Our Orthopedic Center has a dedicated pediatric hand surgeon who specializes in treating congenital and acquired hand and upper limb conditions, deformities and injuries. Advanced surgical techniques are used to restore hand function and correct hand and limb deformity and deficiency.

Because the hand is such a delicate balance of working parts, even minor abnormalities or injuries may cause a significant decrease in hand function or changes in appearance. Our goal is to create the best functional and cosmetic results for each child.

Congenital hand defects include:
  • Amniotic band syndrome
  • Club Hand
  • Ectrodactyly (cleft hand)
  • Polydactyly (extra finger)
  • Small (Hypoplastic) Thumbs
  • Symbrachydactyly (underdeveloped hand)
  • Syndactyly (fused or webbed fingers)
  • Trigger finger or thumb
Acquired hand injuries include:
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Tendon and ligament injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Trauma
  • Infections
Other upper extremity conditions include: 
  • Brachial plexus birth palsy (early and late effects)
  • Arthrogryposis (multiple joint stiffnesses)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Contractures
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Wrist pain

Evaluation & Diagnostic Care

A physical exam and review of the patient’s medical history will help our hand surgeon determine if the condition is congenital or acquired. Orthopedic diagnostic care will ensure proper diagnosis for this congenital or acquired hand condition. Some of these tests are done in our Cherese Mari Laulhere Imaging Center. Early detection is important for successful treatment.

Non-Surgical Treatment

Treatment can consist of non-surgical methods, such as manipulation, bracing and casting to correct the deformity and stiffness. Early treatment can be key in this process. The hand is manipulated into the correct position and then placed in a brace or cast to stay in the corrected position, depending on the level of acuity. Serial casting or nighttime splinting often will help correct the deformity in very young children. If non-surgical techniques are not able to correct the condition, a surgical procedure is typically performed.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical correction may be appropriate for your child when casting or splinting no longer improves the condition. Our care team also provides consultation and surgical care to children with neuromuscular and joint disorders. Hand and upper extremities surgeries are performed in the Surgical Center under anesthesia.

Our hand surgeons, in partnership with our plastic surgeons, specializing in reconstructive microsurgery to repair intricate structures, such as blood vessels, nerves and tendons less than a few millimeters in diameter using specialized operating microscopes and precision instrumentation.

Microsurgery is a tool used to perform specific procedures including the transfer of tissue from one part of the body to another (free tissue transfer), reattachment of severed parts (replantation) and composite tissue transplantation.

Hand Therapy

Hand therapy, a specialty practice area of occupational therapy, is typically concerned with treating orthopedic-based upper-extremity conditions to optimize the functional use of the hand and arm.

The “occupation” of children is to thrive, and our dedicated hand therapists work with our patients to facilitate the improved function of the hand or arm and meet their individual goals.  Our pediatric hand therapist specializes in upper extremity evaluations and the design of rehabilitation protocols specific to the disorders that occur in children. Their rehabilitation protocols are focused on age-appropriate activities to get your child back to an outstanding performance level.

Our hand therapists also are available to help patients with bracing and stretching treatments as well as pre-operative and post-operative thermoplastic splinting.