Dr. Thomas Hitchcock is a hand surgeon practicing in Marshfield, WI. Dr. Hitchcock specializes in caring for hand, wrist and forearm problems. Many hand surgeons are also experts in diagnosing and caring for shoulder and elbow problems and tend to suggest non-surgical treatments such as hand therapy or physical therapy.
Education and Training
Greenville University B.A. 1978
Washington University School Of Medicine M.D. 1982
Washington Univ Sch Of Med- St Louis Mo 1982
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine 1982
Surgery of the Hand (Orthopaedic Surgery)
Orthopaedic SurgeryAmerican Board of Orthopaedic SurgeryABOS
Dr. Thomas F Hitchcock MD's Expert Contributions
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. READ MORE
NO - that is very typical 2 year old behavior and should NOT have any harmful effects on hand function later in life! READ MORE
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. 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! READ MORE
Not really - but you should consider piano playing as long slender fingers are a real asset to pianists. READ MORE
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 (could start with family doctor) for an X-ray. READ MORE
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 the recovery of normal circulation early on and should not cause any permanent problems. READ MORE
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. 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). 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. 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. 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. 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. READ MORE
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. READ MORE
Sounds like the fracture may have some angulation or rotational deformity. Your doctor should evaluate for this with an X-ray. 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. READ MORE
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. 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." READ MORE
Yes, you need to be careful to not accidentally remove the pin. Your surgeon may have given you a splint to minimize this risk. 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. READ MORE
Yes, carpal tunnel release is OFTEN performed on diabetic hands as the diabetes is actually a risk factor for the problem. The results can be less favorable in diabetics if they have neuropathy (damage of the nerves from the diabetes). The results are still usually gratifying even in the face of neuropathy, however. READ MORE
Surgery for webbed fingers (Syndactyly releases) used to be done ideally at about 6 - 12 months of age. Recent research has shown that having anesthesia prior to the age of 1 year can be associated with an increased incidence of ADHD later in life. Depending on which fingers are involved with the webbing, we often wait now until between 1 and 2 years of age for corrective surgery. READ MORE
Diabetes is the most common cause. Other medical conditions associated with an increased incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome are any thyroid disease and any inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis. Carpal tunnel can also be related to hormone fluctuations such as around menopause. Overuse of the hand is a less common cause than once thought! READ MORE
6 - 8 weeks READ MORE
Is the ganglion on the back of your wrist or the palm side? Ganglion cysts are quite easily and safely excised surgically. Those on the back of the wrist can often be drained, but this does not always get it to resolve. Even with surgical excision, there is always a slight risk of recurrence. READ MORE
Areas of expertise and specialization
Faculty Titles & Positions
- Instructor In Orthopedics University Of Michigan 1989 - 1992
- Faculty Teaching Award1992University of Michigan
- Trigger Finger
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Orthopedic Research Society
- Wisconsin Orthopedic Society
- Mid-America Orthopaedic Association
- Mayo Grad Sch Med/Mayo Fndn, Orthopedic Surgery; Loyola Univ Med Ctr, Orthopedic Surgery
- Loyola University Medical Center Program
- Saint Joseph's Hospital ( Marshfield, WI )
Dr. Thomas F Hitchcock MD's Practice location
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