When to See a Doctor for a Hand Injury
January 12, 2016
Every year, hand injuries result in more than a million emergency room visits, making them the second-most common work-related injury, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)1.
Many hand injuries that can be severe or lead to very severe complications don't have a lot of pain. Whether you experience a hand injury at work or home, below are a few tips to keep in mind if you injure your hand.
When should you see a doctor?
"If you have a fall that causes pain, swelling or bruising in your hand or wrist, I suggest you see a doctor. If the fracture does not heal properly, the injury could develop into arthritis or a limitation in function." Advises Dr. Lee Reichel, orthopedic hand and microvascular surgeon and traumatologist at Austin Regional Clinic.
The hand is composed of many different bones, muscles, and ligaments that allow for movement and dexterity. To function, your hands require sensation and movement in the joints, tendons and muscles. Hand surgeons specialize in the care of your fingers, hand, wrist or arm and devote most of their time to examining, treating and studying the upper-extremity2.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options and Microsurgery
Hand surgeons often recommend non-surgical treatment options, including hand therapy, a combination of physical and occupational therapy to restore movement and reduce or eliminate pain. Every person's injury is different and the rate of recovery depends on the severity of the injury.
Sometimes an injury anywhere from the finger to the shoulder can result in severed nerves or blood vessels. In those cases, specialized surgery using a microscope can be used to repair them.
If you have pain in your hand or wrist, elbow or along the arm, and would like to learn more about your treatment options, make an appointment request to see Dr. Lee Reichel or call (512) 454-4561.
1 PPE Basics – Hand Protection, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center
2 Fingertip Injuries and Amputations, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons