Originally Posted by Triskadekaphilia
Get a second opinion and don't see a surgeon.
The medical person who takes care of the hand, wrist and forearm up to the elbow is a hand specialist or "hand surgeon".
There is no corresponding medical "non-surgeon" person who gets the training for the hand and wrist.
Most hand surgeons, and most surgeons, don't operate on the majority of the patients they see.
But they can make the diagnosis of what is wrong, institute therapy, monitor progress/lack of progress, and alter therapy.
Still, I share your suspicion that there may be a tendency for a "surgeon" to recommend an operation too easily.
But as you indicate, patients can always at least ask for a second opinion, and certainly persist in a rest/rehab direction for anything other than a clear cut torn ligament/tendon or broken bone.