expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Thomas F Hitchcock, MD

Hand Surgeon

Dr. Thomas F Hitchcock MD is a top Hand Surgeon in Marshfield, WI. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to his specialty, Dr. Hitchcock is an expert in changing the lives of patients for the better. As a leader and expert in Orthopedic and Hand Surgery with over 30 years of patient care experience, Dr. Hitchcock is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
41 years Experience
Dr. Thomas F. Hitchcock, MD
Specializes in:
  • Hand Surgery
  • Joint Replacement
  • Marshfield, WI
  • Greenville University
  • Accepting new patients

I have a pain in my wrist and I can't hold anything heavy. What could be the reason?

Could be one of several problems: 1. Wrist tendonitis, i.e., DeQuervain's tendonitis 2. Arthritis of the wrist You need to be seen by a hand surgeon and get X-rays of your READ MORE
Could be one of several problems:

1. Wrist tendonitis, i.e., DeQuervain's tendonitis
2. Arthritis of the wrist

You need to be seen by a hand surgeon and get X-rays of your wrist to distinguish between these two things.

My child is 2 years old and loves to scribble with pencil and pens. Will it affect his fingers?

NO - that is very typical 2 year old behavior and should NOT have any harmful effects on hand function later in life!

I got glass stuck in my hand but had it removed. Why does my hand hurt even after removal?

Could be you lacerated a nerve branch or could just be tender scar tissue. You should rub aggressively on the scar and give it several months to desensitize.

My son jammed his thumb while playing tennis. Could there be a permanent damage?

Thumbs can have joint ligament injuries that can be serious and need surgery. In these situations, the X-rays can still be normal. Your son should see a hand surgeon to have an READ MORE
Thumbs can have joint ligament injuries that can be serious and need surgery. In these situations, the X-rays can still be normal. Your son should see a hand surgeon to have an exam of the ligament stability of the thumb!

My fingers are oddly shaped. Is there a surgery to correct them?

Not really - but you should consider piano playing as long slender fingers are a real asset to pianists.

I had a blood clot on my index finger which is now less painful after ice pack. Should I still test it?

Finger swelling and bleeding are the main symptoms of a finger fracture. Even hand surgeons can't always tell if the finger is broken without an X-ray. I think you should see someone READ MORE
Finger swelling and bleeding are the main symptoms of a finger fracture. Even hand surgeons can't always tell if the finger is broken without an X-ray. I think you should see someone (could start with family doctor) for an X-ray.

My daughter underwent a finger joining treatment using leeches. Will this cause a problem for her later in life?

No - medical leeches are quite frequently used to maintain venous outflow in the early time after a replantation or revascularization. They are actually very beneficial in promoting READ MORE
No - medical leeches are quite frequently used to maintain venous outflow in the early time after a replantation or revascularization. They are actually very beneficial in promoting the recovery of normal circulation early on and should not cause any permanent problems.

I feel like my hands are a little weak. What can I do to improve hand strength?

Hand therapists specialize in helping patients recover full strength and normal function. Ask your doctor for a referral to see a hand therapist in your area.

How long will it take for me to recover from a hand surgery?

Can't really answer this question without more information on what type of wrist surgery you are having. Could be anywhere from 1 week (DeQuervain's release) to 3 months (Severe READ MORE
Can't really answer this question without more information on what type of wrist surgery you are having. Could be anywhere from 1 week (DeQuervain's release) to 3 months (Severe ligament injury requiring pinning & casting).

I have been diagnosed with trigger finger syndrome. What is the course of treatment for this?

Normal first step is to do a cortisone shot to the flexor tendon sheath (unless you are an insulin dependent diabetic). Cortisone shots can cause serious elevations of blood glucose READ MORE
Normal first step is to do a cortisone shot to the flexor tendon sheath (unless you are an insulin dependent diabetic). Cortisone shots can cause serious elevations of blood glucose levels so are not safe to use with insulin dependent diabetics. If one or two cortisone shots fail to give long term relief, then you may need a simple surgery under local anesthesia to release the tendon A1 pulley.

My mother suffered from compartment syndrome. Is it hereditary?

Most compartment syndromes are as a result of severe trauma and would not be hereditary in this case. There can be non-traumatic compartment syndromes causing overuse type pain READ MORE
Most compartment syndromes are as a result of severe trauma and would not be hereditary in this case. There can be non-traumatic compartment syndromes causing overuse type pain also, but those are much less common.

Are my symptoms a sign of nerve compression?

The symptoms you relate do sound like carpal tunnel syndrome which is the most common nerve compression syndrome in the hand. If the symptoms come on at night especially or when READ MORE
The symptoms you relate do sound like carpal tunnel syndrome which is the most common nerve compression syndrome in the hand. If the symptoms come on at night especially or when you are holding your hand still (watching TV, reading a book or the paper, driving a long distance, combing or curling your hair) then it sounds classic for carpal tunnel. The surgery is done if the symptoms get bad enough. Try using a splint on your wrist if you awaken frequently at night with pain or numbness. Your doctor can order an EMG test to confirm the presence of carpal tunnel and determine its severity.

What could be the reason for the swelling in my palms?

Sounds like you should see a hand surgeon for further evaluation. Could be as simple as tendonitis but could also be more serious like a vascular clot in one of the arteries feeding READ MORE
Sounds like you should see a hand surgeon for further evaluation. Could be as simple as tendonitis but could also be more serious like a vascular clot in one of the arteries feeding your hand.

I have a wound on my finger and I am diabetic. What should I do?

Diabetics are much more prone to infections with even small wounds on the hands. I think you should see your doctor or a hand surgeon for further evaluation.

After a fracture my finger seems tilted. Why?

Sounds like the fracture may have some angulation or rotational deformity. Your doctor should evaluate for this with an X-ray.

I am suffering from a hand pain due to sleeping on one side. What should I do?

Could be a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel usually causes numbness of one or both hands, but sometimes there can be only pain. You should see your family doctor READ MORE
Could be a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel usually causes numbness of one or both hands, but sometimes there can be only pain. You should see your family doctor or a local hand surgeon for evaluation.

Irritating scar tissue, what can I do?

Rubbing on the scar with regular hand lotion should improve this symptom. Rub lotion on the area as much as possible and give the scar a couple of months to get less tender.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel in earlier stages responds to splinting and/or cortisone injections. It depends on the severity of the carpal tunnel, but it can often get bad enough to require surgery. READ MORE
Carpal tunnel in earlier stages responds to splinting and/or cortisone injections. It depends on the severity of the carpal tunnel, but it can often get bad enough to require surgery. The good news is that the results of carpal tunnel release should be nearly 100%. I tell my patients it is about the only operation for which I can give a "Midas Muffler guarantee."

Pin in my finger

Yes, you need to be careful to not accidentally remove the pin. Your surgeon may have given you a splint to minimize this risk.

Depuytren's contacture question

Dupuytren's contracture is not normally treated with radiation therapy. It comes in all different patterns of severity and often requires surgery. Recently there have been some READ MORE
Dupuytren's contracture is not normally treated with radiation therapy. It comes in all different patterns of severity and often requires surgery. Recently there have been some new options with injections of collagenase enzyme or what is called a percutaneous fasciotomy (cutting the cord with the bevel of a needle inserted through your anesthetized skin). You need to see a hand surgeon for recommendations as to the most appropriate treatment.