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Hand & wrist surgery

Improving your hand and wrist health

Our hands and wrists are used constantly each and every day for a wide range of tasks and activities. As a result, any pain, stiffness or weakness can have a significant impact on our ability to do our normal activities.   

If you enjoy taking part in a particular sport, wrist or hand pain may limit your enjoyment. For example, a weakness in your hand could mean you’re no longer able grip your squash racket to the best of your ability. Away from sporting activities, everyday tasks like brushing your teeth can become frustrating when coupled with debilitating hand or wrist pain. 

If you have pain, stiffness, weakness or any kind of numbness in your hand, wrist or forearm, it can be sensible to seek medical assessment, advice and treatment. We can easily and quickly arrange for you to see an experienced Hand & Wrist consultant here at The Blackheath Hospital. They’ll be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a personalised treatment plan to get you back to better health and normal function as quickly as possible. 

Each hand consists of 27 bones in addition to numerous muscles, tendons and ligaments. This complex anatomy is contained within such a small space, it’s not surprising that problems can occur.

Wrist and hand pain is a particularly common complaint, more so as the natural wear and tear in our joints starts to become more noticeable as we age. While many people choose to visit one of our Consultants to seek help with pain in their hand or wrist, others come for advice for other problems, including numbness/pins and needles in the hand or a deformity in a finger.

Conditions that most commonly cause symptoms in the hand and wrist include:

  • Osteoarthritis – this is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. It can develop in the wrist, fingers and thumb. As the arthritis progress, pain and stiffness often also gets worse.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – results from the median nerve (one of three main nerves in your hands and arms) being pinched or compressed as it passes through the wrist. This causes weakness, numbness or a tingling sensation, in particular at night time.

  • Ganglion – Swelling around the hand or wrist, caused by a build-up of gelatinous material arising from the joint or tendons.

  • Trigger Finger – Caused by inflammation in a tendon. One of the fingers can curl and becomes fixed in a ‘trigger’ finger position. Surgery is sometimes needed to ‘release’ the finger back into its natural position.

While some hand and wrist problems may resolve gradually over time, others will benefit from early assessment and treatment. If your symptoms are particularly severe or limiting, you may like to meet with a Hand and Wrist Consultant in order to have a full assessment and a confirmed diagnosis.

A consultation is an excellent way of getting help for a hand or wrist problem. When you first meet with your Consultant, they will take a medical history and discuss your symptoms with you. They may ask you questions like:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?

  • How long have you had the symptoms for?

  • Have they been getting worse over time?

  • If you have pain, is it sharp or dull?

  • Is the pain in one area only (localised) or is it more of a generalised pain?

They will carry out a clinical examination of your hand, wrist and arm, assessing strength, mobility and flexibility. They may ask you to perform some simple tasks to demonstrate your symptoms.

Sometimes, additional tests or investigations may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. This is usually an X-ray of your hand and wrist, as this can help to either demonstrate or rule out involvement of the bony structures. If no bone abnormalities are seen on the X-ray, other diagnostic scans like ultrasound or MRI may be done to look at the tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. Any of these diagnostic tests can be easily carried out for you on-site at The Blackheath Hospital.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your Consultant will be able to discuss treatment options with you. These may include physiotherapy, steroid injections or, if necessary, an operation.

It may be that a diagnosis is still not possible. In these situations, your Consultant may advise having an arthroscopy, which is a form of keyhole surgery. This involves passing a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light attached to it through a small cut in your wrist. This transmits a live feed to a screen, giving your Consultant a clear view inside the joint. This is done as a day case procedure, so you won’t need to stay in hospital overnight.

Most hand and wrist problems can be well managed without the need for surgery. For example, for a severe sprain our physiotherapy team may structure a personalised rehabilitation plan for you. This would aim to help safely optimise the strength and range of movement in your hand and wrist during your recovery period.

When you choose to have your treatment at The Blackheath Hospital, you’ll benefit from:

  • Rapid access – When the quality of your life is being affected by pain in your hands or wrists, you’ll want to receive a diagnosis quickly and without delay. With rapid access to an experienced Hand and Wrist Consultant, we can get you started on the right course of treatment as soon as possible.
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, over 97% of people we’d treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend The Blackheath Hospital to their friends and family. We don’t take this for granted and each member of our team works hard every day to provide the highest level of care and support to the people they see.
  • Flexible appointments – We offer a number of appointments throughout the week, meaning you’ll be able to book a time that suits your needs and availability.
  • Personalised care – A bespoke approach to treatment is invaluable for a hand and wrist problem. Your Consultant will tailor treatment to your specific needs and whatever may be best for you.
  • Multidisciplinary team – Our teams at The Blackheath Hospital work closely with one another to ensure you receive the best possible care from start to finish. You’ll be supported by experienced healthcare professionals every step of the way during your treatment.
  • Remote Consultation – While your Consultation can be carried out in person on-site, we can also offer remote consultations by telephone or video where required.

If you’re struggling with pain, weakness, numbness or stiffness in a hand and/or wrist, we can help. Our Consultants will organise the necessary diagnostic tests to investigate your symptoms, outline all treatment options for you promptly, and arrange any further scans or surgery if required.

Hand and wrist problems can make many aspects of life challenging, but good treatments are available. For peace of mind and expert care, book your appointment online now.

Specialists offering Hand & wrist surgery

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Mr Karthik Karuppaiah

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS(Ortho), MRCSEd, MSc (Evidence Based Orthopaedics), MCh (Orthopaedics), FRCS (Trauma and Orthopaedics)

The Blackheath Hospital 2 more Chelsfield Park Hospital The Sloane Hospital

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Mr Mohammed Abdus-Samee

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BSc Hons, MBBS, MRCS(Ed), PGDip, FRCSEd (Tr&Orth)

The Blackheath Hospital 2 more Chelsfield Park Hospital The Sloane Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Abhinav Gulihar

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MRCS, MSc, MD, FRCS (orth)

The Blackheath Hospital 2 more Chelsfield Park Hospital The Sloane Hospital

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Mrs Jenny Geh

Consultant Plastic Surgeon


The Sloane Hospital 1 more The Blackheath Hospital

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Mr Adel Tavakkolizadeh

Consultant Orthopaedic & Upper Limb Surgeon


The Blackheath Hospital 1 more The Sloane Hospital

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