As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Birchard prides himself in his hands. For a guy who uses numerous tools most of us have never heard of or could even imagine, his hands are surely his most important tool. And what better way to use his hands than fix others’ hands? Whether Dr. Birchard is in the clinic, the operating room, or out in the local community, Dr. Birchard is always willing to lend a helping hand.
Dr. Birchard grew up in Chehalis as his dad, also an orthopedic surgeon, helped get Washington Orthopaedic Center off the ground. His family was very involved in local community service events and international missions, and these are two aspects of service he still continues today. Simply look for Dr. Birchard’s United Way campaign poster on your right between exits 81 and 79 as you head south on I-5 to see the impact he has on our local community. His medical mission trips in countries like Papua New Guinea, the Dominican Republic, and India have had similar positive effects. Dr. Birchard also continues his participation in Boy Scouts of America by volunteering with his son’s Cub Scout Pack 301 in Chehalis.
Dr. Birchard has a special interest in hands when it comes to surgery. The hand, much like the foot, demands a slightly different surgical approach than other areas of the body like the hip or knee. For example, while there are only three bones in contact within the knee joint, there are twenty-seven bones in each human hand along with countless joints. While the knee performs gross, large, movements, the hand completes fine, small, movements requiring greater precision and accuracy. Due to the more finely tuned nature of the hand, the surgeries sometimes require a greater attention to detail, something Dr. Birchard is an expert at.
Among Dr. Birchard’s most commonly performed procedures are trigger finger releases, de Quervain’s releases, and carpal tunnel releases. As you can see below, the following table details the conditions, treatment options, surgery, and rehabilitation periods. These three conditions are often inevitable fixes in order to maintain an active quality of life. Luckily for us, Dr. Birchard has decades of experience working with these conditions and sees a very high rate of success following his corrective procedures.
These three conditions are not uncommon. If you work with your hands on a daily basis, you have a higher risk of developing a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome. A 2010 study completed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 3.1% of employed adults between the ages 18-64 developed carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome was greater with increased age and higher in women.
If you find yourself with chronic pain similar to one of the descriptions above, place your trust in Dr. Birchard’s hands. He has the experience and knowledge to improve your quality of life in a dramatic way. Give us a call at 360-736-2889 to set up a consultation today.
– Article by Levi Bale