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Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins, M.D.

Hand Surgeon

Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins M.D. is a top Plastic and Hand Surgeon in Houston, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins M.D. is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins M.D. is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins M.D. is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In Houston, TX, Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins M.D. is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
Dr. Christopher Lovell Hankins, M.D.
  • Houston, TX
  • Accepting new patients

I am having pigmentation around my palm and hand. What could be the reason?

You should seek medical attention right away. You did not state the size of the lesion, but you would want to exclude an acral lentiginous melanoma.

Are my symptoms a sign of nerve compression?

It is possible that this may be due to nerve compression. The most common nerve compression syndrome of the hand is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is characterized by intermittent READ MORE
It is possible that this may be due to nerve compression. The most common nerve compression syndrome of the hand is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is characterized by intermittent numbness and tingling as you describe in the median nerve distribution. In lay terms, numbness of the thumb, index and middle finger and the thumb side of the ring finger. If it is of recent onset as in your case, conservative treatment of a steroid injection in carpal tunnel, away from the nerve and splinting are options. If the symptoms persist and progress, a confirmatory nerve conduction study followed by endoscopic carpal tunnel release would then be the treatment of choice.

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

Usually, one or two steroid injections into the flexor tendon sheath of the affected finger can be tried. If this fails, surgical division of the A1 pulley of the finger is the READ MORE
Usually, one or two steroid injections into the flexor tendon sheath of the affected finger can be tried. If this fails, surgical division of the A1 pulley of the finger is the treatment. Since the pulley is expendable, there is no adverse effect on finger flexion.

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

Your daughter may have some residual cold intolerance or stiffness of the affected finger but this would be due to the original injury, not from the use of leeches. Leeches are READ MORE
Your daughter may have some residual cold intolerance or stiffness of the affected finger but this would be due to the original injury, not from the use of leeches. Leeches are often used in the case of venous congestion when there is insufficient venous outflow of the finger, buying time until venous outflow becomes re-established during the healing process. This is a common practice. The most likely complication from the use of leeches is infection from Aeromonas hydrophila. The incidence of infection is low.

I have oil accumulation around my wrist. Can I remove this with surgery?

From your description, it sounds as if though you have a ganglion cyst of the wrist. Pain is, of course, an indication for surgical removal.

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

Yes, this is possible. There may be damage to the cartilage of the joint that would not be detectable by x-ray. Without any additional information, it would be impossible to comment READ MORE
Yes, this is possible. There may be damage to the cartilage of the joint that would not be detectable by x-ray. Without any additional information, it would be impossible to comment on the second question.

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

That actually depends on many factors. Depending on the location and the character of the pain, it may be that you are still convalescing from the surgery, you could have an injury READ MORE
That actually depends on many factors. Depending on the location and the character of the pain, it may be that you are still convalescing from the surgery, you could have an injury to one of the structures of the hand that escaped detection or you could have residual glass in the hand that is causing the pain.

Is carpal tunnel surgery safe for a diabetic person?

Yes. Diabetes is actually one of the contributory causes of carpal tunnel syndrome as a chronically elevated blood glucose results in the deposition of glucose in the structure READ MORE
Yes. Diabetes is actually one of the contributory causes of carpal tunnel syndrome as a chronically elevated blood glucose results in the deposition of glucose in the structure of the transverse carpal ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. The scientific term for the process is called glycation. The process of glycation causes thickening and increased stiffness of the ligament. As the amount of space in the carpal tunnel is limited, increased pressure on the median nerve may eventually become symptomatic, requiring decompression. Prior to surgery, your glucose management should be optimized to minimize the risk of infection.

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

Most likely the reason you were told that was due to the possibility of an accidental injury to the child by a puncture wound from the pencil or pen.

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

This is a question you should ask your surgeon. It depends on what procedure and how to do it.

I am experiencing numbness in my hands after a cancer treatment. Should I visit a doctor?

Numbness in the hands is most commonly from carpal tunnel syndrome but osteoarthritis of the cervical spine may also be a contributing cause as this may result in compression of READ MORE
Numbness in the hands is most commonly from carpal tunnel syndrome but osteoarthritis of the cervical spine may also be a contributing cause as this may result in compression of the nerves leaving the cervical spine. You would need to have a comprehensive hand examination and if indicated, nerve conduction studies/electromyography to determine the cause.

I am experiencing stiffness in my finger after an injury. What could be the reason?

You would need a complete history and examination of the hand by either a plastic surgeon with an interest in hand or an orthopedic surgeon with an interest in hand. After the READ MORE
You would need a complete history and examination of the hand by either a plastic surgeon with an interest in hand or an orthopedic surgeon with an interest in hand. After the examination, x-rays would then be obtained. Your stiffness could be due to either a soft tissue or bony injury. Only a comprehensive work up would reveal the cause of your stiffness.

I have a ganglion cyst in my left wrist

Ganglion cysts of the wrist are not uncommon. Approximately 80% occur on the dorsum or the back of the wrist whereas 20% occur on the volar or palmar side of the wrist. Ganglions READ MORE
Ganglion cysts of the wrist are not uncommon. Approximately 80% occur on the dorsum or the back of the wrist whereas 20% occur on the volar or palmar side of the wrist. Ganglions on the dorsum of the wrist can be drained but those on the volar side should not be due to their proximity to the radial artery. Ganglions that have been drained have a high recurrence rate. The definitive treatment of a wrist ganglion is surgery.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

In answering this question, I am making the assumption that you have seen a hand or plastic surgeon, have undergone a physical examination and have had a nerve conduction study. READ MORE
In answering this question, I am making the assumption that you have seen a hand or plastic surgeon, have undergone a physical examination and have had a nerve conduction study. There are a number of conservative measures that can be taken if the symptoms are of recent onset, such as activity modification, splinting at night and steroid injections to the carpal tunnel. However, if the symptoms do not go away completely within a short period of time, i.e., two weeks, it is best to undergo a decompression of the carpal tunnel, as the longer the compression of the median nerve (the nerve in the carpal tunnel) persists, the greater the risk of permanent nerve injury.

In 2007, I authored a paper that was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery that reviewed a total of 14,722 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome who were treated with the endoscopic technique, the largest retrospective series published to date. What I noted from the data collected from this series of patients, was the direct correlation of the duration of symptoms and the incidence of permanent nerve injury. Moreover, review of the data also showed that the incidence of complications was much lower for the endoscopic over the open technique.

I recommend the endoscopic technique of release over the open technique for the following reasons: 1) The recovery time is much quicker. Most people can return to a desk job within a week of the surgery. I have seen patients return to work even faster if they were self-employed or they thought that their job was in jeopardy even though that was not recommended. With the open technique, the recovery can be as long as six weeks; 2) The safety record of the endoscopic technique as detailed above; 3) The lower scar burden associated with the endoscopic technique. Only the transverse carpal ligament is divided in the endoscopic technique, whereas in the open technique every layer of tissue from the surface of the nerve to the skin is divided, resulting in obliteration of gliding mechanism between the various tissue layers as they are now tethered with scar; and 4) The procedure only takes a few minutes to perform in experienced hands.

To summarize, in the case that conservative measures fail to completely relieve your symptoms within a two week period, surgical decompression should not be delayed. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is safe and has a shorter recovery period than the open approach.