If you’re undergoing a medical procedure for a hand or wrist condition, orthopedic surgery is only the beginning of your treatment. For an overall improvement to your quality of life, you need proper rest and rehabilitation. Proper hand surgery aftercare will ensure that you heal well, reduce lingering pain, and get a handle on daily life after your procedure.
Prior to your hand surgery or wrist surgery, it’s important to ask questions and heed the instructions given by your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and any specialists caring for you. Below, you’ll find a primer for some of those instructions.
What to Expect After Hand Surgery
Different types of surgery will require different periods of immobility, rest, and rehabilitation. Our orthopedic surgeons in Jacksonville, NC perform surgeries including tendon repair, joint replacement, nerve repairs, bone realignments, surgical drainage, and debridement to clean wounds. We will discuss your estimated recovery time before surgery, which depends on the severity of your condition and your treatment. For example, if you have a tendon repair, it may take 3 months to regain full strength and another 2 to 3 months to get full range of motion. Please ask us all questions specific to your recovery and care plan.
Similarly, the medicine you get will vary upon the type of surgery you have. Minor surgery may only require over-the-counter medication for pain while you may need painkillers after more complex surgery. We may also ask you to take an anti-inflammatory or antibiotic as part of your treatment plan.
Rest and Elevation Are Crucial
Rest after wrist surgery or hand surgery is crucial. We’ll ask you to keep your hand and wrist elevated above your heart to reduce swelling and pain. The more often it is elevated in the days after surgery, the faster you will heal. Pillows stacked on your bed, couch or recliner will do the trick. Nearly everything outside of resting puts your hand below your heart, so your ability to do daily tasks will be very limited, especially the week after surgery. Learn more about our experts, we have the best orthopedic surgeons in NC.
Tips for Hand Surgery Recovery
Regardless of the type of hand or wrist surgery you have, these tips will help you be more comfortable in the weeks after.
- Follow all hand surgery aftercare instructions.
- Call the emergency number with any concerns after surgery.
- Prepare your home before surgery. Make things easier to reach and plan for places of rest with elevation.
- Know your lifting limitations and weigh items around the house to have a clear idea of their weight.
- Have plastic bags to cover your hand and wrist when showering.
- Ask for help and accept it. Meals prepared in advance, assistance with routine chores, and visits from friends will help you relax and recover after surgery.
- Wear the bandages and splints until your doctor says you may remove them.
- Do all prescribed rehabilitation which may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage or heat therapy — never stimulation and home exercises.
Call Carolinas Center for Surgery for a Consultation
If you are tired of living with hand pain or wrist pain, we can help. Make an appointment at the Carolinas Center for Surgery today to discuss your options.