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PHONE: (828) 526-3783 | TOLL-FREE: (877) 526-3784

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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How We Treat The Hand: Hand Medicine and Surgery

How We Treat The Hand: Hand Medicine and Surgery

Hand Surgery is an unusual specialty. Among other things, it is a specialty shared by General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, each doing the same things. Also, though officially a surgical  specialty, care of the hand actually involves more medical care than surgery. Care can be divided into several categories, trauma care, arthritis and inflammatory processes, congenital problems, and miscellaneous problems.

Trauma Care

This can be mostly surgical initially, involving repair of cut or injured tendons, muscles, nerves or vessels. However, many injuries do not involve transection of a structure and require only observation and retraining. Even initial surgical repairs require more follow up than most injuries elsewhere because of the necessity of retraining the brain. Many initial repairs may require only minor surgery to achieve later function. Retraining is achieved through cooperation of the patient, a specially trained hand therapist and the doctor.

Arthritis & Inflammatory Processes

This is probably the largest group of problems and the one with the least actual surgical procedures. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are well known problems, but other processes like psoriasis, gout, and autoimmune disease can also cause similar symptoms. Part of all the arthritides is inflammation of the synovium, the tissue surrounding the joints. This tissue also surrounds the tendons and other structures in the hand and arm and can become inflamed without joint problems. Common examples of this is tenosynovitis, trigger finger, De Quervain’s, and, even, carpal tunnel and other nerve compression syndromes. Though many of these, including carpal tunnel, are generally considered surgical problems, medical treatment is actually best.

Congenital Problems

Most of these are, indeed, surgical, to correct the congenital problem. Though Dr. Buchanan did a large numbers of these while at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, he believes these problems generally need to be treated by those who do so frequently.


These are almost all other problems that can occur in the hand and upper extremity. Many of these, such as Dupuytren’s contracture have gone from usually surgical to frequently medical. In the case of Dupuytren’s, an injection into the contracting band instead of cutting it essentially melts the scar, releasing the contracture.

The Center for Plastic Surgery & Hand Care

In addition to plastic surgery, Dr. Buchanan is board certified in hand surgery and taught it for many years. He still cares for many patients with hand problems. If you have a problem with your hand or upper extremity, call the Center for Plastic Surgery at 828-526-3783 to learn more or for an appointment.

Give Yourself a “Hand”

Consider your hands. Think of all the things they have accomplished over the course of your life: The meals prepared, the love given, the dishes washed, the diapers changed, the letters written and the flowers planted. Your hands have worked hard and are one of the first places to show the visible signs of aging. With time, you may begin to see darkened “age spots” or a loss of fatty tissue which makes your hands look bony and perhaps older than your age.

hand careHand rejuvenation treatments can reverse the visible signs of aging, including the effects of sun damage and can help restore your hands to a more youthful appearance – one that matches your youthful, active lifestyle. Various treatments are available and treatment options may be combined to help you achieve the look you desire.

Here are four ways Dr. Buchanan can treat your aging hands at The Center For Plastic Surgery:

  1. Laser Like Skin Rejuvenation – The Ellipse IPL® offers the advantages of intense pulsed light therapy, a proven technology that treats the red and brown areas of sun damage using short bursts of laser like light which penetrate and gently remove “age spots.”
  2. Chemical Peel – The Obagi® RADIANCE Peel is a salicylic acid peel that can improve the look, texture and feel of your hands in minutes with no down time. Glycolic fruit acid peels remove the dry, top layer of the skin to reveal healthier, moist skin underneath.
  3. Microdermabrasion – This is a superficial skin polishing that “sands” off the first layer of the skin with tiny crystals. The procedure is non-surgical, non-invasive, fast and easy.
  4. Injectables – When injected, fillers such as Juvederm injectable gels or your own fat plump the skin on your hands to give them a more youthful appearance by somewhat hiding the veins, bones and tendons.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to have realistic expectations and keep in mind that these procedures are designed for improvement, not perfection.

If you would like to know more, call 828-526-3783 for a consultation with Dr. Buchanan, today, and enjoy younger looking hands.

Because Your Hands Will Give Your Age Away!

Although the face is often the subject of anti-aging procedures, you might be surprised to know that your hands could actually betray you when it comes to revealing your true age. Here at our North Carolina plastic surgery practice, we often advise our clients to also take the time to take care of their hands. After all, no matter what you do to make your overall appearance look younger, your hands will most likely just give your age away.

Hand Care Tips and Tricks

1. Don’t skimp on the lotion, moisturizer or hand cream. While your hands won’t reveal signs of aging until you’re in your 30s or 40s, using hand moisturizers as early as your 20s will work to your advantage later in life.

2. Be generous with your sunscreen, too. If possible, choose moisturizers with sunscreen properties! UV exposure is the #1 culprit of blemishes, sun spots, and premature appearance of wrinkles on your lovely hands.

3. If your skin is extra sensitive, avoid products which are quite harsh. This will only make your hands flaky and dry.

4. If you frequently do household chores such as doing the laundry, wear rubber gloves as much as possible.

5. Consider hand rejuvenation procedures such as chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing.

If you’re noticing obvious signs of aging in your hands, let us help you out! We have a variety of anti-aging options suited to your needs and preferences.  We are located at 209 Hospital Drive, Suite 202, Highlands, NC.  Call us at 828-526-3783 or fill out this contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to your visit!

Thank you for your business over the years! Dr. Buchanan is closing his practice and the Center For Plastic Surgery's last day open will be January 31, 2023.