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Hand Surgery Facts

Hands are such an essential part of our day-to-day activities. Many hand movements we take for granted today—typing, playing an instrument, clasping a watch, performing surgery. You probably never give your hands a second thought, unless they hurt or stop working properly.

Dr. Raymond Metz, CORE Orthopedic’s hand specialist, is always thinking about hands. Every day, he treats children and adults with fractures, nerve disorders, arthritis, Dupuytren’s disease, and other conditions. Here are a few interesting facts to know if hand surgery is in your treatment plan.

One-fourth of all athletic injuries involve the hand or wrist

If you play competitive sports, chances are high you’ll injure your hand at some point. Basketball, football, and volleyball players—soccer goalies, too—are prone to jammed or broken fingers. 

Tennis and golf players are at risk for repetitive stress injuries. And if you fall while playing sports, you use your hands to break your fall. If you injure your hand playing sports, Dr. Metz can help restore normal function.

Carpal tunnel surgery is the second-most performed orthopedic surgery

Over 8 million people are treated for carpal tunnel syndrome each year. Hand surgeons perform over 230,000 carpal tunnel procedures every year, second only to back surgery. Did you know that if you type just 40 words per minute, you’ll press nearly 100,000 keys in a single workday?

More women than men suffer from arthritis of the thumb

Most people think of the long fingers when they hear arthritis of the hand, but thumbs get arthritis, too. Thumb arthritis makes it difficult to open bottles and jars, turn a key in a lock, and interferes with your ability to work with your hands. It shows up most often after age 40 and affects women more so than men. The good news is that surgical treatment for thumb arthritis is usually successful—about 95% of people are very happy with their improvements after surgery.

“If you can move your finger, it isn’t broken” is a harmful urban legend

You can still have a range of motion with certain types of finger fractures, so don’t delay getting medical treatment for a finger injury. Although some finger fractures can be treated with a splint, others require surgical stabilization of the tiny bones to ensure proper healing. Untreated finger fractures can lead to loss of function, swollen joints, and post-traumatic arthritis.

Hand surgery became a medically recognized surgical specialty during World War II

Treating battle injuries during the war often required multiple specialized surgeons. Keeping them all in one place was impractical during the chaos of war, so Dr. Sterling Bunnell created a surgical training program to teach doctors all the specialized skills required to treat complex hand injuries. Today, hand specialists like Dr. Metz complete a separate hand surgery fellowship after they complete their orthopedic or general surgical training.

There are 123 named ligaments in your hands

Hands are more complicated than you might think. In addition to 123 ligaments, there are at least 29 bones (some people have more), 29 major joints, 48 named nerves, 34 muscles, and 30 named arteries in each of your hands. No wonder hand specialists like Dr. Metz complete so many years of training!

You have remote-control fingers

While there are 34 muscles in the hands, there are actually no muscles in the fingers themselves. The muscles that control movement in your fingers are located in the palm and forearm. Tendons connect the finger bones to the muscles; they work a bit like the strings on a marionette. Now you know why some elbow, wrist, and forearm injuries can affect movement in your hands.

Your hands are amazing, complex, delicate—and easily injured. Because we use them so much, they’re often affected by troublesome conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, and nerve damage. Not all conditions require hand surgery, but a hand specialist like Dr. Metz can work with you to develop a treatment plan to restore normal, pain-free function. If hand problems are interfering in your daily activities, get in touch today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Metz.

Location Information

Elk Grove Village

555 Biesterfield Road Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007-3306 Phone : (847) 690-1776      

Coreorthosports Center

Hoffman Estates

2380 Lakewood Blvd. Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192 Phone : (847) 690-1776

Core Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Surgical Affiliations

Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon in Geneva
Geneva Surgical Suites
119 Elizabeth lane Genoa City, Wisconsin 53128 Phone : 262-295-1213
Alexian Brothers Medical Center

800 Biesterfield Rd. Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

Phone : 847-437-5500


St. Alexius Medical Center

1555 Barrington Road Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60169

Phone : 847-843-2000


Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

450 West Highway 22, Barrington, IL 60010

Phone : 847-381-0123