Produced by the European Board of Hand Surgery – EBHS
What is hand surgery?
Hand surgery is the field of medicine that deals with problems of the hand and wrist, whether of congenital, traumatic, degenerative, inflammatory or tumoral origin. The aim is to restore the function of the hand, which should be regarded as the key organ of prehension and sensibility. In this context, hand surgeons are also involved with complex problems of the whole upper extremity, including lesions of the peripheral nerves and the brachial plexus. Hand surgeons are also involved in the restoration of prehension in cases of tetraplegia and spasticity. Because of their special expertise, hand surgeons are also frequently involved in the repair of lower extremity nerve lesions.
The scope of hand surgery
The scope of hand surgery is broad and requires a wide range of diverse operative skills necessary to diagnose and treat, conservatively or surgically, hand and pertinent upper extremity and peripheral nerves affections.
The hand surgeon masters microsurgery as well as orthopaedic and plastic surgery techniques, as applied to the complex and delicate anatomy of the hand and upper limb. Hand Surgery considers also the cosmetic aspects of the reconstruction of the hand. A close cooperation with other specialists is required, including orthopaedic and trauma surgeons, plastic surgeons, radiologists, paediatric surgeons, rheumatologists, anaesthetists, specialized physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other paramedics for rehabilitation, orthotics and prosthetics.
The treatment of a lesion of the hand/upper extremity in the earliest phase by a surgeon trained in hand surgery offers the patient the best chances of early and best recovery, and also reduces the costs related to the disability and time-off work for society. This is particularly true for the hand traumas, which are particularly frequent.
This book is made by cooperation of the specialist sections of UEMS, which deal with the education and qualification in hand surgery in EU countries, and FESSH in order to set the minimal requirements for a surgeon, who treats the complex problems of the hand. The UEMS Council has endorsed it in Prague, October 9, 2010.