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Hand & wrist surgery

Expert care for your hand & wrist concerns.

At Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex, our leading Consultant Hand & Wrist Surgeon provide expert investigation, diagnosis, and treatment for a wide range of symptoms and conditions. If you have any concerns about pain, stiffness or other symptoms in your hand and wrist symptoms, they would be delighted to help you.   

Your hands and wrists are involved in many extremely varied tasks every day. From brushing your teeth, buttoning a shirt, or sending a message on your phone, your hands and wrists are busy at work to make these things possible.

If a hand or wrist becomes damaged in any way – by trauma (chronic or acute), disease, or the result of ageing – it can make many daily activities and tasks much more challenging, sometimes even impossible.

Some conditions may cause your grip to become weaker, and you may struggle to twist open a bottle lid. Other conditions may cause a finger to curl unnaturally and ‘lock’ in place. If you enjoy playing a racquet sport, you may struggle to hold your racquet firmly enough to play at your usual level.

For any type of pain, stiffness, weakness or numbness in a hand or wrist that is causing you problems, it is sensible to get expert assessment and guidance. If you would like to book a private appointment with one of our experience Consultants, please get in touch with us and will get your visit booked in as soon as possible.  

Your hands, wrists and forearms together provide a huge range of movement and function. One hand alone contains 27 bones, as well as an extraordinarily complex network of muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments.

Given such complexity in a relatively small space, it is not surprising that problem can occur and cause symptoms. Common reasons people visit us for help include:

  • Pain in the hand or wrist
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in the fingers
  • Nerve-type pain
  • A deformity in a finger
  • Pain in the base of thumb
  • A ‘lump or bump’ in a hand or wrist
  • Sports injury

Some of the common causes of these symptoms are: 

  • Osteoarthritis – This often affects the base of thumb, a finger, or the wrist, and causes increasing levels of pain and stiffness
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – Caused by the median nerve (one of three main nerves in your arm) when it is pinched or compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Symptoms can include grip weakness, tingling and pain in the wrist and hand
  • Ganglion cyst - A small fluid-filled lump in a hand or wrist. These will often resolve naturally, but can be drained if they cause significant discomfort 
  • Trigger Finger – Inflammation in a tendon causes the finger to contract into a curled ‘trigger finger’ position
  • Dupuytren’s Contracture/Disease – A thickening of the layer just under the skin leads to the formation of nodules. These can be painful. If left untreated, the fingers may continue to curl and fix in position 

If you have any of these symptoms or conditions, or are concerned about any other symptoms in your hands or wrists, why not contact us to book your private appointment? We are here for you and can help you access the support you need without delay.

Treatment for hand and wrist conditions may include: 

  • Physiotherapy / hand therapy 
  • Pain relief medication 
  • Steroid injection 
  • Surgery 

It is important to know that many hand and wrist problems will get better naturally over time. Others can be treated without the need for surgery. If surgery is required, it will be fully explained to you by your Consultant so that you know the benefits you should realistically expect to see from it, as well as any risks or complications you need to be aware of.  

Surgery may be carried out to: 

  • Repair damage to a ligament or tendon 
  • Fuse two joints together 
  • Replace a joint 
  • Remove damaged or diseased tissue from the hand - for example, an open fasciectomy to treat Dupuytren's disease 

Many types of wrist surgery can be carried out using wrist arthroscopy (keyhole). This minimally invasive surgery uses tiny incisions in the skin, resulting in reduced pain and bleeding, less visible scarring, and can promote a faster recovery.  

Other conditions may require “open” surgery, involving larger incisions. 

The complex nature of the hands and wrists means that a proper, expert-led recovery and rehabilitation programme is vital to help you regain as much strength, movement, and function as possible after any surgery. Here at Bishops Wood Hospital, our experienced team will work closely with you to ensure you see the best results possible. 

When you first meet with your Consultant at Bishops Wood Hospital, they will ask you about your symptoms. They may ask you questions like: 

  • What symptoms do you have? 
  • When did you first notice these symptoms? 
  • Have they been getting worse over time? 
  • Are your symptoms preventing you from doing any activities? 
  • Have you received any treatment already (e.g. prescribed medication or physiotherapy)? 

They will carry out a physical examination of your hand and wrist, and possibly your entire arm and shoulder, depending on your symptoms. 

This may be all that is needed to make a diagnosis and to plan treatment, but often additional diagnostic tests may be needed. Most commonly, this will be a plain X-ray of the hand or wrist, as this can help show abnormalities in the bones. MRI and ultrasound scans can also be extremely helpful, particularly when investigating soft tissue problems. These can all be arranged for you on-site if required. (If CT is required, this will be arranged for you at our sister site, The Clementine Churchill Hospital.) 

Once any results are back, your Consultant will discuss them with you and talk through treatment options. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to look at these with you.  

If treatment is required, this will be arranged for you as quickly as possible. 

While many of our patients are local to Northwood and the surrounding areas, excellent travel links make it easy to visit us from further afield. We see people from Axbridge, Wickham and London, who visit us to benefit from the expertise and experience of our Consultants.  

When you visit us for help with a hand or wrist problem, you will benefit from: 

  • Fast access to an expert – Any type of problem in a hand or wrist can cause difficulties with many daily activities. The very last thing you will want is to have to wait weeks (or even months) to be seen by somebody. We can book you a private appointment with an experienced Hand and Wrist consultant quickly, so that you can get the treatment you need sooner. 
  • Consultant-led care, always – You will always see the same Consultant when you visit and will never have to worry about being seen by a more junior doctor. Your Consultant will oversee every aspect of your care, from initial appointment through to treatment and post-treatment recovery and follow-up. This ensures excellent continuity of care.  
  • Convenient appointments – Hand and Wrist appointments are available throughout the week. We can also offer remote consultations by telephone or video call if required.  

For peace of mind and known expert care, why not book your private Hand and Wrist appointment at Bishops Wood Hospital today? 

Specialists offering Hand & wrist surgery

Mr David Ahearne

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB ChB, MSc, FRCS (Tr and Orth)

Bishops Wood Hospital 1 more The Clementine Churchill Hospital

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Mr Dush Thakkar

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

FRCS (Orth & Trauma)

The Clementine Churchill Hospital 1 more Bishops Wood Hospital

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