FAQs

What are your business hours?

Our practice hours are from 8:00 am- 6:30 pm Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm Wednesday and 8:00 am- 5:00 pm Friday. Appointments can be made by telephoning our practice at 631-427-4263 during normal business hours or click here to request an appointment online.

Our practice hours are from 8:00 am- 6:30 pm Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm Wednesday and 8:00 am- 5:00 pm Friday. Appointments can be made by telephoning our practice at 631-427-4263 during normal business hours or click here to request an appointment online.

What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?

When you come for your appointment remember to bring the following:

  • Driver’s License or a valid ID
  • Insurance information
  • X-ray/MRI/CT scan reports to include images on disc, EMG findings and any other relevant information
  • List of medications/vitamins/supplements (if any)

What happens if I need my physician after-hours?

Our practice always has one of our own physicians “on call” in case of after-hours emergencies, problems, or questions. If you need to contact a Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center physician when the office is closed (after- hours on weekdays or on the weekends), please call (631) 427-4263 to reach the answering service and the on-call physician will contact you. For routine matters kindly contact the office during regular business hours.

Is the Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center just for surgical patients?

No. In general, the treatment of most conditions begins with non-surgical treatment options. In some cases, surgery may be recommended if non-surgical treatment does not result in improvement of your condition.

What is the difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a hand surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a physician who specializes in treating the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons of the musculoskeletal system. A hand fellowship trained surgeon has additional training in the treatment of all disorders encompassing the upper extremity (extending from the fingertip to the shoulder). At the Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center, all of the surgeons are board certified orthopedic surgeons who have completed fellowship training in hand and upper extremity surgery. As our entire practice is dedicated exclusively to the treatment of upper extremity conditions, we are best qualified to meet your needs.

How much is my visit or procedure going to cost me directly?

The business office staff at the Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center can assist you with determining how much of your care will be paid by insurance and how much will be paid directly by you. To get help with determining your estimated costs, please call 631-427-7900.

Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?

Ice should be used in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours) , or whenever there is swelling. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also be used to warm up muscles prior to exercise or physical therapy.

What is a cortisone/corticosteroid injection?

Cortisone is a steroid that is produced naturally in the body. Synthetically-produced cortisone can also be injected into soft tissues and joints to help decrease inflammation. While cortisone is not a pain reliever, pain may diminish as a result of reduced inflammation. In orthopedics, cortisone injections are commonly used as a treatment for chronic conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis, and arthritis.

What is arthritis?

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, can affect any joint in the body, but most often afflicts thumb, fingers, elbow, and shoulder. Most people will develop osteoarthritis from the normal wear and tear on the joints through the years. Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the ends of bones and facilitates movement. Over time, or if the joint has been injured, the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As bones rub together, pain may develop and bone spurs may form causing the joint to become stiff. There are additional types of arthritic conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, lupus and others. At the Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center we treat the entire spectrum of arthritic disease.

What is Arthroscopy and what conditions can be addressed with arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint.

Arthroscopic examination of joints is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions:

  • Inflammation: Synovitis, the inflammation of the lining of the shoulder, elbow, or wrist
  • Acute or chronic injury: Injuries to the shoulder, elbow and wrist joint such as cartilage tears, tendon tears
  • Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by cartilage loss in a joint
  • Removal of loose bodies of bone or cartilage that becomes logged within the joint

Once I decide to have surgery, how soon can it actually take place?

We have surgical appointments available weekly. Depending on the urgency of your condition, your health status, and insurance requirements you can typically schedule your surgery within a few days.

What are the possible complications associated with surgery?

Although uncommon, complications can occur occasionally during or following surgery. Infections are the most common complication and these can be treated by antibiotics should the need arise. Other complications can include: swelling or bleeding, damage to blood vessels or nerves, stiffness, and occasional problems with metal implants that may be utilized during your surgery. Rest assured that these sorts of complications occur in less than 1% of all orthopedic procedures and are even less frequently seen following hand procedures.

What is the Best Way to prepare for recovery following a surgical procedure?

Proper preparation and a great attitude are the best ways to accomplish rapid recovery from surgery. We will let you know if you need to see your primary care physician prior to surgery to ensure your blood pressure, heart, and lungs are in good shape. Your recovery period will depend on the type of surgery performed and may include:

  • A cast or splint to protect the hand or wrist while it heals
  • Physical therapy exercises to improve strength and range of motion
  • Elevation and ice to reduce swelling
  • Pain and/or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce discomfort

What is the recovery time for most procedures?

Hand surgery can entail routine procedures such as carpal tunnel release or foreign body removal which allow immediate near full use of the hand, or as complicated as a wrist laceration involving all tendons and nerves which can take up to a year for an adequate functional recovery. The wounds can take several days to weeks to heal. Although the wounds are small and pain in the surgical area may be minimal, it takes several weeks or longer to achieve maximum recovery. You should follow the specific activity and rehabilitation program suggested by your physician to speed your recovery and ensure maximal function.

Can I go home immediately after surgery?

Yes. Once you have recovered and meet criteria for safe discharge our staff will assist you in getting dressed and in going over post-operative instructions before you are sent home. It is important to have an able family member for driving and at home to help immediately after surgery.

When will I be able to return to work following a surgical procedure?

Returning to work depends on both your type of work as well as the surgery performed. Your physician will explain your limitations and how long to avoid certain activities. For simple procedures such as carpal tunnel release, office workers often return in a few days to weeks, while patients with more strenuous jobs may require more time away from work. The timing of your return to work also depends considerably upon your commitment to recovery.

When can I drive following a surgical procedure?

Most patients are able to safely drive a car the next day after surgery however this also depends on the type of surgical procedure that was performed. Each case must be individually evaluated by the performing surgeon. We recommend that patients do not drive cars with a manual transmission while they are healing because of the sudden and jerky movements that can accompany shifting gears and using the clutch.

When can I wash following a surgical procedure?

This will depend on the procedure performed and the type of skin closure utilized. In general, most wounds should stay covered and dry while one is bathing/showering until the stitches have been removed.

What type of anesthesia is used for surgical procedures?

The type of anesthesia will depend on the type of procedure you are having performed. For procedures such as carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgeries the patient is sedated, and then the area where the surgery is performed will be numbed with an injection similar to having your mouth numbed for a dental procedure. In some cases a straight local anesthetic without sedation is used if the patient is agreeable and if the procedure allows for this. More extensive procedures may require regional nerve blocks and/or general anesthesia. At the Long Island Hand to Shoulder Center, we use anesthesiologists that are experts in these various techniques and both your surgeon and anesthesiologist will discuss in detail all of the options available to you to ensure the safest and most effective care.

Is bleeding around the incision site after surgery normal?

It is not unusual to have some mild bleeding through the small incision areas, and the area should be kept dry and covered. Should this happen and you are at home, you should reinforce the dressing with more sterile gauze. However, if bleeding persists, contact the office.

What can I expect in terms of pain following a surgical procedure?

The amount of pain one experiences after surgery can vary among individuals. Usually the first day or two are the most symptomatic. Your doctor will prescribe you an adequate pain regimen to be used at home to assist with the pain. It is best to address the pain before it intensifies. Pain medicine can cause itching, nausea, and/or constipation. These are all common side-effects of narcotic-based medications and do not necessarily indicate a drug allergy. Pain can also be improved by elevating the operated part of your arm above your heart (even while sleeping) and moving your fingers to help pump the swelling out of the limb. If your medical conditions allow, often times supplementing with an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen or Aleve will minimize the need for the narcotic pain medications.

Can I have surgery on both arms at the same time?

This depends on whether the surgery is for an acute traumatic injury sustained to both arms at the same time. If both arms are injured, to facilitate recovery, surgery may be necessary on both arms at the same time. In general for chronic conditions, we recommend staging both sides so that the patient has one “good” arm to assist with activities of daily living and hygiene.

What is hand therapy and will I need hand or physical therapy after my surgery?

Your doctor may refer you to a hand therapist for a prescribed rehabilitation program. Our staff includes highly trained certified hand and upper extremity therapists, who will supervise you to assure that you achieve maximum recovery and return of function as quickly as possible. The therapists will provide both active and passive exercises to prevent your joints from becoming still or if they are stiff, to make them more supple. They may provide custom-made splints to support joints or to avoid re-injury to the repaired structures. They will encourage you and keep you on track during this rehabilitation phase that will vary according to your particular hand problem. The hand therapists work closely with your surgeon to maximize your outcome and provide you with a unique service for the optimal post-operative care you deserve.

Whether you will need therapy depends largely on the type of procedure you underwent as well as whether your doctor feels you are able to do the exercises on your own. The return of good function following hand injuries or surgery for chronic conditions often does require occupational or physical therapy, appropriate exercise, and splinting. In some cases it may be difficult to achieve good results without therapy and in these cases our experts can assist you in achieving your goals.