Hand Surgery – Some Definitions –
Hands: Natural tools, used to take care of ourselves and of others, to earn a living and to communicate through touch or signs.
Hand Surgeon: A surgeon (usually orthopedist) who specializes in the treatment of hand and wrist and other upper extremity problems. Hand surgery is a fairly new specialty (since 1945!) with its own Board Certification (since 1989). Hand surgeons get specialized fellowship training in Hand Surgery after completing their formal training in Orthopaedic surgery.
Hand Surgery: A specialty concerned with the treatment of congenital and acquired problems of the hand and wrist; such as trauma, arthritis, nerve and circulation disorders, work and sports-related injuries. Hand and wrist treatment may include any of the following: patient education and training, medication, splints, exercise and injections. Surgery is only one form of available treatment which is sometimes needed.
Hand Therapist: A therapist who specializes in the rehabilitation of hand, wrist and upper extremity problems. These professionals are licensed physical or occupational therapists with special training in hand therapy. Hand therapy is also a fairly new specialty, and has its own certification.