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How do I Choose the Best Hand Surgery Specialist?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several factors to consider when choosing the best hand surgery specialist for necessary procedures on the hand, wrist, and forearm, such as education, experience, and insurance and hospital compatibility. The need for hand surgery can be the result of accidental trauma, disease, or more commonly, carpel tunnel syndrome. Many people experience problems with their hands and wrists due to long hours working on computer keyboards and repetitive motions during work hours. Depending on the type of problem with the hand, it may be necessary for the hand doctor to be able to repair the appearance and function of the soft tissue, though most hand surgeries are bone related. In addition to independent research, many patients elect to consult other medical professionals for referrals to choose the best hand surgery specialist.

One of the first factors most patients consider before choosing a hand surgery specialist is his or her education. Hand surgeons must complete the traditional medical doctorate program before moving on to more specialized study focusing on the bones, muscles, vascular system, and function of the hand and forearm. It is also required that these doctors continue their education to stay current in the latest surgical procedures and treatments.

Experience is another important factor when selecting a good hand surgery specialist. It is acceptable to ask the surgeon directly about his or her experience in regards to a specific surgery or procedure. The potential patient should also request information pertaining to the number of successful procedures the hand specialist has performed, and ask about any complications the doctor experienced and how he or she handled the crisis. Most hand specialists are not offended by these inquiries and are happy to offer the patient as much relevant information as necessary for their peace of mind.

As with any type of medical surgery or procedure, cost is often a factor. For this reason, it is suggested that a patient determine if the hand surgery specialist she has chosen works with her insurance provider and is approved to operate in her preferred hospital. In most cases, the diagnosing physician usually recommends hand specialists he or she knows has operating privileges at the local hospital, but a patient should check with her health insurance company regarding the doctor's network status. In the event the desired surgeon is out of network, the patient can choose to select another specialist or be responsible for the higher out-of-pocket costs.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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