Hand surgery is the area of medicine that deals with the surgical treatment of issues of the hand and upper limb. Plastic surgeons are trained to treat severe traumatic injuries, such as finger or hand amputations, and orthopedists are trained to treat complex injuries to small bones and structures that can affect the biomechanics of the hand and fist. But what is the cost of hand surgery?
How Much Does Hand Surgery Cost?
There are many types of hand surgeries and each of these will be different. Also, it will be influenced by the doctor you choose, your geographical location, and your health insurance. However, no matter what procedure is performed, the cost of hand surgery will be anywhere between $1,900 and more than $26,000, including the doctor’s fee, the facility fee, and the x-rays. For a complicated surgery, you will have to pay around $21,000 or even more, while the cost of a non-surgical procedure will be less than $11,000.
According to New Choice Health, the national average for a hand/wrist repair surgery is around $11,000.
Probably the most popular condition where a hand surgery is needed is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition that causes pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, and in general, the cost of this surgery would be anywhere between $2,100 and $5,600, depending on the surgeon and hospital.
Carpometacarpal bossing is another common condition where a little immovable protuberance determines a certain joint to become swollen. Expect to pay anywhere between $2,100 and $4,200 for this surgery.
You may have your hand disabled due to the Dupuytren’s Contracture condition, which is a thick scar tissue that bands the palm, goes up to the fingertip, and does not allow the hand to move properly. Be prepared to pay anywhere between $12,000 and $19,000 for this surgery, including only the radiation treatments.
Depending on the severity of the surgery, for reconstructive hand surgery, you will have to pay $750 to more than $4,600.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects mostly aging people. This is a chronic systemic inflammatory disorder that affects the muscles in the hand and the tissue. The cost of this type of surgery is anywhere between $3,100 and $5,600.
Hand Surgery Details
Surgeons specializing in hand disorders often recommend non-surgical treatment options, including hand therapy, a combination of physical and occupational therapy to restore movement and reduce or eliminate pain.
They also perform a wide variety of operations, such as:
- Fracture repair;
- Release, transfer and repair of tendons;
- Wound reconstruction;
- Rheumatoid deformities and birth defects;
- Microsurgical reapplication of amputated fingers and limbs;
- Microsurgical reconstruction of soft tissues and bones;
- Nerve reconstruction.
So, there are different types of surgery that can be performed on the hand and each is chosen based on the cause of the problem. Talk to your orthopedist about the types of interventions, about their benefits and disadvantages, in order to make the best decision together.
What are the additional costs?
During the first days after the surgery hospitalization may be required, so the doctor can monitor and evaluate your condition. Depending on your location, the hospital fee would be anywhere between $1,900 and $2,500 per day without insurance.
In order to control the pain during hand surgery, anesthesia will be required. The cost of an administered shot would be anywhere between $650 and $1,100 at most hospitals.
Also, prescription medication will be necessary to avoid swelling and alleviate pain.
Those who are struggling to regain strength and heal may need physical therapy sessions.
You may need a hand splint to support your hand and take care of it after the surgery.
Important things to consider
According to current studies, most of the hand surgeries can be performed with the conscious patient without feeling any pain. This technique is called “Wide Awake Hand Surgery”. This is possible through local or locally-regional infiltrations that combine the anesthetic effect with the hemostatic effect, following a seamless injection, or with multiple stings. Thus, patients do not require detailed preoperative investigations, night hospitalization, or interdisciplinary consultations.
Why visit a hand surgery doctor?
If you have pain in your fingers, hands, wrists, or arms, or have problems with your upper extremities, you may want to consult a surgeon.
However, not every visit to such a specialist results in hand surgery.
How can I save money?
Verify if the clinic offers a cash discount in case you don’t have health insurance.
On the other hand, if you have health insurance, talk with your provider and see if the surgery costs are covered. This should be covered if it is deemed medically necessary, and you may be responsible only for your deductible and/or co-pay.
Make sure you talk with your doctor and ask about any alternative medicine solutions which don’t require hand surgery.