Surgical Programme

How many operations are needed and when is surgery carried out?

My aim with all patients is to see them as early as possible to assess their needs.It is important to allow time for the hand to develop whatever function it can and so treatment in the early stages is usually non-surgical and aimed at keeping the tendons, joints and skin in good condition by stretches and massage. If I detect a problem at this stage we may provide a splint to address this as this will give us an idea of what might be achieved by surgery.

In general most of my patients will require treatment for the thumb, wrist and elbow.

Experience has taught me that these operations are best done in stages. This allows my patients to focus their postoperative exercises.


When is surgery carried out?

The quick answer to this is that I will offer surgery when I see no progress with non-surgical treatments and my patient is medically fit for surgery.

In general I aim to complete treatment before a child goes to senior school as in my experience this is when children make the most of their surgery and the tissues are still in good condition. I have however operated on patients who have not used their hand for 3 decades and who have gone on to achieve useful hand function after surgery.

A typical treatment plan would therefore be as follows:

Note that I tailor the surgical plan to each patient’s individual needs and some may require only one stage of treatment. You will already have a good idea of the problems that you / your child face and your aims are an essential part of planning.