German Centre for Orthopaedics
Hand and Foot Department
The department of hand and foot surgery has an excellent reputation nationally and internationally in the treatment of diseases of the hands, feet and upper ankle.
As a result of their wide range of different functions, the structure of our hands and feet is extremely complex. In diseases caused by wear, injuries, incorrect loading or rheumatism, we will start your treatment by initially conducting precise diagnostic measures.
Then we will do all we can to alleviate your symptoms conservatively or surgically. To this end, our specialists can fall back on many years of experience, whether it be in their choice of conservative treatment options, in standard interventions or in complex operations.
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Dr. Andreas Wagner
Head of the Hand and Foot Surgery Department
Specialist for orthopaedics; , rheumatology, hand surgery, special orthopaedic surgery, physical therapy and chirotherapy
Dr. Antje Lange
Specialist for orthopaedics & trauma surgery
Dr. Deborah Kolitsch
German Centre for Orthopaedics
In our centre, treatment is focused on people who have had accidents, those with diseases of the hand and finger joints related to wear (osteoarthritis), nerve compression syndromes in the wrist and rheumatic changes in the hand. We have compiled the most important information on these diseases for you here.
Osteoarthritis refers to wear of a joint beyond the degree to be expected on the basis of the patient’s age. The causes may be excessive strain, malalignment of the joints, bone diseases or hereditary predisposition.
In the area of the hand, osteoarthritis mainly occurs in three forms:
- as Heberden's nodes in the joints closest to the end of the fingers
- as Bouchard’s nodes on the middle joints of the fingers/li>
- as trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb
Here, swellings occur on the outer or middle joints of the fingers. Patients complain of morning stiffness of the fingers and of pain upon simple movements, such as when opening a bottle. Later, the symptoms can become more severe and also occur when the hand is at rest. They are often accompanied by restricted mobility of the fingers, due to reduced flexion of the joints.
Various conservative measures are available to us for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the wrist and finger joints.
At the onset of the disease, targeted physiotherapeutic exercises or drug therapy may be helpful.
If such steps are not successful, the symptoms persist over a prolonged period, or severe distortions of the finger joints occur, the doctor will suggest a form of surgical therapy.
Possible forms of therapy:
- Joint fusion
- Artificial joints
In the case of nerve compression syndromes, surrounding tissue constricts the supplying nerves, thus damaging them.
The best known of them is carpal tunnel syndrome: The patients suffer from pain, numbness and reduced strength in the hand. Initially, the symptoms only occur sporadically and when the wrist is under strain, later pronounced pain may be experienced at rest.
At the onset of the disease, conservative treatment may be successful, for example it may be helpful to immobilise the arm and wrist in a forearm splint during the night.
If conservative measures do not help and pronounced, prolonged pain occurs, the attending doctor will recommend an operation. This intervention is performed on an outpatient basis in most cases.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory rheumatic disease: It is characterised by painful swelling of the joints and over its further course leads to joint destruction and increasing restriction of mobility.
Changes in the area of the hand often occur, for example redness, swelling or distortion of the fingers. In many cases, we can improve or at least delay these disturbances of hand function through surgical interventions.