When Should I Go to the Doctor for a Hand Injury?
Your hands are critically essential to your daily lifestyle at work, home and other areas. Therefore, an injury in your hands can greatly interfere with your ability to finish most of your day-to-day tasks. Fortunately, with the help of a La Jolla hand injuries specialist, you can get the right treatment to relieve your pain and discomfort.
Common Types of Hand Injuries
Hand injuries come in many different forms, including:
Lacerations: Cuts on the hand are usually characterized by tenderness, bleeding, difficulty moving, weakness, pallor, and numbness.
Fractures and Dislocations: Common symptoms of fractures and dislocations include tenderness, swelling, discoloration, deformity, numbness, bleeding, weakness and poor range of motion.
Soft Tissue Injuries and Amputations: Such hand injuries have symptoms of tenderness, deformity, swelling, bleeding, numbness, discoloration and weakness.
Infections: If you have a hand infection, you might experience tenderness, redness, fever, local warmth, deformity, swelling, and reduced range of motion.
Burns: Such a hand injury is characterized by full numbness, tenderness, deformity, tissue loss, change in skin texture, blisters, redness, and discoloration
High-pressure injuries: A high-pressure injury may be caused by grease and paint guns, and cause pain, swelling, and some skin discoloration
When Should You Visit a Doctor for a Hand Injury?
A variety of injuries may impact your hands and make it vital for you to visit a medical professional. Some of the injuries might be fairly minor, and treatable via physical therapy or by use of a corrective brace. However, others might be more severe and create the need for surgery. You should visit a surgeon so that he or she can assess your hand and establish the best treatment method.
Here are some of the telltale signs that it might be time to see an orthopedic surgeon:
You feel a tingling sensation or numbness in your hands regularly
You experience chronic and debilitating pain in the hand, which makes it more difficult for you to perform common tasks
You were involved in a traumatic accident that injured your hand
You see swelling on the hand regularly
Your hand pain radiates to the elbow or wrist region
Treatment Types for Hand Injuries
Several treatment options are available for hand injuries, including non-surgical and surgical techniques. If you have a hand injury that is interfering with your quality of life, the first step is to go to a physician for an assessment. The doctor will be able to perform a brief physical evaluation and possibly take an imaging test. Through the physical examination, the doctor will be able to establish whether you have issues with your tendons, blood vessels, carpal tunnel, or bones.
After that, your physician will prescribe a treatment method. Depending on the severity of your condition, you might require orthopedic surgery or non-surgical treatment. Non-surgical solutions include stretching exercises, heat and cold therapy, injections and medicine.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Hand Surgery?
After hand surgery, it takes approximately three months to recover complete hand strength and a maximum of six weeks to regain full motion range. Physical therapy goes a long way towards quickening the process of healing. So, you should ensure that you discuss with your hand specialist about the role of physical therapy in your recovery.