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Degenerative Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Conditions
Orthopaedic surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center have more than 50 years of combined experience treating degenerative hand, wrist, and elbow conditions and are experts at the surgeries and treatments used to target these conditions.
Unmatched Orthopaedic Experience
When joints in the hands, wrists, and elbows degenerate from age or overuse, patients can lose the ability to use the joint.
At UT Southwestern, our hand surgeons specialize in repairing the numerous bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons that make up the hand, wrist, and elbow.
We offer patients access to the latest technology, including the newest biomaterials for joint replacements and the latest fixation devices for ligament reconstruction.
Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Conditions We Treat
Our orthopaedic surgeons treat the following hand, wrist, and elbow degenerative conditions:
arthritis of the hand, wrist, and elbow
- Thumb arthritis (basal joint arthritis)
Symptoms of degenerative hand, wrist, and elbow disease include:
to grasp, pinch, or hold things
or tenderness in the joints
in the joints
To get an accurate diagnosis, our doctors talk with each patient to understand the history of the condition. We’ll conduct a thorough physical exam that can involve moving the affected joints and examining range of motion and severity of pain.
Treatment for Degenerative Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Conditions
Our orthopaedic surgeons create a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient to account for the patient’s age, activity level, and goals.
Nonurgent conditions are initially treated with nonsurgical treatments, such as ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, splints, or physical therapy.
For some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and avascular necrosis, there is no cure. The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and pain associated with the condition and prevent further bone and joint damage.
When nonsurgical treatments fail to control the symptoms, our doctors will work with the patient to determine if surgery is the best course of treatment.
Surgery for degenerative hand, wrist, and elbow conditions includes:
- Acute tendon repair or reconstruction: Used to stabilize joints with
chronic ligament damage. Our surgeons sew the tendons or nerves end-to-end
using high-powered operative microscopes.
- Complex bone reconstruction: Performed when the bones have
deteriorated, as with osteomyelitis or osteonecrosis. This procedure is often done
as a microsurgery.
- Elbow arthroscopy: Used to relieve arthritis pain in
the elbow. Our surgeons make multiple small incisions in the arm and insert small
cameras to direct the surgeon’s use of tiny surgical instruments to remove any
loose or degenerative tissue in the joint and smooth out irregular surfaces.
- Joint fusion: Used when joint replacement is not
an option. Our doctors will surgically fuse the joint to stabilize or realign
it. While this procedure offers pain relief, it also prevents the joint from
- Joint replacement: Used when the joint surface is worn away
completely. The deteriorated joint is replaced with a prosthetic joint or, in
certain cases, the patient’s own body tissue. The goal of joint replacement is
to relieve pain and restore function to the joint. While many of the joints in
the hand and wrist can be replaced, it takes an experienced surgeon to do this
surgery. Our doctors have the skills to perform joint replacement surgery and
achieve positive outcomes.
Following surgery, patients meet with a physical therapist to undergo rehabilitation to help them regain movement and strength in the hand, wrist, or elbow.
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Dallas, Texas 75390 214-645-4673