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Hand Procedures at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Several of our division’s plastic surgeons have specific expertise and sub-specialization in reconstructive procedures related to the hand. Our goal is to improve functionality and flexibility and also improve appearance, if possible.

We provide care for the full breadth of hand conditions, including but not limited to the following:

Hand Trauma

  • Fractures
  • Tendon/Ligament Injuries

Nerve Compression Syndromes

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – a condition caused by pressure to the median nerve within the wrist, or carpal tunnel. You might feel pain, a tingling sensation, numbness of the fingers, weakness or aching. Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with multiple conditions including: repetitive motion or overuse, fluid retention during pregnancy, injury to the nerve in the carpal tunnel or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s Disease (using Collagenase (XIAFLEX®) Injection) – a disabling hand disorder in which thick, scar-like tissue bands form within the palm and may extend into the fingers. It can cause restricted movement, bending the fingers into an abnormal position. When appropriate, our surgeons use XIAFLEX®, a prescription medicine used to treat adults with Dupuytren's contracture, to help break down the cord that is causing the finger to be bent.

hand surgery for nerve compression syndromes


  • Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Joint Replacement
  • Trigger Finger – a condition when one of your fingers or your thumb gets stuck in a bent position and then straightens with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position. Often painful, trigger finger is caused by a narrowing of the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are more susceptible. Trigger finger is also more common in women and in anyone with diabetes.
  • De Quervain’s Tendonitis – occurs when the tendons around the base of the thumb are irritated or constricted. The word "tendonitis" refers to a swelling of the tendons. Thickening of the tendons can cause pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist. This is particularly noticeable when forming a fist, grasping or gripping things, or when turning the wrist

Ganglion Cysts/Mucous Cysts

  • Ganglion cyst – a firm, fluid-filled lump that can suddenly appear on the front or back of the wrist or at the base of a finger. These cysts grow from normal tissue in the wrist and fingers, and range in size from a pea to a peach pit. Although ganglion cysts are common, they don’t spread, and they don’t become cancerous.

Vascular Disease

  • Raynaud’s Syndrome – a condition that causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers, toes, the tip of your nose and your ears — to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud's disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas. Women are more likely to have Raynaud's disease. It's also more common in people who live in colder climates.

Is This a Good Option for You?

Hand surgery procedures are highly individualized; they can be performed on people of any age and may be a good option for you if:

  • You do not have additional medical conditions or other illnesses that may impair healing
  • You are a non-smoker
  • You are committed to following your plastic surgeon’s prescribed course of treatment

More Information?

If you have questions, please contact us. We are always willing to help you determine if this is right for you.

Hand Surgery Words to Know

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: A condition caused by pressure to the median nerve within the wrist or carpal tunnel causing pain, tingling and numbness.
  • Dupuytren’s contracture: A disabling hand disorder in which thick, scar-like tissue bands form within the palm and may extend into the fingers. It can cause restricted movement, bending the fingers into an abnormal position.
  • Extensor tendon: A tendon which serves to extend a bodily part.
  • Flexor tendon: A tendon which serves to bend a body part.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Grafting: Tissue taken from other parts of the body.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Microsurgery: High magnification to repair or reconnect severed nerves and tendons, common in trauma cases and often used to reattach severed fingers or limbs.
  • Polydactyly: The presence of extra fingers.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: A disabling disease that can cause severe inflammation in any joint of the body. In the hand, it can deform fingers and impair movement.
  • Syndactyly: When fingers are fused together.
  • Tendon: A tough cord or band of dense white fibrous connective tissue that unites a muscle with some other part.
  • Tenolysis: A surgical procedure to free a tendon from surrounding adhesions.
  • Trigger finger: An abnormal condition in which flexion or extension of a finger may be momentarily obstructed by spasm followed by a snapping into place.
  • Z-plasty: A surgical incision technique that creates small triangular flaps of tissue that help to close wounds over areas of the hand where bending or flexing is essential to function, such as around knuckles.


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