Musicians bring a special dimension to hand surgery, since their hands carry a significant part of their identity and their expression. They also bring special requirements not only in assessment but also in timescale.
Musicians subject their hands to prolonged, severe stress. Considerable force is often transmitted through small joints, with fine tolerances.
In addition, the margin of error in performance is often very subtle and this must be borne in mind when managing such stress injury.
In many instances the problem is relatively minor in a physical sense but with the high demands of precision in most musicians, such small impairment may have profound significance.
Often, a relatively minor intervention, conservative or surgical, will resolve a problem. This is sometimes combined with a review of practice, posture, and playing habits.
For instance, the solution may lie in the alteration of angle or height of a violin bridge, or the adoption of a different posture at a piano stool and most surgeons dealing with musicians will collaborate with Therapists also specialising in this field.
The surgeon who specialises in sport hand injuries is well aware of the importance placed on your hands and will cater treatment accordingly, adapting the management to the particular requirements to minimise the impact on career and performance.
He/she will also advise on how general fitness can be maintained during recovery and inaction. Splinting and/or taping which permit early return to activity forms part of management.