What is a hand surgeon and when should you see one?
When you get a wrist sprain or a hand fracture or experience any painful injury to your hand, wrist or forearm you want to know that the surgeon you visit is on top of his game.
SRO’s board certified orthopaedic hand surgeon Dr. Dominic Mintalucci is deeply immersed in the world of orthopaedic hand surgery, specializing in microsurgical, hand and upper extremity surgery. With his skill in microsurgery, Dr. Mintalucci has been trained to perform complex reconstructions of nerve, bone, and soft tissue injuries and other defects. With a background as complex as this, you know you’re in good hands with Dr. Mintalucci.
“Patients come to me from a range of backgrounds and lifestyles, but most every one of my patients comes to see me because they have a lifestyle and activities that keep them going, and they want to continue to be able to do those things,” explains Dr. Mintalucci. “The recovery goals of a high school athlete with a hand fracture are very different from the goals of a more mature patient with crippling arthritis. I try to meet each patient at the level of their concern and offer the best avenue for treatment and recovery – regardless of age or condition.”
When should you see a hand surgeon?
Hand surgeons are experts in many of the general conditions that affect the hand, wrist and elbow. Hand surgeons have been selected for have completed a highly competitive subspecialty fellowship training, providing greater experience and depth of knowledge than a general orthopedist.
When experiencing unusual pain in the fingers, hand, wrist or arm, or if you have other upper-extremity related concerns, you may want to consult a hand surgeon. Like Dr. Mintalucci, many hand surgeons devote most of their time to examining, treating and studying the hand, and they are specialists in all aspects of hand care.
“When patients come to me with numbness in the hands or fingers, for example, it may be a sign of nerve damage,” explains Dr. Mintalucci. “This often results from overuse – a situation where a repeated motion has caused wear and tear to the hand. Swelling in the joints and wrist, difficulty moving the hand accompanied by sharp pain are also concerns of potentially serious injury.”
Dr. Mintalucci listened and took all I had to say into consideration when recommending treatment. I have a non surgical hand injury and he listed and explained all the options I needed to get going on resolving my hand pain. He was kind and knowledgeable. ~SRO Patient Comment, April 2022
Surgical vs Non-Surgical Hand Treatments
Not every visit to a hand surgeon results in hand surgery of course! Hand surgeons often recommend non-surgical treatment options, including hand therapy, a combination of physical and occupational therapy to restore movement and reduce or eliminate pain.
Common conditions that Dr. Mintalucci treats include:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Trigger Finger, De Quervain’s, and other Tendinopathies
Wrist and Forearm Fractures
Hand and Finger Fractures
Hand, Wrist and Finger Lacerations
Tendon & Nerve Issues
Hand and Wrist Arthritis
Acute Hand Injuries
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
PRP for Hand Pain
Dr. Mintalucci also offers Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). “Until recently, many patients with certain hand conditions or injuries only had the option of surgery or steroid injections to relieve the pain. Although surgery can be very effective for relieving hand pain, sometimes patients are interested in avoiding side effects or dealing with potential risks,” Dr. Mintalucci says. “There are incredible advancements happening in the world of regenerative medicine and that includes treatment for patients experiencing pain in the hand, wrist or forearm.”
Today, PRP therapy can confidently be used to treat a wide range of hand conditions and injuries. It is a nonsurgical treatment option that many of Dr. Mintalucci’s patients are able to take advantage of for long term pain relief. Depending on the patient and the condition being treated, PRP offers a viable option to surgery that uses the power of your own body to promote healing.
Available at three locations
Dr. Mintalucci has been with Santa Rosa orthopedics since 2013, and is the President of Santa Rosa Orthopedics, a large 10+ subspecialty orthopedic practice. He is director of Hand Surgery at Santa Rosa Orthopedics. As Director of the SRO Hand Center, Dr. Mintalucci provides orthopaedic services in concert with multiple certified hand therapists at SRO’s award winning physical and hand therapy department. Together they work to optimize patient outcomes and optimal recovery.
Dr. Mintalucci is available for appointment at 3 office locations including two in Santa Rosa and one in Petaluma as well. Hand therapy is available in Santa Rosa and Petaluma.