Let's See a Show of Hands - who’s having a problem?
When a firm handshake is painful or there’s a pins-and-needles feeling when you hold your honey’s hand, it’s time to reach out to a professional.
Dan Firestone, MD, a CHI Health hand-and-wrist specialist, says if you’re experiencing pain or numbness, don’t let a fear of surgery keep you from getting things checked out.
“There are many things that can be done before we get to surgery,” said Dr. Firestone.
Jim Diggins shrugged off numbness for two years before seeing Dr. Firestone. The 48-year-old father of four had spent years operating a jack hammer, roofing houses and, recently, tapping away at a computer keyboard. Even at home, Jim was fixing the toys that he says “my 10-year-old son breaks all the time.” As he worked, he noticed his hands quickly fell asleep.
“It finally got to the point where I couldn’t feel my index finger and thumb,” said Jim, a transportation analyst for ConAgra in Omaha. “When that happened, I knew it was time to do something.” He opted for “wide-awake” hand surgery.
Dr. Firestone says wide-awake surgery is easier on the patient in many ways. “It is a win-win for everyone because it reduces the need for medications, decreases the cost of the procedure and allows the patient to recover faster with less pain.”
“I was all for it,” Jim said. “During surgery, I could talk to the doctor, ask questions and hear him and the nurses talk. They had really good music on, too.” Jim described the experience as “tremendous” saying it was quick and easy, and he could even have driven himself home.
From greeting someone to buttoning a child’s clothes, our hands are too important to put up with pain or numbness. Dr. Firestone says help is here. “Every day I have an opportunity to see somebody new, treat somebody new. I hope when they come in to see me, they know that I’m there to help them, get them better and give them the satisfaction that there is a solution we will arrive at together.”