Hand Surgery Treatment Abroad
Hand surgery is an orthopedic procedure performed for a wide variety of reasons. Hand surgeries and procedures address issues that involve the fingers, hands and wrists and sometimes the forearms, elbows and shoulders. Those who perform hand surgeries or non-surgical procedures may also be trained and certified as general, orthopedic or plastic surgeons who are experienced in specialized fields of hand, arm, and even shoulder anatomy, physiology and treatment procedures and surgeries. Hand surgery is meant to help alleviate restricted range of motion, to repair muscles, tendons or bones damaged through injury or disease, as well as to restore the appearance of hands and fingers in the case of disfigurement or birth defects.
Who Benefits from Hand Surgery?
Individuals who have experienced hand injuries in automobile accidents or other forms of trauma such as falls, sports injuries and mechanical accidents benefit from hand surgeries that help restore function and use. Individuals suffering from medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or osteoporosis also benefit from hand surgery techniques and procedures that help reduce pain and restore range of motion. Those suffering from birth defects or severe infections that cause pain or deformity also benefit from such procedures.
Common Types of Hand Surgery Procedures
Many different types of hand surgery are available depending on need. Some of the most common types of hand surgery procedures include but are not limited to:
Tendon or nerve repair necessitated by trauma, infections and sports injuries are very common. In most cases, primary repairs of tendons or nerves are performed within 24 hours of injury if at all possible in order to achieve optimal results. Delayed or secondary repairs are addressed within a few days to a few weeks following injury, depending on individualized cases and needs.
Nerve repairs are extremely complicated procedures, as damage to any of the three major nerves serving the hand may result in disability or limited use or range of motion for fingers and wrist movement. Such surgeries are typically attempted three to six weeks following injury when accompanied by additional trauma or injuries to additional tissues, though those involving a specific location are addressed as soon as possible.
Skin grafts are often necessary for the replacement or reattachment of skin of the hands and fingers. Some of the most common types of injuries requiring a skin graft are amputations of fingers. Skin grafts utilize healthy skin from another area of the body to use in covering or resurfacing exposed areas.
Closed Reduction and Fixation type surgical procedures are used when fractures of the fingers or hand bones are present. This method is used to help properly realign bones that have been crushed or shattered and may utilize the aid of rods, wires, as well as splints and casts for repair and reconstruction.
Joint Replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a common surgical treatment for individuals who suffer from severe forms of arthritis and involves replacement of joints in the fingers or wrist. Such artificial joints are commonly made from plastic, metal, or silicone rubber.
How Much Does Hand Surgery Cost?
It is difficult to state the exact amount of money a person might have to spend on hand surgery because techniques and procedures vary. However, hand surgical procedures in the United States may cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000 for some procedures, and quite a bit more for those involving grafting. While reconstructive hand surgeries are typically covered by health insurance plans, some components are not. Individuals are encouraged to check with plan providers regarding exactly what is covered and what is not.
Medical travelers to Costa Rica may enjoy between a 50-60% decrease in costs for hand surgeries, while travelers to India and Thailand may enjoy as much as 50% savings. Medical providers in Germany may be able to offer up to 75% savings on common hand surgical procedures such as Carpal Tunnel surgeries.
Who Performs Hand Surgeries?
Hand surgeries are typically performed by trained and certified plastic surgeons, though trained and experienced orthopedic and general practitioners may also perform various techniques and procedures. Always verify the training, education and certification of any surgeon, and make sure he or she belongs to reputable Orthopedic or Plastic Surgery organizations or associations in their country of origin.
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