Phillip Johnston MD FRCS (Tr & Orth)

Orthopaedic Surgery in Cambridge, UK.

Below is some summary information on common conditions of the hand and wrist which may be treated by surgery. The British Society for Surgery of the Hand also produces patient information leaflets (linked below).

A condition of thickening of the tissue in the palm (“fascia”) which can cause contractures. Surgery aims to straighten the affected digit.

A harmless swelling often found around the hand and wrist. Contains a clear jelly (can be drawn off with a syringe) but often returns after treatment.

Fractures in the hand can often be treated non-surgically although sometimes an operation to pin or fix the bone can allow earlier rehabilitation. Common wrist fractures include those of the radius and of the scaphoid. Both sometimes require surgery to optimise outcome.

So many joints in the hand and wrist: all can be affected by arthritis, either because of joint problems or previous fractures. Common treatments include splintage & injections; if simple measures fail, surgery includes removing the affected joint (“excision”), fusing it (“arthrodesis”) or replacing it (“arthroplasty”).

A nerve “trapped” at the wrist (compressed under a ligament) causing numbness and pins & needles in the thumb, index and middle finger. Often worse at night.

Dupuytren’s disease




Carpal tunnel syndrome

Common conditions