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University of Chicago Medicine hand surgeons offer distinct clinical expertise and a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment services for cold hands syndrome, including surgical and nonsurgical techniques. In the Cold Hand Clinic, we combine traditional and innovative approaches to determine the most effective therapeutic strategy for each individual.
In the Cold Hand Clinic, we will help you identify behaviors that may be helpful or harmful to blood flow in your the hands. Our doctors educate patients on a range of behavioral topics, including:
In many cases, our doctors may prescribe medications that reduce the risk of developing blocked or constricted blood vessels and improve blood flow through the hands and fingers.
Effective medications include:
Most commonly recognized as a cosmetic procedure, botulinum toxin type A (Botox or BTX-A) injections are now used as a highly effective treatment for cold hands syndrome. In a simple outpatient procedure, Botox is injected into the hand to relax muscles surrounding constricted blood vessels. Botox paralyzes and relaxes the muscles, allowing blood vessels to dilate and increase in diameter.
As the vessels dilate, more blood can flow through to supply the rest of the hand and the fingertips. This procedure may provide relief of cold hand symptoms in certain individuals for up to three months.
Surgery is often the best treatment option for complex cold hand diseases. Our highly skilled hand surgeons perform a range of advanced techniques with expert precision.
Surgical treatment options for cold hand syndrome include:
If a patient experiences severe loss of blood flow, dead tissue (i.e., gangrene, necrosis) may form in their hands and/or fingers. In these highly complex cases, our hand surgeons may perform one of two advanced treatment techniques:
Both methods are highly effective surgical therapies for hands impaired by vascular disease. However, acellular dermal matrix is a leading-edge technique with a lower risk of complication because it does not require the removal of tissue from elsewhere in the patient's body.
Hand therapy is often necessary in the treatment of circulatory disorders and peripheral nerve injuries and also in post-surgical rehabilitation care. In these cases, our physician team works closely with skilled hand therapists to provide the most effective care. With training and expertise in occupational therapy, our hand therapy team specializes in assessment, injury prevention and rehabilitation.
We offer a range of hand therapy services, including:
All patients undergo a thorough activities of daily life (ADL) assessment in their hand therapy work-up. The ADL assessment is an evaluation of a person's ability to perform daily tasks with their hands, such as bathing, dressing, eating and other activities. Based on ADL assessment outcomes, the physician and hand therapist work closely to coordinate an individualized treatment and therapy plan tailored to the specific needs and medical history of each patient. ADL assessments also help hand therapists educate patients, by identifying and providing specific behavioral and safety recommendations for hand health and functionality.