expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Richard Stephen Gilbert, MD

Hand Surgeon

Richard S. Gilbert, M.D. is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in surgery of the hand and upper extremity. He is the Chief of the Hand Service at Syosset Hospital, the Director of the Hand Service at the Peconic Bay Medical Center, Director at Northwell Health and an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He received a bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University, and a medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and a Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Gilbert’s specialty interest is in the treatment and reconstruction of fractures, soft tissue injuries, and neuropathies involving the hand and upper extremity. He employs both traditional and the most advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopic carpal tunnel release, minimally invasive fracture repair, and small joint arthroscopy. Dr. Gilbert is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The New York Society for Surgery of the Hand. He presently serves as the Secretary of The New York Society for Surgery of the Hand. He has published medical articles and presented at regional and national orthopedic conferences on conditions related to the hand and upper extremity. He has performed funded research related to the hand and upper extremity. Dr. Gilbert has received numerous awards and honors, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors, New York Magazine’s Best Doctor, New York Times Super Doctors, Newsday Top Doctors on Long Island, Best Doctors in America, Patients’ Choice Award and Most Compassionate Doctor.
26 years Experience
Dr. Richard Stephen Gilbert, MD
  • Great Neck, NY
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Accepting new patients

Trigger finger therapies?

Yes - cortisone injections are the recommended initial treatment for trigger fingers. Anywhere from 50-75% of patients with a trigger finger can be cured by cortisone injections. READ MORE
Yes - cortisone injections are the recommended initial treatment for trigger fingers. Anywhere from 50-75% of patients with a trigger finger can be cured by cortisone injections. The injections are more effective if you have not had long-standing symptoms. You may need anywhere from 1-3 injections. I would recommend you discuss this with your hand surgeon.

How long is the recovery after a carpal tunnel release?

Hi - it depends if you are having open versus endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Recovery is somewhat quicker after endoscopic release. However, although recovery varies depending READ MORE
Hi - it depends if you are having open versus endoscopic carpal tunnel release. Recovery is somewhat quicker after endoscopic release. However, although recovery varies depending upon the patient, it is usually pretty quick after carpal tunnel release. Most often, you can use the hand and fingers right after the surgery and in most cases, you can start washing the hand within 3-4 days. Complete recovery can take 4-6 weeks, but usually after 1 week you can do most daily activities. I would suggest that you discuss this with your surgeon before your procedure.

Occupational therapy for carpal tunnel?

The answer is that, in general, occupational therapy has not been scientifically proven to provide long-term relief from carpal tunnel syndrome. Although it may provide short-term READ MORE
The answer is that, in general, occupational therapy has not been scientifically proven to provide long-term relief from carpal tunnel syndrome. Although it may provide short-term relief, occupational therapy is unlikely to make a long-term difference. That being said, you are not going to lose anything by trying. Other treatments that you should consider are carpal tunnel splints, particularly at night and possibly cortisone injections.

Can surgery be done for carpal tunnel?

If indeed you have carpal tunnel syndrome, yes, it is very treatable with surgery. The procedure is quite simple and takes about 10-15 minutes. That being said, you need to make READ MORE
If indeed you have carpal tunnel syndrome, yes, it is very treatable with surgery. The procedure is quite simple and takes about 10-15 minutes. That being said, you need to make certain that your diagnosis is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness and tingling in the hands, and not stiffness.

Why do I feel a tingling pain in my hands while I'm working?

There could be many reasons and if this persists, you should see a physician. Numbness and tingling may be secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome. If you also notice tingling while READ MORE
There could be many reasons and if this persists, you should see a physician. Numbness and tingling may be secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome. If you also notice tingling while driving and at night, then it is likely that you do have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Can occupational therapy help my mother regain strength in her hand faster?

Absolutely. Occupational therapy will likely be helpful in terms of her regaining her motion and strength quicker. Occupational therapy is very often an integral part of recovery READ MORE
Absolutely. Occupational therapy will likely be helpful in terms of her regaining her motion and strength quicker. Occupational therapy is very often an integral part of recovery after hand surgery.

Why are my hands hurting in the mornings?

There are many potential reasons. When you say "stinging," if you are referring to tingling, then this may be carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome oftentimes present READ MORE
There are many potential reasons. When you say "stinging," if you are referring to tingling, then this may be carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome oftentimes present with numbness and/or tingling at night or in the morning. You may want to try wearing carpal tunnel splints at night to see if you feel better. If not, see a hand specialist.

Tendon repair recovery question

These are questions that you really need to ask your hand surgeon, as I am not familiar with the particular tendon that you cut and other relevant information. That being said, READ MORE
These are questions that you really need to ask your hand surgeon, as I am not familiar with the particular tendon that you cut and other relevant information. That being said, recovery after hand tendon repair can sometimes take up to 3-4 months in some cases.

What is the recovery time for "trigger finger?"

Trigger fingers are usually performed under straight local anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. In the majority of cases, the recovery is usually pretty quick. You can READ MORE
Trigger fingers are usually performed under straight local anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. In the majority of cases, the recovery is usually pretty quick. You can start using the hand the next day and do light typing and activities of daily living. Full recovery can sometimes take about 4 weeks, in terms of activities such as lifting weights at the gym.

I have a painful bump on my wrist. Should I get it removed surgically?

Most likely what you are describing is a wrist ganglion cyst. This is a fluid-filled that communicates with the joint. If it causes pain or you do not like how it looks, then READ MORE
Most likely what you are describing is a wrist ganglion cyst. This is a fluid-filled that communicates with the joint. If it causes pain or you do not like how it looks, then it can either be aspirated or surgically removed. I usually recommend first trying aspiration, although ganglion cysts oftentimes recur after aspiration.

I have sharp, shooting pain in my fingers when I type. What could be wrong?

There are many possibilities what may cause this, but most likely this represents a tendinitis, which is an irrational of the tendons in the hand and/or fingers. This is usually READ MORE
There are many possibilities what may cause this, but most likely this represents a tendinitis, which is an irrational of the tendons in the hand and/or fingers. This is usually not cause for concern. In most cases, this can improve with stretching, rest and anti-inflammatory medications, such as motrin or advil, as needed.

Can physical therapy help my mom?

She should probably go for occupational therapy and see a certified hand therapist (CHT). They in general have more experience treating hand conditions than physical therapists. READ MORE
She should probably go for occupational therapy and see a certified hand therapist (CHT). They in general have more experience treating hand conditions than physical therapists. However, there are some physical therapists that are also certified hand therapists so a PT with a CHT degree would be appropriate as well

What is the treatment for hand osteoarthritis?

This really depends upon the degree of your osteoarthritis. Many cases can be treated with occupational therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Cortisone injections can be READ MORE
This really depends upon the degree of your osteoarthritis. Many cases can be treated with occupational therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Cortisone injections can be helpful as well. In patients with more advanced arthritis, if symptoms warrant, then surgery may be required.

I burnt my hand with hot water. Could it have also affected my bones?

No, it is extremely unlikely that you affected your bones. It is more likely that the pain that you are feeling is secondary to inflammation of the skin and soft tissues as a READ MORE
No, it is extremely unlikely that you affected your bones. It is more likely that the pain that you are feeling is secondary to inflammation of the skin and soft tissues as a result of the burn.

I have crooked fingers. Can this be corrected?

This really depends upon what is causing your fingers to be "crooked." In most cases, this is a result of arthritis. Depending upon the arthritis and your function, it is possible READ MORE
This really depends upon what is causing your fingers to be "crooked." In most cases, this is a result of arthritis. Depending upon the arthritis and your function, it is possible that surgery can be helpful. I would recommend that you consult a hand surgeon.

What are various factors that could cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

There are many reasons why a person may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. It is more common in women than men and usually develops with aging. In most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, READ MORE
There are many reasons why a person may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. It is more common in women than men and usually develops with aging. In most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, there is not an identifiable cause. That being said, there are certain conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and obesity that can predispose a person to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

My mother suffered from compartment syndrome. Is it hereditary?

Compartment syndrome is not hereditary. It usually occurs after an injury. There are other causes which are less common. The only way to prevent compartment syndrome is to prevent READ MORE
Compartment syndrome is not hereditary. It usually occurs after an injury. There are other causes which are less common. The only way to prevent compartment syndrome is to prevent the injury that would subsequently result in compartment syndrome.

What could be the cause of my wrist pain?

There are many potential causes, that may not be related to your typing. However, your symptoms may be secondary to tendinitis or an overuse syndrome as a result of the typing. READ MORE
There are many potential causes, that may not be related to your typing. However, your symptoms may be secondary to tendinitis or an overuse syndrome as a result of the typing. This may be secondary to incorrect hand positioning or improper ergonomics. There are many sources on the internet to assess proper and positioning and proper ergonomics while typing on a keyboard.

Are my symptoms a sign of nerve compression?

This sounds like your symptoms may be secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the most common compression neuropathy. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated READ MORE
This sounds like your symptoms may be secondary to carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the most common compression neuropathy. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated with or without surgery, depending upon the severity of the nerve compression. You can initially treat this with a carpal tunnel splint, which can be purchased at any drugstore. You should wear the splint at night and during the daytime when you are symptomatic. If your symptoms persist, then I would recommend you consult a physician.

Depuytren's contacture question

Although radiation treatment is described for Dupuytren's disease, it is not a first line treatment. First line treatment for Dupuytren's disease that results in a contracture READ MORE
Although radiation treatment is described for Dupuytren's disease, it is not a first line treatment. First line treatment for Dupuytren's disease that results in a contracture is either surgery or a Xiaflex (Collagenase) injection. In terms of surgery, there are a number of options, one of which is minimally invasive - called needle aponeurectomy. Radiation therapy is rarely indicated, and usually only in refractory cases that have recurred after the above first line treatments.