On occasion, a patient will come to my office and proclaim, “I'm double-jointed!” A second later, I become a one-man audience to Circque de Solei performance of the hands.
For starters, the term “double-jointed” is commonly used, but it is not accurate. Double joints do not exist. More appropriately, this highly bendable condition is due to exceptionally stretchable joints. In the medical community, this condition is referred to as joint hypermobility, joint hyperlaxity, or ligament laxity.
Joint hypermobility is largely caused by genetic factors, because the shape and structure of ligaments, tendons, and bones determines the amount of joint motion. The severity of the condition can range from mild to severe, as seen in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Approximately, one out of every 100 people has hypermobile joints. It is more prevalent in females and young people. With hypermobile joints, there is an increased risk of injury and osteoarthritis, especially in fingers. Please, don't worry - in most cases, ligament laxity is a harmless condition.
If you feel inclined to wow your friends and relatives with your “double joint” performance, make sure to tell them that Dr. Izadi thinks you are special!
What is Wide Awake Hand Surgery?
Imagine having pain-free surgery while you are wide awake. At first, you might think that this sounds crazy. Why would anyone want to be awake during surgery? Actually… there are many reasons to want to stay awake.
When I counsel my patients about surgery, many of them express concern about undergoing general anesthesia. Most of them admit to postponing surgical treatment because of their fears. They usually say, “I don’t want to be put to sleep” or “I always get very bad nausea after I wake up.” They want to know, “Is there any other way to do this?”
YES, there is!
Since 2009, I have been using a technique called Wide Awake Hand Surgery for a majority of my hand and wrist patients. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. My patients are awake during their operation and do not experience any pain. Certainly, some feel anxious or nervous in the beginning, however, it is amazing how many are pleased with their experience at the end.
There are many benefits to Wide Awake Hand Surgery. In addition to time and cost savings, you can eat and drink up until the time of your operation. You can drive yourself to and from the surgery center without supervision, and in some cases, go back to work. To learn more about Wide Awake Hand Surgery, click here.
If you’re one of my patients and are considering surgery, ask me if this is an option for you.
If you have a hand condition or injury, you will want to locate a hand surgeon (also known as a hand doctor or a hand specialist) who has the expertise to evaluate and diagnose your hand or wrist condition and provide you with appropriate treatment options.
A hand surgeon is trained to work on hands, fingers, wrists, and elbows, and this type of specialist in hand surgery treats patients with conditions just like yours every day.
The right hand surgeon is the one who is not only technically competent, knowledgeable, and experienced, but who also has the personality and bedside manner that suits your needs. The patient - surgeon relationship is extremely important, and you need to feel completely comfortable with your hand surgeon before undergoing any procedure.
Dr. Izadi is a hand, wrist, and elbow orthopedic specialist at MD West ONE.