What is a Hand Surgeon?

Article by Dr. Darren R Keiser MD

Our hands serve many purposes. Hands help us eat, dress, write, earn a living, create art, and do many other activities. To function, our hands require sensation and movement in the joints, tendons and muscles. When a problem takes place in the hand, care must be given to all the different types of tissues that make function of the hand possible.

Hand surgery is the field of medicine that deals with problems of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Hand surgeons care for these problems with and without surgery. They are specially trained to operate when necessary. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems.

Hand surgeons are orthopaedic, plastic, or general surgeons who have additional training in surgery of the hand. To become members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, hand surgeons must take a full year of additional training and must pass a rigorous certifying examination.

Some hand surgeons treat only children, some treat only adults, and some treat both.

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