Hand surgeries are one of the most common types of reconstructive surgeries; about 100,000 were performed in 2008. These surgeries may be required to repair tendons, relieve nerve problems (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and treat joint problems, including degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis and inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis [source: Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery]. Most often, though, surgeons are called to repair traumatic injuries that have severed tendons or nerves, to repair fractures and to reattach missing fingers. Other common hand surgeries include skin grafts, tissue regeneration and tissue transplantation.
In addition to reconstructive surgeries for repairing hand function that's compromised by trauma or degeneration, they're also performed to correct birth defects such as webbed fingers and toes, extra digits (as well as missing or duplicate digits), cleft hand and other congenital problems.