PCRF set up the Pediatric Orthopedic And Educational Training (POET) Program at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to train local surgeons in pediatric orthopedic surgery through visiting specialists and training abroad, and to offer medical equipment and the treatment of complex patients. The goal of the POET program is to build up local capacity in Palestine so children with orthopedic deformities can be treated adequately by highly skilled local surgeons and to reduce the referral of patients abroad or out of the public system.
PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families in Palestine and the Levant. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!