Hand and Wrist Treatments

Hand and wrist pain should never keep you from living your life to the fullest. The experts at Henry Ford Health System are leaders in hand and wrist surgery and nonsurgical treatments. Our experience treating orthopedic problems and conditions that affect blood vessels or nerves in the hands can ease your pain.

Nonsurgical hand and wrist treatments

Not all hand and wrist conditions require surgery. Whenever possible, we choose noninvasive treatments that get you back to moving quickly. We offer nonsurgical treatments including:

  • At-home therapies: Heat and ice are often used alone or with other treatments. These can reduce pain and inflammation to speed healing.
  • Drainage: Your doctor gives you a local anesthetic and drains fluid that puts pressure on nerves.
  • Splints, casts and bracing: These aids keep the wrist or hand bones in place so they heal properly.
  • Hand therapy: Hand therapy helps restore function in the hand, wrist, elbow, forearm, arm and shoulder.
  • Pain medication/medication injections: Various prescription medications can be used to alleviate pain and decrease inflammation to promote healing.

Surgical hand and wrist treatments

If your condition is best treated with surgery, you’re in the right place. Our team is made of up some of the nation’s leading experts in the field. We routinely perform the full range of hand and wrist surgeries, including:

  • Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat wrist and hand conditions such as fractures, ligament tears and ganglion cysts. Your doctor inserts a thin tube with a camera and light through a small incision in your wrist or hand. This minimally invasive treatment usually results in faster recovery.
  • Carpal tunnel surgery: This procedure can be done “open” with a larger incision, or with an arthroscope. Your hand surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament to relieve pressure on the nerve causing pain.
  • Fracture fixation: A surgeon can stabilize broken and misaligned bones in the hand, wrist or elbow using advanced techniques that result in faster recovery.
  • Microsurgery: Using a microscope and very fine sutures (thinner than a strand of hair), a surgeon can repair injured nerves and arteries.
  • Nerve surgery: Surgery can release nerve compression and restore hand function.
  • Trigger finger release (tenolysis): This surgery releases the tissue that stops a finger from moving properly.
  • Total joint replacement: A hand surgeon removes damaged parts of wrist bones and replaces them with artificial parts made of metal or plastic.
  • Wrist joint fusion (arthrodesis): In order to stabilize the wrist, your surgeon fuses the forearm bone (radius) to the wrist bones.

Wide-awake hand and wrist surgery

More and more hand and wrist surgeries are being done while patients are awake. Your medical team administers a local anesthetic to control pain. You remain awake and pain-free during the surgery.

Wide-awake hand surgery typically is done for:

  • Fracture fixation
  • Tendon disorders or repairs
  • Ligament repairs
  • Trigger finger release
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Mass and cyst removal

This kind of surgery has several advantages. Patients do not have to fast or have blood work. You don’t spend time waking up after the procedure. Patients who have wide-awake surgery also require less pain medication after treatment. Your hand surgeon can recommend whether wide-awake surgery is right for you.

For more information on wide awake hand surgery.

Postsurgical care with a purpose

At Henry Ford Health System we educate our patients on what to expect before, during and after surgery. You’ll also have access to MyChart, which allows you to connect with your doctors 24/7 for any follow-up needs. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about hand and wrist surgery or request an appointment.

Expert Hand and Wrist Care

Virtual appointments are available. 

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Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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