Modern hand surgery began in World War II as a military planning decision. US Army Surgeon General, Major General Norman T. Kirk, knew that hand injuries in World War I had poor outcomes in part because there was no formal system to deal with them. He recognized that repair of damaged hands required combined expertise from a variety of subspecialty fields – orthopaedic, plastic, neurologic, and vascular surgery. Kirk also knew that his civilian general surgical colleague Dr. Sterling Bunnell had a special interest and experience in hand reconstruction. Kirk tapped Bunnell to train military surgeons in the management of hand injuries to treat the war casualties, and at that time hand surgery became a formal specialty.
Hand surgery deals with both surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions and problems that may take place in the hand or upper extremity (commonly from the tip of the hand to the shoulder including injury and infection.
One way to fact-check that information is by going online and searching your surgeon on the American Board of Medical Specialists List. You can also search for a qualified hand surgeon by visiting Certification Matters
Dr. Michael K. Kim is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon, Board-Certified in Emrgency Surgery and a Board-Certified Hand Surgeon with Associates in Cosmetic Surgery. He has the training and accreditation you should seek when choosing a plastic or hand surgeon.