Restore Your Hands

When you think about it, your hands are involved in just about every daily activity, but this fact is often overlooked until movement or sensation is impaired and they no longer function normally. Problems in the hands due to arthritis, congenital issues, or trauma may require hand and wrist surgery.

At West Michigan Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Scott Holley specializes in treating complex hand issues such as replantation of severed fingers, and joint replacement for arthritis. He also treats less severe conditions such as fingertip injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Dr. Holley received additional fellowship training in Hand & Microsurgery at the world-renowned Kleinert Institute in Louisville, Kentucky. He holds the CAQ (certificate of added qualification) in hand surgery that identifies an orthopedic or plastic surgeon as a fully trained expert in this surgical subspecialty. Dr. Holley uses a full spectrum of hand surgery techniques, to provide the highest level of care to patients in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

What Is Hand & Wrist Surgery?

Upper extremity surgery is a complex, highly specialized spectrum of procedures that requires the ability to diagnose and treat problems that affect the hand, wrist, and forearms. The anatomy of the hand and wrist are so complex that treatment by a board-certified specialty surgeon like Dr. Holley will often yield the best results.

Hand and wrist surgery treats disorders that affect the strength, flexibility, or function, of the wrists or fingers. Hand surgery may also be done to correct defects present at birth. The goal of hand surgery is to alleviate pain and restore the normal function of the hands and fingers.

Candidates For Hand And Wrist Surgery

People with the following conditions are the best candidates for hand surgery:

  • Hand/wrist injuries and fractures
  • Hand/wrist reconstruction following disabling injury, burn, or paralysis
  • Correction of birth defects
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive motion injuries
  • Trigger finger
  • Arthritis, including joint reconstruction (arthritic joint reconstruction)
  • Removal of cysts, tumors, and skin lesions
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Tendon and ligament repair
  • Scar removal or revision

How Does It Work?

Different types of surgeries can be performed on the hand, depending on the underlying condition being addressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and Dupuytren’s contracture are three of the most common hand conditions that Dr Holley treats. Often, surgery can be performed at our in-office surgical suite under local anesthesia, however, more complex reconstructive cases will typically be performed at one of the nearby Ambulatory Surgery Centers.


Improvement of symptoms after hand and wrist surgery is not immediate but will occur gradually in the months following surgery. In some cases, it can take up to one year to see the full results.


Recovery time after hand surgery depends on the type of surgery performed and the condition treated. It is normal to have some pain, swelling, and discomfort following hand surgery. After some surgeries, the hand may have to be immobilized with a splint, and restrictions placed on work and other activities. Hand therapy may also be recommended for optimal recovery.

Hand Therapy

Musculoskeletal and arthritis-related disorders of the hands don’t always require surgery, hand therapy often helps patients resolve hand problems. The decision to undergo surgery will depend on the severity of pain and associated symptoms, as well as the effectiveness of prior treatments. However, specialized hand therapy is often necessary after hand and wrist surgery to help patients optimize hand function, and return to a productive lifestyle.

At West Michigan Plastic Surgery, our multidisciplinary team of skilled occupational and physical therapists, and vocational rehab counselors monitor each patient carefully and coordinate their rehabilitation needs.