Category : Scars

Hand Surgery Hand Therapy Scar Treatment Scars

Advice from a Certified Hand Therapist: Scar Management

After an injury or surgery, our bodies naturally make scar. Scar tissue can become a problem if it limits function and/or is unpleasant to look at.  Scar tissue can be treated. A physical or occupational therapist who specializes in treating upper extremity injuries can help. There are several factors a therapist assesses to determine the best course of action for scar management. These factors may include the following:

  • How close the scar is to a tendon or muscle: A scar may become adherent to the surrounding tissue such as tendons and/or muscles. As tissues heal, scar adhesion can make movement more difficult. Therapists prescribe specific and directed movements that can reduce adherent scarring.
  • Shape of the scar: If your scar is from a surgery, it is usually a thin line. If scar is from an accident, it may be irregularly shaped and/or vary in depth which could make it unpleasant for you to look at.
  • Type of scar: As skin heals, it shrinks slightly and can cause pain and interfere with motion.  Hypertrophic scarring can occur causing scar tissue to form outside the normal borders of the wound.  Keloid scarring can also occur which causes a large, raised scar.
  • Sensitivity of the scar: Skin is used to being touched by different textures during the day such as clothes, jewelry, and resting surfaces. After an injury or surgery, the wound area is covered for a short amount of time to keep it clean and protected.  During this time, the skin can become hypersensitive.  This can be very painful, cause you to protect your scar during use, and may also affect your sleep.
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Arm Hand Scar Treatment Scars

5 Ways to Heal a Scar

You may have a scar from an injury or just from a surgery. It may be red, raised and firm. Some scars can even be sensitive or affect the way you use your hand or arm. To make sure that your scar does not affect your motion, and to help it heal properly, try these treatments:

  1. Scar Massage: Use Vaseline or any lotion to massage your scar twice a day for 10 minutes. This can help decrease sensitivity.
  2. Exercise: This can help prevent stiffness of joints near your scar.
  3. Apply Silicone Gel: This gel can be put on your scar in liquid or sheet form.
  4. Vibrating/Rubbing: Using vibration or rubbing your scar with different textures can desensitize it.
  5. Injection or Surgery: These options may be available if you have a unique problem with your scar.
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Hand Hand Surgery Scars

Surgical Scar Tissue: A Less-Talked-About Side Effect

Vector medical concept Surgeons in operation theater. Room with people, scalpel and screen disease and pulse patient, assistant doctor illustration. Team doctors in the operating room with the patient

from US News & World Report

When the short-term effects of surgery – such as oozing wounds and incision pain – have long faded, an unseen complication may be lurking beneath the skin. Excess scar tissue, layers deep, can significantly reduce function and movement months after surgery. And on the skin’s surface, visible, lingering scars might be noticeable enough to really bother patients. Before you undergo surgery, here’s what to know about reducing scarring as you heal.

Bend and straighten your elbow. The folds that form in your skin, known as Langer’s lines, represent the direction and orientation of the collagen fibers, similar to the grain of wood, says Dr. Robert Klapper, director of the Joint Replacement Program in Orthopaedic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. During surgery, it’s not always possible for surgeons to cut parallel to the grain with their scalpels.

“If you are not able, because of heart surgery for example, to get down to the sternum, we as surgeons have to violate the Langer’s line,” Klapper says. “This can often lead to keloids and bumps and poor healing, and extra scar tissue can take place.”

Performing joint surgery, Klapper says, involves cutting into multiple layers of anatomy: the epidermis or skin surface; subcutaneous fat; fascia or connective tissue; muscles, tendons and ligaments; and the lining around the bone called the ostium. “It’s kind of like a seven-layer cake, if you will,” he says. “As a surgeon, you must respect in your repair of the surgery all layers of the seven-layer cake. All should get closed properly.”

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