- After medical school, physicians interested in becoming hand surgeons generally complete a residency in orthopaedics, plastic or general surgery and a one-year fellowship. Members of the ASSH must be board certified.
- Most hand surgeons are drawn into the field by a mentor or specialist in the field. Hand surgeons typically enjoy the intricacies of the field and microsurgery.
- Hand surgery is a sub-specialty of orthopaedics for which extensive training is required.
- Hand specialists treat the whole upper extremity and not just the fingers.
- Hand surgery is a multidisciplinary field, dealing with multiple body systems – muscles, the vascular system, the nervous system, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, etc.
- Hand surgeons deal with a significant number of trauma cases.
- Most of the treatments in this specialty are actually handled without surgery and consist of such remedies as injections, splints and hand therapy. Surgery is only used when all other applicable treatments are not successful.
- Hand surgeons are experts in problems of the wrist; no other specialist has expertise in this area.
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