Types of Hand Surgery

Our team includes some of the region's top hand surgery specialists who serve as associate team physicians for the San Diego Padres. We have the skill and experience to perform the precise, highly complex, surgical techniques needed to restore function in the hand, elbow, shoulder and wrist.

The region's only academic medical center, we are able to provide the latest technologies and advanced surgical therapies founded on leading-edge research to accelerate recovery and healing.

What Are the Different Types of Hand Surgery?

Our orthopedic hand surgeons are skilled in procedures to treat conditions of the hand and upper extremity, including:

  • Fasciotomy or fasciectomy to treat Dupuytren's disease
  • Athroplasty (joint replacement) used to treat severe cases of arthritis
  • Replantation
  • Surgical drainage or debridement
  • Nerve repair
  • Closed fixation and reduction
  • Tendon repair

When is Minimally Invasive Hand Surgery Used?

When possible, our hand specialists prefer minimally invasive surgery techniques to treat soft tissue and bone injuries. Unlike traditional surgeries that require open incisions, the surgeon is able to mend the affected area through very small incisions in the skin.

A minimally invasive approach can:

  • Lower the risk of damaging surrounding healthy tissues
  • Minimize scarring
  • Speed up recovery

Learn more about minimally invasive surgery at UC San Diego Health.

Microvascular Surgery: Hand Amputations and Replantation

Performed through a microscope using tiny needles, ultrafine sutures and specialized devices, microvascular surgery (also known as microsurgery) is used to reattach arms, hands and fingers that have been completely cut from the body. During the procedure, damaged blood vessels and nerves are reconnected to the amputated parts to restore circulation before the tissue begins to die.

Microsurgery can help patients avoid complete removal of an injured or deformed part.

Our hand surgeons are skilledin microvascular surgical techniques, including:

  • Nerve grafting
  • Blood vessel repair
  • Vein grafting
  • Free tissue transfer
  • Nerve repair

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Hand Surgery?

Recovery depends on the cause of the condition and the type of hand surgery that was used. The hand is an important part of the body and can be be very sensitive. Following many types of hand surgeries, pain may be expected. We can prescribe medications or injections that can help make you more comfortable.

Hand therapy may be recommended to help increase the function and strength of the area. To optimize your recovery, one of our certified hand therapy (CHT) specialists will help facilitate your care. Therapy may include splinting, heat therapy, nerve stimulation, or exercises. Learn more about the hand therapy program at UC San Diego Health

Appointments & Referrals

Hand Specialists